10th Street was developed in 1995 as an option school with the focus on Band and Art as part of their main curriculum. The reason for choosing those classes were more than a whim by the founders of 10th. We firmly believe that introducing students to a strong Fine Arts program will help them strengthen their ability to come up with creative solutions when problem solving. There have been many studies that support that music helps in student brain development.
USC News did an article in November of 2017 that cites a new student by their Brain and Creativity Institute. They did two studies that showed as little as two years of music instruction can change the structure of the brain.
“Music training can change both the structure of the brain’s white matter, which carries signals through the brain, and gray matter, which contains most of the brain’s neurons that are active in processing information. Music instruction also boosts engagement of brain networks that are responsible for decision-making and the ability to focus attention and inhibit impulses.”
Ani Patel, an associate professor of psychology at Tufts University is quoted, “…there's now a growing body of work that suggests that actually learning to play a musical instrument does have impacts on other abilities… this could have a real impact on the value we put on it as an activity in the schools, not to mention all the impact it has on emotional development, emotional maturity, social skills, stick-to-itiveness, things we typically don't measure in school but which are hugely important in a child's ultimate success.”
This is all on top of the observable evidence that regular practicing and performances enhance middle school student’s organization and self-esteem.
The importance of art classes is summed up with a quote from Magdalena Abakanowicz, "Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence." Basically, art expands our world culturally and our students learn about the different styles. It also helps them find a new way to express themselves as they learn about different mediums and artists and methods. It truly expands their world.
10th Street is proud to offer Art and Band as part of our standard curriculum. We include it with the knowledge that it supports our student’s learning and development during these three very important years.