Student Spotlight: Valerie Zhang

Meet Valerie Zhang, class of 2024 computer science & cognitive and brain science major
Valerie Zhang

How did you decide to come to Tufts and study music at Tufts?
I was well involved in music in high school and wanted to ensure I could continue music during college while also fulfilling my academic interests. I was drawn to the number of music ensembles and the community here, which has only gotten closer and stronger! While there was no Neuroscience major here, the CBS major drew me in with how multi-disciplinary it was, making it a no-brainer in my mind. 

Tell us about your favorite music course so far.
I loved taking Psychology of Music with Professor Patel. We read a number of interesting papers and chapters about many different areas of music psychology like music perception, music and emotion, and music and the brain (to name a few), as well as talk to top researchers in the field. One thing I loved was choosing topics to do research reports on so I was able to learn more about the genetics behind and effects of beat and tone deafness, and how musical training effects cognition throughout one's lifespan. It's a tough class to get into, but I highly recommend taking it if you can!

What are you involved in at the music department?
I've been a student worker at the main office for the past two years (shoutout Abe, Ingrid, and Kwasi!!). I've played flute in the Wind Ensemble for the past 3 years. I'm currently a co-president of WE and was the social chair for the past 2 years. 

What are you involved in outside of the music department?
I was a research assistant for the Tufts Cognitive Development Lab.  I'm also a TA for CS40 or Machine Structure and Programming,

What are you listening to at the moment?
I'm currently listening to Chaminade's Flute Concertino in D major Op. 107. Such a pretty piece!