UNITED STATES. New York: Spanish pianist Mia Molina, praised for her “bold and extremely soulful piano playing” by De Ijsselbode, has debuted as a soloist throughout Europe and the United States. Life is like a piano. what you get out of it depends on how you play it. In this interview, Molina talks about her deep connection with music, her love for classical music, and many more things.
Apart from playing the piano, Mia enjoys traveling, dancing, and yoga. She is also a passionate child-rights and animal-rights advocate.
Early life and education
Molina fell in love with the piano from an early age. Over the past 20 years, she has trained as a classical pianist. She first started to learn piano in Spain and later moved to New York City to pursue her graduation. During this time, she used to actively participate in international competitions and performed across the globe.
Molina graduated with honors from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Jaén), Royal Conservatory of Music (Granada), and the International University of Andalusia. She was the youngest student to achieve a University Expert degree. After recently completing her Master’s Degree at NYU Steinhardt, where she was a member of the Piano Adjunct Faculty, she was awarded a merit scholarship from Penn State University to complete a Piano Performance Certificate under the guidance of Dr. José Ramón Méndez.
Despite the intensity of this career, Molina followed her other passions as well. She volunteered as an early childhood educator. For the last two years, she has volunteered around the world, collaborating as an educator with organizations that help children in vulnerable situations of extreme poverty and social exclusion.
Molina’s performances and her thoughts on classical music
Molina has won many accolades for her performances. In 2006, she won the second prize in the ‘Young Performers’. Mia was also a finalist at Ciudad del Ejido 2007 International Keyboard Institute and Festival. In 2012, she won the second prize in the IV Chamber Music Competition of Granada Royal Conservatory, as a member of the Granada Wind and Piano Sextet. Talking about Molina, Lia de Vries said, “Through her playing, a story unfolds; her thoughtful Bach, convincing Beethoven, and passionate Granados, moved an audience that thanked her with a grand applause.”
Molina believes that classical music is an elitist world (very competitive and expensive) and it is vital to change this. She thinks that this music should be and made more accessible to a wider audience.
“I believe classical music is an international and intergenerational language that we can all connect with and relate to. More importantly, performers should be encouraged to go out and experience life, besides practicing endless hours. I am not a good pianist despite my other ‘life distractions’ but I am the musician I am thanks to my life experiences and because I pour my entire soul into my playing,” she added.
The power of music
Molina always felt a calling for deeper human connection and self-expression which she could find through piano playing. Her love for music and what it represents in her life story inspired her to share her passion for piano with others.
Based in New York City, she frequently performs at venues such as Loewe Theater, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Black Box Theater, and other educational institutions including New York University and Columbia University.
While living in New York for six years, she was exposed to the best orchestras and musicians present in the world. She also had many opportunities to perform and collaborate in projects with fellow artists from different backgrounds.
“Interacting with the cultural diversity of ‘the biggest melting pot in the world’ is what finally inspired me to find my path as an artist. During this period I also had the opportunity to work with organizations that used the piano as therapy for pediatric oncological patients and children with autism spectrum disorders, which ultimately gave my passion a new dimension of meaning,” Molina said.
Art: The power to change the world
Art can make a great contribution towards multiculturalism and globalization, as it is a perfect tool for self-awareness and a great introduction to new cultures. Molina strongly believes that creating art in general, is a great way of meditation and introspection that help with overcoming disease and trauma.
“Music and dance are such natural tools for understanding and interiorizing new concepts, especially for young children. Education is also one of the most empowering tools for children and their communities in developing countries to help them break the cycle of poverty.”
Molina actively collaborates as an educator with non-profit organizations, including Mudita Foundation, Koh Tao for Kids, Sings for Hope, Art for China, Riprap friends. She is the founder and director of Music For Ages. It is a bilingual early childhood education program that promotes cultural awareness through music and dance.
After volunteering with children across the globe for several months, Molina is very passionate to take action and inspire the new generations to achieve positive changes and make the world a better place. For her, social entrepreneurship is the only sustainable future. It is essential to invest in social entrepreneurship and spread this idea to develop society.
“Nobody has the privilege to decide where we are born but we can be lucky to be born in a privileged position. If we think building a better world is possible, we have the social responsibility to share the resources available to us with the ones that have been born in a different reality, promoting social inclusion and equality of opportunity. In a world with so many conflicts, wars, and social issues, we get to keep hope alive by creating beauty. It is incredible how art can feed the human soul and how many hearts we can touch, inspire and change for the better,” Molina said.