Emily Tigges '22 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Emily Tigges '22

Biochemistry, Music

Continuing Her Passions

Wanting to keep her options open while pursuing her passions, Emily Tigges ’22 came to Mount Mercy in order to grow musically, academically, and personally.

MMU: What role has music played in your life? What led you to pursue a degree in music at Mount Mercy?

ET: Music has been a huge part of my life and who I am as a person. No matter the circumstances, music has always been there for me. Music is my escape from the challenges of life. Music is my safe haven.

"Music has been a huge part of my life and who I am as a person. No matter the circumstances, music has always been there for me."

I initially had a double major in biochemistry and music because I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I wanted to practice medicine or teach music to others as a career. This way, if I chose either path, I wouldn’t be so behind and could still graduate in 4 years. I think while being at Mount Mercy, I have determined that I don’t have to choose between teaching music and practicing medicine—I can do both! While my reasons for getting a degree in music has changed, I am glad I have stuck with it.

MMU: Why did you pair your music degree with biochemistry? What correlation do you see between the two subjects?

ET: I don’t think my reasoning for majoring in biochemistry and music is related to one another. However, I did choose both degrees for some clarity on where I see myself in five years and where I see myself working the rest of my life.

There are very few aspects in medicine that can utilize my background in music. However, I think there are some specialties—like Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)—that can benefit from my unique background of developed aural and vocal skills.

MMU: Why did you decide to attend Mount Mercy? What drew you to MMU’s music program over others?

ET: I took me about a year and a half to find a college that I wanted to attend. In fact, I checked out seven different colleges. What I was looking for was a college with a science program that would set me up for success while also letting me major in music. Finding a college that would allow me to major in both areas was challenging since I knew I wanted to attend a small, private school for the one-on-one I needed with the professors. When I visited Mount Mercy, it felt like home.

Finding a college that would allow me to major in both areas was challenging since I knew I wanted to attend a small, private school for the one-on-one I needed with the professors. When I visited Mount Mercy, it felt like home.

Emily Tigges '22
Biochemistry, Music

MMU: What’s the biggest benefit you’ve seen of the music program so far? What is one aspect of the program that you really appreciate?

ET: I have seen incredible growth in the number of people in the music programs since I first visited. When I sat in on a rehearsal in 2018, the band was in the chapel and quite small. Then, to see this year and how we completely fill the McAuley stage—it's incredible.

I really appreciate the way the music staff care for us. While they care deeply for the music, they also care about all of us and our well-being. Some of my music professors have talked to my advisors just to check in and see how things are going, and that means a lot to me. And because they care so much, when I talk to them about something that I think would be beneficial, they listen. The music staff here are truly incredible people.

"While they care deeply for the music, they also care about all of us and our well-being."

MMU: What ensembles are you a part of? How do you balance these commitments with your schooling, other organizations, and work?

ET: I am currently a part of the university band, university choir, and a brass quintet. I find that balancing these things with my hectic schedule can be challenging, but with good organizational skills and use of time, it’s manageable. Honestly, it all comes down to priorities, and music, to me, is just as much a priority as some of the science classes I am in. I make time for the things that I love most.

MMU: What has been your biggest challenge to date? How did you overcome it?

ET: My biggest challenge to date has been trying to balance my schedule. Freshman year, my time management skills weren’t up to par and therefore, I became so stressed it affected my health. However, I discovered how to use my time better and what I need to do in order to succeed, and things have been going well ever since. Having a crazy schedule like I have is possible, just not easy. However, everything I am doing, I am doing out of love. I wouldn’t change anything.

MMU: What advice would you give to future students or what is something you wish you would have known sooner?

ET: Advice to future students would be to manage your time and have fun. College is about finding yourself, creating lifelong friends and incredible memories, and getting good grades. You need to have a balanced life between social events and studying.

Start your story.

Apply today Visit campus