My name is Kiev Morales. I was born in Santa Monica California. I am 16 years old and an only child. I am a pop/modern violinist and have been playing for five years. My mom always says that my passion for music was evident from very early on. She used to place headphones with classical music on her belly so I would calm down. As a toddler, my bedtime routine for falling asleep always included music. I would have a hard time falling asleep without music. To this day, I go to bed with music. Very early on my parents exposed me to pop music by taking me to concerts to see Phil Collins, Shakira, Chayanne, and Enrique Iglesias.

 

One day while strolling down the Santa Monica Promenade in Santa Monica, I saw this amazing violinist, Josh Vietti, performing on the Promenade. I think I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I didn’t know what a violin was but I told my mom that I wanted to play it. That’s how I got interested in playing the violin. The funny thing is that I now perform on the very same spot where Josh used to perform.

 

I began street performing about two years ago. Once I started getting exposure, I started meeting many interesting people. I have been invited to perform for weddings, political events, private events, wedding proposals and even funerals. I have battery operated equipment so I can set up virtually anywhere such as vineyards, mountains, beaches, etc. and still provide high quality sound.

 

In school, classical music style was the only way to go. That curriculum has not changed in hundreds of years. This was not easy for me at all. It was so difficult that I struggled for a while. In fact, my first violin teacher, in her frustration, even told me to quit and try something else. Another instrument perhaps or even singing. I actually gave up for a while because my violin playing was not getting anywhere. Then, I began to play music that I enjoyed and for this I had to teach myself because schools just don’t offer anything else. At first, I was able to play parts of a song, which would take me months to learn. Now, I have the ability to learn songs much faster and that has been a real blessing because people constantly ask me for new songs, particularly for weddings and I am able to deliver.

 

I started playing classical music when I first began taking violin lessons in school. It was not easy for me at all. It was so difficult that I struggled for a while. In fact, my first violin teacher even told me to quit and try something else, such as chorus. It was frustrating trying to learn with sheet music. I actually gave up for a while because my violin playing was not getting anywhere. Then, I began to listen to songs and tried to pluck my violin to the beat. Eventually, I discovered that I was able to play parts of the song. My first full song took me a few months to learn and once I discovered this I began to teach myself. I have the ability to listen to a song a few times and immediately begin to pluck and play. This is a real gift that I did not know I had until I began to try it myself.

 

I have been further blessed with the assistance and guidance of pop violinist Jason Yang who has been a great influence on me. He is a musician that I truly admire. I was so honored when he accepted to be my private teacher and I value his opinion and professional talent. I appreciate his guidance and encouragement.

 

My music is really opening new roads for me. I have performed in Mexico, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Florida and many other places. However, there is nothing like the street crowds where you really have to be on your toes to create an impression on people and hold their attention. The largest crowds I get are on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. I love the scenery, the lights, sounds, and the mood. It’s electrifying to play there live. One day I would love to perform inside the casinos but I think there will always be something special about playing for crowds in the street. I love when they gather around and I very much appreciate those that stay for two hours to watch the show. I especially love the little ones who are probably being exposed to a different genre and different possibilities with the violin just as I was. I hope that I can now serve as a source of inspiration for them.

 

I continue to take lessons in classical music and I am currently co-director of the music program at Venice High School. I am dedicated to make Venice High’s music program a great success. In my previous schools I reached the level of Concert Master and was accepted twice to the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), a CA Honors Orchestra. However, pop music is my passion and I continue to learn the songs on my own. I am working right now on future videos so I can post on my website or as demos to show what type of music I play. I don’t see doing anything else in the future that is not related to music. Music is my passion and my life.