Heart of Louisiana: Brazos Huval School of Music

Published: Jan. 25, 2017 at 2:15 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2017 at 12:33 PM CST
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BREAUX BRIDGE, LA (WVUE) - It's an old form of music in South Louisiana, but you might be surprised at how popular Cajun music is with some kids - especially those kids who have Acadian roots.

For some of these kids, speaking French was something their grandparents or great-grand parents did. These youngsters are learning how to sing it.

Eight-year-old Makayla Guidry is a student at Brazos Huval's School of Music in Breaux Bridge.

"You see your friends playing and then they are performing, people clapping, hey, maybe it's cool, so they try it out and come to find out they like it," Huval said.

Huval did not grow up in a musical family. But his French-speaking parents would frequent local restaurants to hear live Cajun bands.

"We'd go have lunch, listen to some great Cajun bands. Great old timers," Huval.

After his older brother, Chad, started playing the accordion, Huval took up the fiddle and now works full-time at his music school.

"I like seeing the progression," Huval said. "Starting off with 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,' 'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' and then a few years down the road were tearing up some Dewey Balfa fiddling. That's great."

At any given time, there are more than 100 students here at the school, and they range in age from 5 years old all the way up to adults.

Older brother Chad Huval also teaches the accordion.

"Once you start learning songs and it sounds good, it motivates you to want to learn more," he said. "And it absolutely is my love."

Jace Goulas has been playing accordion for less than a year, and now he's hooked.

"You can pass it on for, like, generations to generations and have fun with it and not just play it because you wants to play it, you play it for a love," Goulas said.

The kids are enthusiastic about playing the music of their Cajun grandparents.

"We're the new people going into the culture and bringing it back," Mary Harris said. "It kind of died down, but I want to bring it back."

And as more children take up the accordion and fiddle and perform at local jam sessions, others are inspired.

"I like doing the slurs, that's my favorite thing to do on the fiddle," said Alyssa Theriot.

The songs are lively, fun to listen to and fun to play.  And it's part of their family histories.

"I would really like my children and my descendants to do the same thing that I'm doing, because it's fun and it's carrying on the Cajun heritage," Theriot said.

At this music school, it looks like those family traditions have already been passed on to a new generation.

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