Miami Arts Studio @ Zelda Glazer 6-12 is a mouthful to say. It’s also an example of two growing trends in education. MAS combines middle and high school on one campus and it’s an all-magnet school, meaning it has no boundaries, attracting students from everywhere.
Students pick one of eight “studios” to join: Band, Broadcasting, Dance, Entertainment Law, Orchestra, Technical Production, Theatre, and Vocal.
There are also auditions involved, so the talent pool is deep.
“We’ve had over 2,000 apply this past year for approximately 400 slots so it’s a competitive process,” said principal Mike Balsera.
MAS is performing arts heaven. Just in music, there’s concert band, jazz band, orchestra, and an acapella choir.
“And we try to incorporate every possible culture and style, time period into the education,” said music teacher Ryan Ellis, explaining how music students learn more than just the music.
“When you walk the halls, it’s very unique, you have kids playing instruments, you have kids singing, and for us it’s just a normal day at school, but any time a visitor comes in and sees the dynamics of the school they’re truly amazed by what goes on here on a daily basis,” Balsera said.
The school even has its own professional-quality recording studio, in which kids do all the sound engineering. There’s so much performance talent here it’s easy to overlook the other programs.
Academically, MAS is an “A” school, and this year’s first graduating class is sending two students to the Ivy League.
It also has a powerhouse mock trial team, including the reigning state champs at the middle school level. Students in the law program, learn the Constitution, rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, and more.
“Not only that, but how to think on your own and not be manipulated or coerced into thinking certain ways, we make sure that they leave here as independent thinkers,” said Marta Salazar, the law teacher.
They also learn the value of giving back. The school is one of the leaders in community service hours.