May 28, 2019
This spring, PCM welcome’s Musician’s Institute as a scholarship provider for our award-winning College Prep Program!!! Musician’s Institute will award Phoenix Conservatory of Music with one full tuition scholarship to Musician’s Institute’s Summer Shot. Summer Shot is a one-week music camp for students aged 12 and up. The Camp offers 2 different programs; Music Performance which includes bass, drum, guitar, keyboard and vocal and Audio Engineering. Spend a whirlwind week in Hollywood on MI’s state-of-the-art college campus, where you can get deeper into the music industry and have an unforgettable summer experience. This scholarship, a $1,500 value is matched by Phoenix Conservatory of Music as it supports the student’s room, food and travel for the week. While there, the PCM scholar student will have experience of how to play in band, write a song, record a song, and performance experience. These are all things that our students receive every day they are at PCM’s College Prep Program, but our scholar will get to travel outside of our marketplace and network with other musicians from around the country. By the end of the immersion program, our student will receive a professionally recorded, mixed and mastered CD with one song that they recorded and performed themselves, one professionally shot video of their final performance, and a certificate of completion.
The Phoenix Conservatory of Music will have the opportunity to identify merit and need based students for this opportunity after a summer immersion scholarship audition process that includes a live adjudication that is judged by professional musicians from our community, and an online application process.
This year’s scholar is Michael Rodriguez, a junior, pianist and composer from PCM’s College Prep Program.
Beginning his musical journey with piano lessons at age 5, Michael Rodriguez has built a long-lasting relationship with music. In fact, Michael says that he can’t remember when he first fell in love with music, since he’s been playing for 10 years. His favorite genres are classical and pop. Michael joined the Phoenix Conservatory of Music’s College Prep Program when his former piano teacher told him about the programming available. He decided to participate in the program because it would further his music education, his skill sets and allow him to work with others. In the program, Michael receives private lessons with a classically trained pianist, works with a gospel piano teacher, works with others in ensemble, takes theory and film score and composition. He is given opportunities to perform at various events; including at the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Ceremony in November 2017 in Washington D.C.
Michael likes working with the teachers and other student musicians. “My teachers are amazing, always wanting to teach me more and push me to be better at my skills. And the students are fun, and always lively.” He comes to PCM “because it is an escape from everyday life and there is so much to learn”. From learning about different genres of music, from classical to jazz, being a part of the PCM College Prep Program has pushed him beyond his comfort zone and with the assistance of his lessons and composition courses, Michael is now composing his own pieces and learning to interact with music technology for film scoring. He is becoming more comfortable with his own abilities and with working with others. This program is important to him because, “It is a place with positive vibes and people. It is a place that I can be myself and get positive feedback on my skills as a pianist.” Michael’s family is supportive of the program because PCM is a place that provides opportunities that Michael would not be able to have without this program. It is a place that provides knowledgeable teachers that want to see their child succeed in their dreams, whether it is music or not.
As a new scholarship opportunity, PCM did not have a built in fundraising model to help raise support for the Musician’s Institute Summer Shot Program for room, food and travel for this week long opportunity. Michael’s family was truly “instrumental” in helping to raise funds to make sure that Michael had the chance to attend this once in a lifetime “Summer Shot”.
We are half-way there”, says PCM Executive Director, Regina Nixon. “We are trying to engage the community in helping us to fundraise and meet our goals. We are so close. We have about $500 left to raise for Michael’s opportunity and about $5,000 away from our fundraising goals for our Berklee Summer Scholars.” Nixon says, “These students bring so much back to our local community and assume leadership roles in their schools, their communities and our programs here at PCM”. But it’s not just the large experiences that change a life. It’s being able to get the day to day assistance and tools needed to guide, support, nurture, and encourage. Each year, PCM provides more than 2,800 reduced rate private music lessons and over 2,000 no cost music lessons to families in need.
This scholarship opportunity is an expansion on and modeled after PCM’s premier partnership with Berklee College of Music’s City Music Network’s Aspire: Summer Five Week Performance Program Scholarships; where PCM’s College Prep Program Students have the opportunity to audition and earn one of two or three full tuition scholarships and PCM support’s their room, board and travel at approx. $4,000 each.
Phoenix Conservatory of Music, is a Phoenix based nonprofit community school of music with a very big reach. Founded in 1998, Phoenix Conservatory of Music has served over 18,000 students across the valley in its 21-year history and is committed to providing our community with quality music education recognized on a city, state and national level that is affordable and accessible so every student with a desire to learn has the opportunity to learn.
With programs that build a pipeline of critical skill sets in music education acquisition and helping student become college and career ready though creative youth development, Phoenix Conservatory of Music is training not only musicians, but future community leaders whose time with the organization not only teaches musicianship but 21st century skill sets like collaboration, perseverance, resilience and innovation in young people.
The Phoenix Conservatory of Music’s College Prep Program is the Conservatory’s flagship program. The College Prep Program has been in operation since a partnership began with Berklee College of Music’s City Music Network in 2010. It is an out of school time program drawing students from all over Maricopa County that takes place 30+ weeks throughout the year. The College Prep Program’s goals are to have seniors successfully graduate from high school and develop a plan for their post high school education with some placement in academic and/or music programs in colleges and universities with scholarship dollars earned, advance our student population in their skill set acquisition through a critical pipeline in music learning, and earn scholarships and admission to summer intensives. Students are given a minimum of 3 hours of music instruction per week for 30+ weeks of the school year totaling 130 hours. The core program offers music theory, ensemble programs and enrichment (starting with percussion, sight singing and piano for younger students, and growing into songwriting, audio production, music business and audition and interview preparation for high school students). In addition, students can opt into private music lessons and multiple ensembles. The students are at PCM, taking advantage of learning opportunities for 5-10 hours per week.
PCM’s College Prep Program serves on average 100 students per year. In the last seven years, this program has had a 98% high school graduation rate (compared to 86% in our local community), 83% go to college or university, 43% study music or music related fields, and they have cumulatively earned over $1.5+M in scholarship offers.
“I am so thankful for the amazing teachers and lessons I have received. I would never have been able to overcome my fear of stage performance and enhance my talent. Music means so much to me because it has been my oasis in times of stress and need…the opportunity to learn who I am and what I am capable of offering the world.” Jo-el Banini
What is the secret sauce that allows all of this to happen? “All three of my children take lessons here…take ensembles and have enrichment classes”, Says Michael Gleba Sr., “My children [are] just having their horizons expanded and the opportunities and options for them as they grow up are just more than they could possibly think. There are scholarships available and it makes it so much easier with the support the conservatory gives…is just something you don’t see a lot. Being here for several years, knowing all of the hard work that the staff and teachers provide, it makes me proud to see the organization be recognized because it takes so many people to make this work”.
About Phoenix Conservatory of Music:
Phoenix Conservatory of Music provides a continuum of high quality music education and experiences to hundreds of students annually, with programs ranging from introductory level in-house education programs and after school programs to more advanced private lessons and the most prestigious College Prep Program for contemporary music education in the state: The Berklee College of Music’s City Music Network and P.U.L.S.E. programs. They are a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide quality music education that is affordable and accessible. They receive contributed income to make sure that all students have access to music education, regardless of their socio-economic status and were granted status as a Qualifying Charitable Organization for the Arizona State Tax Credit. Since the inception of PCM’s College Prep Program in 2010, the program is providing a pathway for students to achieve their dreams- one note at a time. With 3-10 hours per week of low to no cost engagement, the organization provides students 4-12 grades with private music lessons, music theory classes, enrichment classes and Popular Music Ensembles. They have a 98% graduation rate (compared to an 86% in the local community and a 77% in the state), 71% go on to college or university, 43% of those students are studying music or music related fields, and they have earned more than $1.5 Million Dollars in Scholarship Offers. To learn more, please visit www.PCMrocks.org or call 602.353.9900.