The Settlement Experience

A parent applauds a young student at Settlement Music School.
What Settlement parents say:

“Every time I step into any of the Settlement buildings, I feel a sense of great pride and gratitude that we have access to such a premier music school in the Greater Philadelphia area. The growth that I have seen in my daughter under her teacher’s watchful eye, both as a musician and a well- rounded individual, is a testament to Settlement’s vision of equity and excellence.” –Ram Janakiraman

“Settlement has been, and continues to be, like a second home for my children.” –Philip Dharmawirya

“We are so grateful to Settlement for all our years there, and all the careful musical instruction both our kids received.  My son’s teacher has been one of the great gifts of his musical life. She supported him in every way and has cemented his passion for music-making. It took three instruments and many excellent teachers at Settlement to help get there, but she was so perfect for him. She is a compassionate, patient and gifted teacher.  We are indebted.” –Carol O’Donoghue 

“My wife and I met playing in (at the time) the Arco Chemical Chamber Orchestra when were 8 years old at Settlement. We are now happily married and our kids are taking lessons at Settlement.” –Jon Hoffman 

“My daughter grew from ‘I’m not sure I’m ready’ to ‘I know I can’ from participation in the Wheeler Ensemble!  –Valerie Chaney

“Our boys loved Ms.Tricia’s Children’s Music Playshop since they were babies. Both are now learning the piano and love music.” –Deirdre Molloy

“I want to express my immense gratitude for all the love that our children receive daily at Kaleidoscope Pre-K. Our teachers are, by far, the most dedicated, caring, and loving teachers that I have ever met. Seeing my daughter thrive and be excited to go to school every day is comforting to me. I have the utmost respect for these teachers and caregivers.” – Flori Mizrahi, Kaleidoscope Preschool Parent


What Settlement students say:

“When I first came Settlement Music School, becoming a professional musician seemed like something from my wildest dreams.  But now, six years later, I’m applying to conservatories for a degree in piano performance! Through all the guidance, encouragement, and wonderful opportunities I have received at Settlement, I’ve gained the confidence to follow my dreams.” –Ellie Taylor

“Since picking up music again, I’m definitely more calm. I also feel like I’m approaching problems both big and small with more creativity and more logic. It’s a weird blend of the right and left brain.” – Patrick Dacquel 

“Jazz Camp was a really fun experience. I liked playing just jazz music and Mr. Scott and Gavin are jazz musicians and they know a lot. I liked that they really conducted us and taught us to play together.” –Cooper Fenton

“Settlement Music School is a jewel of a resource for adult students! I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Settlement and the enjoyment this renewed connection to music brings to me and my family.” –Diana Woodward 

“Every time I walk into Settlement Music School, I feel welcomed and at home. Settlement has helped me work towards my goals and given me incredible opportunities to grow as a musician.” –Vibha Janakiraman 

“My Settlement experience comprised of a perpetual brook of learning and inspiration, in which there was positive and motivational energy, that has cultivated and expanded my musical aptitude. For that I am grateful.” – Dynasty Battles


What Settlement partners say: 

“I have been proud to work with Settlement Music School and the PMAY Collaborative over the last year. Settlement’s commitment to creating opportunities for all students to feel a sense of belonging and in classical music is a true vision for equity and excellence.”  –Erin Johnson, Trent Johnson Advisors 

“Settlement teachers focus on the importance of teamwork, leadership skills and perseverance, which are critical to success in adult life.  I am so grateful for this Music Education Pathways partnership and hope it continues far into the future.” – Dr. Crystle Roye-Gill, Principal of Thomas Holme Elementary, a Music Education Pathways partner school 

“We usually spend a night only [at the Ronald McDonald House] but it is stressful to get there from work or school, and the apprehension of treatment and seeing the doctors the following day adds to the stress. Creative art hour is a great incentive to relax, release tension and adjust one’s nerves. Thank you for offering this service.” – Anonymous family staying at the Ronald McDonald House  


What Settlement donors say:

“My mom provided me and my siblings the opportunity to attend Settlement Music School in the late ‘50s through the end of the 1960s. Little did we understand at that time that learning the language of music would stoke our creativity – a gift that serves us well to this very day.” – A longtime supporter of Settlement Music School