Settlement Music School

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Settlement Music School
Settlement Music School logo.jpg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type Music School
Established 1908
Executive Director Helen S. Eaton
Campus Urban

Settlement Music School is a community music school with branches in and around Philadelphia. Founded in 1908 by two young women, Jeannette Selig Frank and Blanche Wolf Kohn, it is the largest community school of the arts in the United States offering 10,000 weekly services at six branches in PA and NJ to thousands of people of all abilities, age, race and financial means. Its six branches are in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey. Settlement Music School offers programs of the highest quality in music and dance to help students of all ages achieve their greatest potential. Settlement awards nearly $2 million a year in financial aid. It is the largest employer of musicians in the region, with over 200 dedicated faculty members; since its founding, its faculty has included current and former members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Among its alumni are Albert Einstein, Michael and Kevin Bacon, Stanley Clarke, Chubby Checker, former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo and Kevin Eubanks, as well as members of many symphony orchestras across the United States and around the world.

Since its inception in 1908, more than 300,000 people have benefited from Settlement's programs and activities. Settlement brings together an enormous diversity of students and helps them to not only to develop musical and artistic talents, but also build self-confidence and readiness for academic and other achievements. Among its many programs are a nationally recognized, award winning pre-school program called Kaleidoscope that prepares Head Start-qualified young children for kindergarten through a unique arts-integrated curriculum.

Mary Louise Curtis Bok, only child of Cyrus H. K. Curtis, a wealthy magazine publisher and founder of the Curtis Publishing Company, became involved with the Settlement School at the age of 48. At the time the school was focused on provided musical training to young immigrants. Mrs. Bok made a gift to the school of $150,000 for a Settlement Music House. The music house's goal was "Americanization among the foreign population of Philadelphia." A close friend of the Bok family, pianist Josef Hofmann, played a recital at the school's dedication.[1] Today this facility on 416 Queen Street in Philadelphia is known as the Mary Louise Curtis Branch.[2]


  1. ^ Stoddard, Maynard Good (1 January 2000). "A Legacy of Music. The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia". The Saturday Evening Post. 
  2. ^ Anonymous. "The History of Settlement Music School". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 

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Coordinates: 39°56′15″N 75°09′03″W / 39.9375°N 75.1509°W / 39.9375; -75.1509