It was my first day on the job. I walked up to the green doors that mark the entrance of this musical fortress and took a deep breath. I was a mixture of nerves and excitement, with nerves being the prominent force. That is, until I saw the smiling faces of every faculty member I came in contact with. From this alone, my lasting impression of Settlement was set: not only is it a community serving space to the city of Philadelphia, but it is also a microcosmic community itself enclosed within those historical walls.
A smile is sometimes hard to come by in this world, but there's a whole plethora of smiles to be offered by the friendly faculty of Settlement Music School.
It's now my official second week interning at this school, and the above statement has held true over and over again. Not a lot of things can get me up out of my memory-foam bed, but the prospect of working at Settlement, a place where so much good goes to multiply, makes me want to make the trip to the office.
I actually just came from a "brown bag lunch" with some of the central administration staff of Settlement Music School and had the chance to gather some impressions of each person around the conference table. We went around in a circle and told our personal stories. Let it be known that the members of this administration shared willingly. The conference room designed for business transactions became an open, welcoming space filled with down-to-earth people who are connected by this music institution. Everyone in that room came from a different path, diverging roads that all managed to point them here to this community-facing organization. Though descending from disparate backgrounds, these employees share a few things in common: an appreciation of the arts, an understanding of the importance of an arts education, and (the most valuable attribute of all) an outwardly caring countenance.
My initial impression of Settlement Music School: the kindhearted people, the closely-knit community, and the smiles that made me want to smile.
Trust me, they're doing genuine good here.