Many parents want one thing for their children: to provide them with more opportunities than they had when they were kids. Ignacio Arrendondo decided to honor the sacrifices his father made for him by making his father’s dream of becoming a musician into his own dream. Little Kids Rock helped make that happen…
At the age of three, Ignacio immigrated to the United States from his native Chile, and found his new life in America to be a challenge. He struggled to adapt to a new culture, while also trying to absorb some of the basic pillars of his family’s culture. Music helped him overcome the difficulty of learning English, and connected him to his Chilean roots where his grandfather was a musician years ago. When Ignacio began experimenting with music in 2009 at the age of 13, his father encouraged him by sharing his own dream of starting a band – one that he never got to realize.
Ignacio recognized that by deciding to come to the United States to make a better life for his family, his father had sacrificed his own dreams in order to provide Ignacio with opportunities he never had. He joined the Little Kids Rock program during his 8th grade year at Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City in order to hone his skills.
“My father told me that when he was a kid, he always wanted to make a band, and that he didn’t have the opportunities I have,” says Ignacio, who was inspired to make the most of his father’s sacrifice by starting a band of his own. “When [my father] told me that, I felt like I could make his dream come true, but in my life.”
Ignacio’s musical journey did not stop when he went to high school. While writing music and forming a band with other students he met in his Little Kids Rock class, Ignacio also made time to go back to his middle school to help teach younger, budding musicians how to play, write, and most of all, feel confident.
Ignacio put his heart into a song he wrote, “Here We Are,” which he performed with his band, The White Skies, in front of a sold out Jake Clemons show at the legendary Wonderbar in Asbury Park, NJ. Little Kids Rock helped Igancio make his song into his first music video.
Now a 17-year-old high school student, Ignacio is ecstatic to have the opportunity to make his dream, and his father’s dream, a reality. “This song took me further than I ever thought,” he said.
Little Kids Rock is proud to help kids like Ignacio realize their dreams every day.