Hi everyone - Ya’ateh! My name is Ariel Horowitz, and I am the Founder and Artistic Director of the Heartbeat Music Project. Heartbeat found me back in 2016 when I was in my junior year at Juilliard. My mom, who works as a curriculum consultant for Navajo Technical University, called me to ask whether I’d be interested in volunteering music lessons to Navajo (Diné) children over the summer. I said yes, went out to Crownpoint with my dear old friend Leerone Hakami, and had an amazing time sharing music with a group of five third-graders. Somehow, I blinked: four years later, here we are with nearly sixty students ages five through eighteen!
I could not be more proud of what my team and I have created through the Heartbeat Music Project: it is the pride and joy of my life! In four short years, we’ve cultivated an empowering atmosphere that allows for our students to gain confidence in themselves through artistic expression, as well as through traditional Diné teachings and learnings. Our students teach us so much more than we could ever hope to teach them. Through this work, I have deepened my understanding of resilience, empathy, determination, and I have learned to celebrate the incredible magic of beginnings. I cannot wait to proudly watch our students in the coming years as they hone their musical talents and explore their local and global potential as leaders and world-changers.
When I’m not running the Heartbeat Music Project, I am a violinist, performing regularly as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to perform a lot of my own music in world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as local hospitals, schools, and retirement communities, and this has been such a rewarding experience. I was recently appointed as Professor of Violin at Mount Holyoke College, and I’m working hard to complete my Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. In my spare time, I am an extremely amateur ballet dancer, a voracious reader, a loyal friend/ daughter/ sister/ aunt, and a curator of horrible jokes (believe me, you’ll be laughing AT me, not with me)!
My deepest held belief as an artist is that music is for everyone. It is one of the beautiful aspects of humanity that we all can share and participate in, regardless of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. While I acknowledge that the global issues facing us are far more severe than what a simple song can fix, there is innate power in music which cannot be described with words that makes life worth living. However, there are so many barriers of access to participation in music at a high artistic level. My goal is that through Heartbeat, through increased efforts to bring Western classical music into the 21st Century, and through so many other avenues yet to be explored, this belief can become a reality worldwide - maybe not in my lifetime, but in the lifetimes of my students and their students.