Settlement Music School is one of the country's oldest and largest community music schools, founded in 1908. Today, the organization has six locations and annually serves 6,000 children across Philadelphia, in addition to offering adult instruction. Although founded primarily to benefit school-aged children, Settlement developed a conservatory offering pre-professional training that, in 1924, became the Curtis Institute of Music. With Center support in 2013, the organization worked with community advocates and created classes and performances to specifically meet the needs of audiences in the surrounding neighborhoods of the school’s branches. A 2017 Advancement grant supports the development of new curricula, teaching methods, and communications strategies to enhance learning and attract and retain students.
New curricula, teaching methods, and communications strategies will enhance learning and attract and retain students at the nation’s largest community music school. Recognizing the increasingly self-directed and collaborative approaches students are applying to their studies, Settlement Music School will investigate contemporary learning styles and adapt its music instruction programs for school-aged children across its six locations. Curricular updates will include a broader range of music genres, a focus on musicianship, and an opportunity for students to direct their own learning. Settlement will also conduct market research to improve its communications and redesign its website, helping students and parents better navigate through the school’s various programs and levels of certification. [fn]Advancement grants were awarded from 2014 through 2017.[/fn]