Music is everything for this Cuban pianist and FIU student (includes multimedia content)

Gabriela Rivero, FIU student, has been playing music for 14 years. Although it is just a hobby for a lot of people, it is everything to Rivero.

She was born and raised in Cuba where she discovered her passion for music. She played different instruments growing up like clarinet and flute but fell in love with the piano.

The piano became Rivero’s spiritual friend. It was a way to express herself and let go of any emotion that overwhelmed her. She loved the feeling of her fingertips on the keys, the way her mind was hyper-focused as well as the smile it put on people’s faces.

The competitive aspect of music shapes Rivero’s present and future as she spends at least four hours a day practicing and building her muscle memory in hopes of performing on a large stage one day.

“Every time I get on stage, it is the best feeling,” Rivero said. “I feel like the people watching and listening are ruled by the emotions that I bring them with my music and I want to do that forever.”

Layan Abu Tarboush is a digital broadcasting major at FIU, currently pursuing a minor in International Relations. As an international student from Jordan, Layan is fluent in both Arabic and English and has a deep interest in reporting on Middle Eastern affairs. Layan takes pride in being multicultural with great exposure from the East and West.