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.
Settlement Music School, which offers high-quality musical instruction to people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability, will develop new programs that are responsive to the needs of residents near Settlement's main building in Queen Village and five branches throughout the Philadelphia area. By studying the demographics of the neighborhoods and working with five "community advocates," Settlement will create classes and performances that specifically meet the needs of neighboring audiences. New offerings might include classes for adults interested in continuing musical education; music programs for nearby schools; and performances that revolve around traditional musical practices. By working closely with community advocates, Settlement staff and board members will become more familiar with local constituents and take a larger role in developing programs with the greatest potential to serve audiences. Settlement anticipates that this project will result in many culturally specific programs and new partnerships with outside organizations. [fn]Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded from 2009 through 2013.[/fn]