Decorated musician Enrique Feldman tells McKay School staff about his journey to success.
Feldman’s influence is worldwide; he is a public speaker, composer, performer, and children’s book author. He has also established the Global Learning Foundation, whose mission is to engage learners through art and music. Their motto is “Learn like a child. Love like an artist. Live like a legend.
#1: Feldman’s Musical Influences Came Early In Life
Feldman’s path to music has been years in the making. However, as a former professor of music and education at the University of Wisconsin and University of Arizona, he has taken a unique road to where he is now.
When Feldman was four years old, he asked his parents for a piano. He was inspired by his mother, who exposed him to Mexican and Cuban folk music as well as classical music such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
Music has played a significant role in Feldman’s life since that time. “I would say music is completely integrated into my life, it’s a large part of who I am,” he says. “I express myself a lot with words, I do a lot of keynote speaking, but I think I express myself best with music. Music is really how I live.”
Feldman takes pride in a heritage that spans the globe. His compositions and songs reflect the melting pot of cultures he was raised in. With a cultural background that spans from Mexico, to Argentina, and even to Russia, he has a cultured music arsenal. He says, “A lot of [my music] is very different, like my name, Enrique Feldman.”
#2: Feldman Carved Out His Own Career Path
Feldman’s musical career began as a professor of music education and band director at the University of Arizona. He says he accepted the position because “that’s what I had studied to do. I was young, I was 29!”
However, Feldman soon discovered that he disliked being told to teach a certain way. Reflecting back on the experience he said, “I don’t like that too much. I’m sort of a rebel. The challenge was, I was unhappy. But what do you do? It’s a stable job, right?”
Despite cautionary advice from peers and coworkers to stay in his job, Enrique decided to leave his tenured position.
Taking a risk taught Feldman what he really wanted to do: “own his time.” The ability to own his time is something that Feldman loves and “couldn’t live without.”
Now, Feldman composes a variety of music including film scores, choral songs, and orchestral pieces. The first movie he worked on was Cruzando, in 2009. He has also composed music for From a Place of Darkness, Last Night at Angelo’s, and Gun Hill Road.
Feldman has a clear understanding of how film scores differ from other music genres. “In some ways it’s different, but in a lot of ways it’s similar,” he says. “The big difference is that the music in film isn’t the star, or at least shouldn’t be. The star is the story. Everything is story-driven, and it is all about what you see on screen, so the script comes first before the music. In a classical piece, the music is the story.”
#3: Feldman Is a Composer, Entrepreneur, and Father
Owning one’s time is something that Feldman recommends to any person aspiring for success. He enjoys the flexibility he has now to be an involved husband and father, as he considers his family one of the greatest blessings in his life.
Feldman has two children, a daughter who is 23 and a son who is 19. He loves being a father and defines himself as an “artistic dad.” He says, “An artistic dad is a dad that asks more questions than makes statements. He is a listening and observing dad rather than someone who dictates. He would build more relationships as opposed to being controlling.”
Whether working in his music studio, delivering keynote addresses, or spending time with his family, Enrique Feldman has achieved a life full of enjoyment and success.
Writers: Ben Bluhm, Laurie Bradshaw, Ashley Young
Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562