South Fulton, TN
Andrew Moore has the left and right sides of his brain challenging each other. Moore is majoring in chemistry and music/piano performance and seeking a bachelor’s degree in each. Add his work as a University Scholar – completing an international research project in geology – and it may sound like an understatement when he says that he’s “really had a diverse experience being at UT Martin.”
Moore, a South Fulton native, wants to attend medical school. “I have wanted to do this since I was in middle school, and I still see that as my career path.” He added, “In my experience working in hospitals, there are so many areas that I could see myself being part of ... I don’t know what I want to specialize in.”
He realizes his choice of double majors may strike some as odd. “It is very unusual because each of these majors requires a completely different process of thinking, studying, etc. I knew for sure that I wanted to major in chemistry because of the long-term goal of medical school.” He added, “I really didn’t envision doing anything with it (piano) once I got in college; however, I had progressed so much the four years of lessons in high school I started thinking, ‘What if I did this another four years?’” Several people, including UT Martin music faculty, talked him into majoring in piano “... so I just thought I would find a way to do both.”
Piano and chemistry each got Moore’s attention early. “I can remember being four or five years old, coming home from church and trying to play the hymns by ear on the piano. I didn’t actually start taking lessons until I was six.” When he was 14, he began his lessons with Dr. Elaine Harris, UT Martin Department of Music chair.
“Honestly, my first several years of lessons, I really did not like to practice. I didn’t really know what it meant to be a good pianist.” He added, “I have always enjoyed playing the piano, but at that point in my life I just always viewed it as something to do for 20 minutes after school each day.” Moore said when he began his lessons with Harriss he entered a completely different world of music. Harriss played “Reverie” by Claude Debussy for him at one of his first lessons. “I didn’t even know who Debussy was, but I remember thinking it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I had ever heard. Ever since then, I have loved to practice and have kept working to be a better pianist.”
For Moore, that means four to five hours, seven days a week at the piano for practice and rehearsal. He has been pianist at First United Methodist Church in Martin since October of 2008 and is asked to play about twice a month at other public events.
Chemistry had a similar affect. He loved his first chemistry class in high school, and after just a few weeks of chemistry his junior year in high school he knew that was going to be his major in college. “I chose UT Martin mainly because of my acceptance into the University Scholars Program and its high acceptance rate for medical school applicants,” he said.
Moore said his major combination has presented many challenges. “Music requires a considerable time commitment with practice, rehearsals, performances, concert attendance and classes. “I’ve definitely had some ‘Why did I do this? moments’ when things get really hectic. It has required some serious time-management skills,” he said, “but I am so glad that I chose to do both. Chemistry calls for heavy critical-thinking skills, and music allows for expression and creativity. They really balance each other out.” So much so that he thinks he would feel as though he was missing something if he had to choose just one of them.
“I feel like I am dealing with ideas and concepts that have directly affected and continue to enhance the world, and I think that is the driving force behind my wanting to major in chemistry and go to medical school,” said Moore. “With music, it’s simply just the enjoyment of the music, sharing it with others and knowing that each day I practice I become a better, more experienced musician.”
UT Martin, he said, was a good choice for him, since not all schools will allow a student to double major in two completely unrelated areas. He has rounded out his experience at UT Martin via the University Scholars Program, working with his faculty mentor on the international geology project and other activities.
“I have had a diverse experience being at UT Martin,” Moore said. “I have been on travel studies to Europe, accompanied musicals by the Vanguard Theatre, accompanied college choirs, performed in concerts all over campus, done research with faculty members in Central America and so many other things.”