Augustana Senior’s Double Major is Best of Both Brains

Are you right-brained or left-brained? Many scientists say we’re either one or the other, but at Augustana College, there is a student who has both and plans to bring a new perspective to the music and science world after graduating this weekend.

For Corbin McGhee, singing is both skill and science. The Augie Senior will graduate with a double major in Music… and Neuroscience.

“When I first came here, I wanted to do Music Education, but I wanted to try other things so I dropped Music Education and I added Neuroscience,” says Corbin. “Then my Junior year, I added back the Music because it was my passion and it was something that I loved to do and I couldn’t be without it so I had both of the majors.”

But they say – “Opposites Attract” — and Corbin says the two subjects are more alike than you think.

“Our love of music and our love of the arts and our every day leisure activities are so influenced by Neuroscience and our brains and by how our mind works.”

And in Corbin’s mind, the two modes of thinking work hand in hand. The logical left brain –

“When it comes to my music degree, my teachers are very interested in my papers because it’s very clear cut and very to the point…”

– and the random right.

“…but also my science professors are very interested in me because I have very emotive writing and I look beyond just the science part of it. I look at a deeper meaning.”

This academic combination is something Corbin hopes to bring with him after Augustana. For the next few years, he’ll be a Music Teacher with Teach for America in Arkansas, then he plans to get his Masters and Doctorate so he help the discipline of music with the art of science.

“I can create new pedagogies for Music Ed and for teachers out there who are suffering from cut music programs,” says Corbin. “I can maybe help to employ new methods for them to show school boards on how to keep music alive through Neuroscience.”

A recent report from The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy shows a rise in students choosing double majors. In fact, Augustana students are four times more likely to double major than the national average. For more information, click here.

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