Mariachi is a musical expression from Western Mexico that some say dates further back than the18th century. Mariachi is a tradition that can be defined by eight socio-musical elements: instrumentation and texture, musical genres and subgenres, performance methods and styles, singing styles and forms, dance styles, per formative space, performance clothing, and the word “mariachi”. Each element has its own history, originated at varying moments in time and in different regions of the Western Mexican countryside, and some, if not all, had to converge in order for the mariachi tradition to become what it is today. Mariachi is an educational subject that is rich in history and tradition.

In areas such as Encinitas with large Mexican-American populations, mariachi music is embraced and often mariachi bands are hired for events outside this ethnic group as well. The most important venues for this music in the United States are mariachi festivals and Dia de los Muertos festivities as well as school concerts.

While some public schools offer mariachi as part of band classes, currently Encinitas schools do not offer this traditional form of entertainment. As such Encinitas Friends of the Arts will be offering mariachi classes to augment its Ballet Folklorico program with the formation of a mariachi band.