Aileen (Ping-Chen) Shen

Class of
Berklee College of Music

Pronouns Used: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: Tainan, Taiwan

Principal Instrument: Drums/Percussion

Majors: Electronic Production and Sound Design and Music Production and Engineering

Minor: Electronic Performance and Commercial Record Production

Languages Spoken (other than English): Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and German

Describe your favorite Berklee experience so far.

My best experience with Berklee is definitely to be able to work in different student employments, clubs, and collaborating with students from different professions! Berklee allows me to be like a chameleon filling many roles, including live sound/lighting engineer in stage crew; lab assistant helping students with their technical difficulties;  VJ and DJ for Berklee shows; electronic music performer; mixing engineer; and producer. Being as diverse as I can be is the best thing about Berklee.

When you think about your favorite class so far, what is one example of why you enjoyed it?

My favorite classes so far will be electronic performance–related classes such as modular synthesizer ensemble, turntable class (DJ), remix and mashup labs, video mapping/VJ classes, and finger drumming. I loved them as I am a drummer and percussionist. To be able to have your acoustic instrument background fuse with your production and new form of performance-EDI and your own visual was the best thing! It allows you to express your voice in a unique way! 

What is your favorite part about studying and living in Boston? 

Studying in Boston is wonderful! It's a big college town where you can collaborate with people from MIT/Harvard and all other art institutions! There's innovative energy in this big college town! The BEST THING about Boston is that it is close to the the sea and the Charles River, which crosses the city. You can be in the studio for an intense session and take a walk over the bridge across the river and watch the sunset. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone applying to Berklee College of Music or Boston Conservatory at Berklee?

Just be yourself! Do not limit yourself on what you can do! Be who you are in the audition, and your passion towards your artists will shine! I promise you will become a different person after coming here! Be super open-minded! I didn't know that as an Asian female classically trained percussionist and drummer, I could now be able to be involved in music technology as performer/mixer/producer/engineer! If I can do it, you can, too! 

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Besides our fantastic recording studios/labs and equipment rooms, it would definitely be B51 Modular Synthesis Lab and B88: the DJ lab! Come play with me! 

Why did you choose Berklee?

Berklee is the best school that I can be myself. I am not only a classical percussionist or a drummer. I can be everything I wanted to be! A performer, dancer, visual artist, producer, engineer, mixer, DJ club leader, event organizer, and everything creative that you can think of! You get to choose who you want to be!

What are your plans for after graduation?

Berklee has prepared me for everything! I wanted to be a performer after I graduate and focus on my own music! I have been producing for others and helping sessions, meeting people. I wanted to learn all of the skills that I can learn from school and now be able to write and produce my own music. I want to be as authentic as possible and be an artist that can make a living as well as express my voice through my art. 

What have you enjoyed most about the live shows you’ve been involved in at Berklee?

I have been involved in several Berklee Shows in the BPC such as the Taylor Swift show, Ídolos Latinos with Special Guest Tony Succar, the Berklee Chinese New Year show, and more. What is the best about all of it is that Berklee celebrates the diversity of ethnicity/culture/identity as well as different genres of music! We celebrate our love towards music and embrace cultural diversity together! 

Where do you hope to perform this coming year?

I hope to perform in BPC shows as a singer/VJ artist/electronic musician, and drummer. Also at the commencement ceremony! Anywhere, to be honest! Everywhere that I can be my true self and let my art resonate with people!