Sudi Feng

Sudi Feng studied violin and piano at PCM for seven years before graduating in 2021. She is now in her second year at the University of Southern California, studying neuroscience and getting involved in research while continuing her piano studies. Below, Sudi shares about what she has been up to since graduation and how studying music has helped her succeed academically.

Young woman leans against a tree trunk on the beach

PCM: What have you been up to since leaving PCM?
SF: During my first year at college, I was mostly focused on classes— studying neuroscience and exploring a little bit of business and data analytics. I also worked on a new project in the lab, looking at the effects of nicotine on decision making and food choices. Recently, I added a piano minor, so I’m also excited to be taking private lessons and performing again!

PCM: What is your favorite memory at PCM?
SF: Performing at a showcase recital for the first time is one of my favorite memories at PCM. I remember sitting in the green room of Barrett Hall, wearing my gray dress, hands super sweaty while gripping my violin. My parents, both my violin and piano teachers, Ms. Harman and Dr. Svrcek, as well as my badminton coaches came to watch. This recital was the first recital that I distinctly remember feeling proud of myself. The feeling of accomplishment from the audience’s applause and the warmth from my teachers, coaches, and parents is something that I still remember vividly.

PCM: What do you think is the most valuable thing you learned from studying music?
SF: The most valuable thing I think I’ve learned from studying music is probably how to practice effectively. I learned a lot of different methods for different purposes, like using rhythms for fast passages, memorizing right and left hand individually for memorization, doing five run throughs in concert attire everyday for a week for stamina and performance preparation. I’ve found that many of these methods are applicable to school, work, etc.; for example, when preparing for a final exam or a standardized test like the SAT/ACT, I try to take practice exams in a similar environment as the real test. I think a lot of the practice habits and techniques that I’ve learned through music have also helped me be successful in school and work.

PCM: What are your goals for the future?
SF: In terms of my career, I am still in the process of deciding what path I want to take, but I do know that I’d like to be science oriented. Currently, I’m interested in the intersection of healthcare, business, and data, but I’m also intrigued by the link between science and music.