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Phoenix music students hit all the right notes for their next big gig

Phoenix Music Students
Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-11 21:30:49-04

PHOENIX — A few young Valley music students have big summer plans thanks in part to the Phoenix Conservatory of Music.

Inside the repurposed church known commonly among students as PCM, you’ll find students like 18-year-old Andres Becerra. In a few months, he’ll be at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee studying Astrophysics.

While studying, he discovered the drums can actually help with that because music is a rhythm based on the division of time into fractions.

“If they’re really good at music, the math comes easy to them,” said Becerra while behind a kit.

Fifteen-year-old Gabriella Pinilla found that blues guitar is a pretty good way to process the actual blues. She played Gary Moore’s ‘Still Got the Blues’ with bends perfectly in tune.

”[Guitar] helps turn those negative emotions into something inspirational,” she said.

Star Mahoney, a pianist and vocalist put the importance of music plainly, “It saved my life."

All three of these students picked up an instrument, and in more ways than one, it changed their lives.

This year, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music is celebrating 25 years of instruction where most teens learn all of music’s benefits and how to play along with nearly any musician.

Over the past decade, more than 30 students from PCM have been selected among thousands of applicants, to take part in a five-week Berklee summer program in Boston on a partial scholarship.

Mahoney, Pinilla and Becerra are the latest three to get accepted into the program.

“I was shocked, I thought I got the wrong email,” said Becerra.

”It’s my dream school,” said Mahoney with a smile on her face.

The prestigious class has some notable alumni like Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth and Betty Who.

College credit comes from some of the best music instructors in the country.

The three with plans to study in Boston this summer know music can lead to things you never thought you could do before.

“I never really expected to be the kind of person to get up in front of people and perform, music has been a way for me to practice overcoming that fear," said Mahoney.