Sophia Cocozza, AG22

School: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 

Degree: Master of Arts in Musicology 

Home: Wherever I find happiness 

Why was the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences the right place for you? 

I was drawn to Tufts because the Music Department allows interdisciplinary studies. My research combines elements of music, the visual arts, and performance studies, and the faculty at Tufts have been very open to my exploring the intersection of these subjects—that’s been wonderful for me. Specifically, I’m focusing on multisensorial interpretations of sound. That approach to listening is a little newer in the field—it’s maybe even a bit out there. Despite that, the faculty have been so supportive.  

What’s your plan going forward? 

I’ll be heading to the University of Pennsylvania to earn my Ph.D. in music studies, with the ultimate goal of becoming a professor. I’ve always loved teaching—I’ve taught piano for many years. I teach everyone! My youngest student is four years old and my oldest is 76. I’m excited about the doctorate because it will allow me to teach a different kind of student and to engage with the critical-thinking side of instruction more than the practitioner side. 

In addition to music, I have an interest in museum studies, so I also see myself doing some contemporary museum work. And I’d like to address issues of accessibility in my research; specifically, I’m interested in critical disability studies as a field of cultural analysis that lends itself well to exploring multisensorial perspectives on listening.  

What are some particularly valuable lessons you’ve learned outside of the classroom? 

One summer, I received a Tisch Library Graduate Student Fellowship, and that was rewarding for me. I was able to do a lot of archival work through Tufts’ collections. I worked with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts as well, and everyone there was incredibly helpful with my research. It was great to use that as an opportunity to further investigate connections between music and the fine arts. 

Also, during my time here, I’ve developed my ability to juggle everything at once. The work I’m doing is all over the place, and I’m constantly running around teaching piano, working for different organizations, writing my thesis, navigating the courses I’m taking. I also perform with other students in the Tufts Early Music Ensemble: we explore Renaissance baroque music, which is great fun—and challenging. I’ve had to learn to play instruments I had no prior experience with, like the harpsichord and the viola de gamba. So I keep busy… and my Tufts experience has helped me learn how to manage it all.  

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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