Mariel Vargas-VonBreymann

Mariel Vargas-vonBreymann began studying piano at PCM with Elizabeth Babor in 2014. She is currently a student at Polytechnic School and enjoys musical theater and debate. Mariel recently shared more about her musical interests and time at PCM.

This interview has been edited for style, content, and clarity.

PCM: Why did you want to start playing piano and what do you like most about it?
MV: I began playing piano when I was six in Rhode Island. My mom put me in lessons at the same place where my sister did choir. When I was seven, we moved to California and I started lessons at PCM with Mrs. Babor. She’s taught me the skills and technique to play piano, and now what I love most about piano is what beautiful sounds the instrument can make.

PCM: What piece(s) are you most looking forward to learning and why?
MV: I really am looking forward to playing Claire De Lune – it makes the prettiest chords and sounds. I remember hearing it in a movie, and thought I would try to play it by myself this summer… let’s just say it’s not quite my level yet!

PCM: Your teacher, Elizabeth Babor, recently shared that you enjoy debate, musical theater, tennis, and running. What inspired you to take up some of these activities?
MV: Some extracurriculars I enjoy are musical theater, because I like singing and showing emotion on stage, while at the same time acting for an audience. I also play tennis, which I started at eight, and I like the sport a lot because it’s one-on-one. I do debate at my school, Polytechnic School, and I really enjoy it as well. My team has placed third in several tournaments.

I’ve recently started running, and let me tell you, running three miles in itself leaves you tired, but all in all it’s really fun. Some hobbies I like are drawing, writing, and animating. I love to draw people, cartoons, and characters. I’m in the middle of writing a novel, which I hope to publish at some point, and I really like animating too!

PCM: Who is your favorite musician and why?
MV: My favorite musician must be Olivia Rodrigo. She is a modern day artist, and she writes all of her own songs. She is only 17 years old, but her song, “Driver’s License” hit number one in the music charts after only three days. It’s played on the piano, and I learned how to play the chords!

PCM: What is your favorite memory at PCM?
MV: My favorite memory at PCM would have to be the last recital I did before Covid hit. It was in Barrett Hall, and I played a piece that came out amazing! Just plain lessons at PCM were always really fun, and my teacher is really nice and funny. She teaches me so many different pieces, and lessons are always fun.