Maestro Pedro Guitiérrez, who has to be one of the most patient music teachers in the world, is in charge of teaching five different instruments to students of all ages.
Guitars and vihuelas form the Armonía section. By sticking to strumming patterns, armonistas form the rhythm section of a mariachi.
Violins accentuate mariachi songs with two- or three-part harmony. And no mariachi is complete without the low notes of the guitarrón. It became a staple in most 20th-century mariachis, replacing the wooden harp that proved to be too cumbersome to lug to gigs.
Like violins, trumpets provide harmonized accents to mariachi music. The accordion is not required in a mariachi, but in our case it is welcomed as a bonus.