Philadelphia Magazine features Settlement in its pandemic reflection series

A settlement student at the Mary Louise Curtis Branch

Photo by Drew Dennis, Philadelphia Magazine.

“A lifeline amidst this terrible year.”

That is how New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner describes what Settlement Music School offered her this past year. Her piece, featured in the June edition of Philadelphia Magazine, focuses on how music helped people stay connected to each other and to their shared humanity during the pandemic.

While Jennifer grieved the loss of her mother this spring, she processed her emotions through online piano lessons with Settlement’s Michael Caruso in addition to her many practice sessions at home.

“Even though words are my tools – my work, my career – I can’t find the words for this… but I can make music. Or at least I can try,” Jennifer wrote.

Jennifer also spoke with Settlement student Kyla Edmonds, who used her piano lessons with Russ Klein as a tool for grieving the loss of her grandmother due to COVID-19, as well as a way to deal with the many stressors and unknowns of being a high school senior studying online while applying to colleges this past year.

“If I’m feeling any kind of way, I’ll play a song. The one thing that’s been keeping me sane is music,” Kyla said.

The article also highlighted Settlement’s Rae Ann Anderson and her determined work in temporarily transforming Settlement’s in-person Choir program into a virtual musical theater program this year.

As the article states, we may have lost so much this past year, but we still had music to carry us through.

“There will always be music. And, if we’re lucky, there will always be institutions like Settlement, ensuring that anyone who wants it can have it.”

To read the full article, click here