Jazz at Settlement 

Settlement Music School is where Philly’s Jazz musicians get their start. Philadelphia plays a pivotal role in jazz history. From Billie Holiday to John Coltrane, many major jazz figures were born here and made Philly their home. A number of them got started right here at Settlement Music School.

Settlement’s jazz alums include Bassists Christian McBride and Stanley Clarke, Violinists John Blake, Jr. and Diane Monroe, the Eubanks brothers, and multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco, just to name a few. Internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli not only took lessons at Settlement as a kid, he now coaches Settlement’s Advanced Study Jazz Ensemble. Every day, jazz musicians of all ages and experience levels walk through our doors to practice, rehearse, perform, share ideas, and learn.  

Settlement is preparing the next generation of jazz musicians with classes and private instruction taught by the very best jazz teaching artists. Traditionally, students start with private lessons on an instrument, join a jazz ensemble in early middle school, enroll in music theory and improvisation classes, and eventually audition for higher level ensembles in late middle school and early high school. Settlement offers all of these courses of study, in combination or solo, and is prepared to meet students wherever they might be in their musical development journey.

Private Lessons

Settlement offers jazz instruction on Piano, Percussion, Guitar, Bass, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Violin. Interested in another jazz instrument? Contact us and we will do our best to find the right instructor for you. Lessons are offered weekly, with 30, 45, or 60 minute options.

Jazz Ensembles

Settlement offers jazz ensembles for jazz musicians ages 10-18 who have at least two years of experience on their instruments. Classes meet for 60 or 90 minutes weekly during the school year and include ensemble and small combo work as well as improvisation instruction. Ensembles regularly perform at events in the community.

Rehearsal Schedules: 

Mary Louise Curtis Branch: Adult Combo, Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Kardon-Northeast Branch: Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.

Willow Grove: Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.

– Middle School, Tuesdays, 6 p.m.
– High School, Thursdays, 6 p.m.
– Wheeler Pre-Advanced Jazz Ensemble, Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
– Helen K. Schwartz Advanced Study Jazz Ensemble, Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Camden: Mondays, 6 p.m.

Tuition (32 weeks):

$605 for a one hour class
$905 for a one and a half hour class
Financial Aid Available

Advanced Study Scholarship Ensemble

The Helen K. Schwartz Advanced Study Jazz Ensemble, taught by Tony Miceli, is for the most advanced students. This group, which is tuition-free, meets for 90 minutes on Tuesday nights, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wynnefield Branch, and performs frequently throughout the Philadelphia area. 

Auditions for 2020-2021

Auditions for our 2020-2021 Helen K. Schwartz Advanced Study and Wheeler Pre-Advanced Jazz Ensembles will take place at our Wynnefield Branch at the date/time below. Please complete the form below in order to reserve an audition time.

  • Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Students who wish to audition need to memorize the melody and chords of the following four compositions. Please note that students will not be allowed to audition with music.

  • Billie’s Bounce
  • Blue Bossa
  • Little Sunflower
  • All Blues