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Pittsburgh School of the Arts Working in Harmony with the Community

Updated: Apr 26

Music is a part of life that connects us. For Kate Griffin, Owner of Pittsburgh School of the Arts, music education goes beyond just lessons and connects people in deeply personal ways. Whether beginner or expert, their passionate educators care about seeing every student aspire to something great and give the next generation a pipeline to success.

Pittsburgh School of the Arts began in 2015 when Kate hired a few additional instructors to teach music out of her home. It wasn't long before the demand outgrew the limitations of teaching at home. In 2021, Pittsburgh School of the Arts moved into their current location, a two-story studio space in Gibsonia. Utilizing this space they have developed partnerships with Sunset Place Recording Studio and Speech, Music & Wellness. Together, they have created an environment where music, art, and education thrive.

Seeking to harness their passion and purpose more effectively, Pittsburgh School of the Arts teamed up with Curio412 for our “Impact Audit,” strategic planning sessions with the purpose of providing recommended systems and strategies to reflect their purpose in intentional ways. Our aim was to support a business in which passionate educators help students and families experience: formative mentorship, community stewardship, and encouraged success.

Through these sessions we worked to align community initiatives with business growth and provide a framework to guide engagement opportunities. Working with Kate and her lead team, we facilitated conversations about engaging their community and how to celebrate & showcase the good things already happening for students and families of Pittsburgh School of the Arts.

In the initial stages, we worked to clearly define organizational purpose and goals for growth. We also identified key purpose indicators to help establish baselines and benchmark progress as Pittsburgh School of the Arts moves forward. Pittsburgh School of the Arts nurtures students through a variety of avenues including 1:1 music lessons, ensembles, performances, and special programs. Students who engage in music often gain confidence, discipline, self-expression, and so much more. So we explored how to best capture student growth both at and beyond their music education.

“Going through the social impact strategy process was very insightful and gave me confidence that my organization is making a difference and aligned with our strategic goals.” – Kate Griffin

Next we considered the next steps for evaluating impact and business strategies that support outreach beyond the walls of Pittsburgh School of the Arts’ studios. In designing a launch point for evaluating impact we identified:

  • Available and relevant data to collect (our Key Purpose Indicators - KPIs)

  • Tools best suited for operations and organizational culture

  • Mechanisms for sharing information both internally and with stakeholders

With an understanding of these key pieces of information, we were able to make recommendations for a cadence and tools for data collection that best fit within standard operating procedures.

“Curio412 got me & my lead team thinking about our community impact and how to celebrate & measure the good things that were already happening in our organization.” – Kate Griffin

In addition to impact evaluation, we explore different strategies to fuel Pittsburgh School of the Arts’ mission to see every student aspire to something great and give the next generation a pipeline to success. These strategies included partnerships with community organizations, social impact incentive programs, and developing a directed charitable structure.

During our time together, the enthusiasm of Kate and her team was palpable. As a musician myself, I know the life-long joy that music can bring. From classical ensembles, to improvisational jam sessions, music ministry, and beyond, Pittsburgh School of the Arts has a passion for teaching students how to share their gifts. We can’t wait to see what is in store for this group of talented educators, empowered students, and community partners!

To learn more about Pittsburgh School of the Arts visit their websites!

Curio412 is a consultancy for businesses who want to strategically engage their communities and measure their social impact. We work with companies to put their purpose into action by helping them plan, organize, and implement impact with a measurable outcome in mind. We believe in creating lasting impact. Which is why we share knowledge and tell stories to keep nonprofits, business, social enterprises, and charitable organizations informed about current trends, ideas, and impact.

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