DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –  A magnet high school in Dallas is a nationally recognized academic powerhouse, and yet, students aren’t asked to forsake the arts. In fact, campus leaders said music and arts helped propel students to success.
“It’s so much more than just studying here,” said an Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center student. “It makes me happy. If I’m having a not a great day, it really picks you up and it’s great to get a boost of energy.”
Principal Michele Broughton, who oversees the music department, said people have two sides of the brain and they both need to be fed.
“Some people think of it as entertainment or something to just relax with, but for me music is it’s own academic form,” said Broughton
The Dallas ISD’s Townview Magnet is nationally recognized as an academic powerhouse, but they have a secret weapon that hits the right note.
In an environment where rigorous academics is to be expected, Broughton said the campus’ music and arts programs give students balance, and a much needed mental escape.
“To be able to put down the pen and pencil and enjoy something that you love in order to deal with stress and calm down for a bit…really cathartic,” said Jeremy Aguilar, a student who wants to major in astronomy when he goes to college.
He wants to minor in music, though, and said he loves being able to pursue both interests at a high level at Townview.
“We talk about students being ready for college and careers,” said Broughton. “That’s the rigor part of our programming, right? But, also teaching them that there’s a love of life, there’s a spirit that’s captured in all of that.”
Julianne Tai, a junior at the Talented and Gifted High School, said she has been playing the piano for more than a decade. She blends her love of music with the challenging academics as a member of the Townview Orchestra that Anna Kloc-Rodriguez directs.
“For me, I go home and study and I play the piano,” said Tai. “Being a part of the orchestra has made me definitely a better leader and a better performer. “So many good qualities that people don’t see that you get from music.”