Music is present in all of Alyssa Hodge’s passions.
Alyssa, 15, was born in New Haven and is of Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic descent. A junior at Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, she said music is a constant in many of her endeavors.
Since she used to play both piano and percussion instruments, such as the drums, in her school band, she has equal experience with playing as well as using music as an outlet for self-expression and comfort.
“Music has always been a way to help me de-stress,’’ she said. “It helps me unwind because there’s no pressure.”
A few of the artists who have helped her cope through the COVID-19 pandemic and who have served as a source of reassurance for her are Melanie Martinez, Selena and various K-pop groups such as Twice and BTS.
Alyssa participates in her school’s K-pop club and is president of its all-girls team.
She is also part of her school’s Latin American Student Organization club, which meets up to discuss their community and celebrate their vibrant culture.
“Dance is a really big part of Latin culture,” she said.
Alyssa danced for five years and began when she was only eight. She has since quit because of the pressure and how overwhelming it had become for her.
“The passion just drifted away,” she said. “You’re [being] pushed into doing an extracurricular activity.”
She now freely dances to songs of her choice and chooses when and where to incorporate dance in her daily life.
Alyssa has also done community service in a program titled, “Solar Youth.” Once she couldn’t continue and the pandemic had swept the world– and kept everyone inside their homes, Alyssa turned to music for solace.
Tara Saraf is a student at Greenwich High School.