Page 11 - Menlo Magazine: Summer/Fall 2018
P. 11

 As a Menlo student, Isaac Alter ’12—who excelled in both the arts and sciences at Menlo—participated in the
orchestra and drama programs before going on to major in stem-cell biology at Harvard. Now, he is
a New York-based music director, arranger, and
conductor, and he echoes Ahna’s sentiments.
“Arts in schools have the amazing
ability to open new doors for young
people and show them things they never knew
existed,” he says. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence
that many of the leading scientists, doctors, etc., today and throughout history have been musicians...Study upon study shows the incredible impact that music and the arts in general have on the brain, elevating performance in completely unrelated areas.”
Isaac continues, “I think a danger we face as a society is forgetting the value of the arts not just in enhancing our brains but in making us feel things and connecting us to other people with different experiences. In a world where divisions between us seem ever more stark, I believe firmly in the power of the arts, whether as an observer or an artist, to connect
us beyond our differences...exposing young people to this incredible power that the arts have is crucial in training them to be citizens of the world. I feel honored and proud to be a part of a community of artists that tells other people’s stories, not just for entertainment but to heal wounds and connect
us all as humans.”
Menlo is proud of the arts programs we offer and the impact they’ve had and continue to have on our students during their time at Menlo and beyond. And, we hope to see these programs continue to flourish and evolve as the nature of education changes. It has been six years since Menlo opened its spectacular Creative Arts and Design Center, which is bustling with activity each day as visual artists flock to
the studio, musicians jam and belt out tunes in the music classrooms, and photographers and moviemaking students capture images for their projects. Soon, Menlo hopes to complete our physical campus by adding a much-needed performing arts center that will serve both the Middle and Upper School communities and provide a proper home to our celebrated theater, music, and dance programs.
As Menlo students prepare for futures in a rapidly changing world, they’ll need to be agile thinkers and creative problem solvers. STEM skills, no doubt, will be at the core of many
of tomorrow’s careers, but as Steve Jobs famously said: “Technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
As many of our alums attest, their experiences in the arts
at Menlo profoundly impacted their lives and helped
foster broad learning skills like empathy, collaboration, communication, and creativity that prepared them for college, varied careers, and life after Menlo.

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