At Settlement, the directors of each branch function as the conductors of their respective musical universes. They assist in guiding the Settlement Music School institution in a unique, yet unified direction. Each branch and its director perform their own individualistic tunes, making Settlement what it is today.
I had the privilege of speaking with the six branch directors pf Settlement and garnered some wonderful insight into what this music school is all about. Each director presented a different point of view, his or her distinct personality apparent through the phone.
During my quasi-interview with each director, I posed a pretty straightforward question that seemed to incite the most thoughtful answers:
Why should students come to Settlement Music School?
1. Mark Forchic, Northeast Branch Director
"I have a medical analogy that I always use...Other schools are like family doctors. Settlement is like the specialist. It adds necessary support and a more intensive experience."
2. Kris Rudzinski, MLC Branch Director
"Settlement is a place of growth. A place where strangers become friends. A place to learn and have new experiences. A great place for community building and making real connections."
3. Valerie Clayton, Camden Branch Director
"It's a wonderful, creative, nurturing place. We have fantastic faculty who can teach all ages. We can help a child develop and with college prep. It's a place where people genuinely care about the students."
4. Patricia Manley, Willow Grove Branch Director
"No matter who the student is or what their musical background is, they'll be paired up with an professional teacher at the highest level. Students have access to the best, highest information in their musical life. Settlement gives an opportunity for people to explore their own level of creativity as high as it can go--the experience is entirely customized to the student perfectly."
5. Eric Anderson, Germantown Branch Director
"Settlement provides a unique experience in music learning and opportunities that are not available elsewhere. There's also a social aspect in which both students and faculty can get to know people in the neighborhood who one would have otherwise not known."
6. Karin Orenstein, Wynnefield Branch Director
"Kids come to Settlement for the support, solid education and experience. They build lifelong friendships with their class and studio mates as well as teachers and administrators. They are given the tools to succeed not only in their music or dance classes but in any endeavor they decide to take in life."
Conclusion: Settlement is a place for everyone.