- Music Classes & Lessons
- Group Classes & Ensembles
- Private Lessons
- Early Childhood
- Summer Camps
- View by Instrument/Age
- Why Choose Merit
Individual lessons and group classes for students at any level.
- Community Programs
Bringing accessible, high-quality music education to Chicagoland communities.
- Selective Programs
- Chicago Musical Pathways
The highest level of achievement for Merit students in tuition-free, audition-based programs.
Who we are and what we believe in.
How Merit makes a difference.
Merit's supporters remove barriers to music education, ensuring access for Chicago's youth.
Additional info for current and prospective students.
Excellence Starts with a Single Note
Start your musical journey on a high note with Merit’s expert teachers and welcoming community.
Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.
For more than 40 years, Merit School of Music has offered students the best music instruction from the highest caliber faculty in the region—both at our West Loop music center and schools and community centers across Chicagoland. We offer individual and group instruction for music-lovers of every age, level and background.
Merit By the Numbers
students engaged annually
Chicago-area partner sites
Conservatory graduates accepted to college
$ 0 M
financial aid and student support
of students participating at a reduced or no cost
Chicago zip codes making music together
Why Choose Merit?
Wondering if Merit is the right music school for you or your child? Here’s why students of all ages and experience levels choose us.
Our 40+ Year Reputation for Excellence
As a nationally accredited music school with over 40 years of helping students reach their full musical potential, you can be confident you’re in good hands.
The Best Music Teachers in Chicago
Merit’s passionate and highly experienced teaching artists are some of the best in the region. Parents and students alike say their teachers are what they enjoy and appreciate most about their Merit education.
A Diverse & Welcoming Community
Music lovers come to Merit from every Chicago neighborhood (139 zip codes to be exact!) and background to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons.
What age should my child start learning music?
There’s still time to join summer at Merit!
Join Merit's 2023 Gala on May 17
What We've Heard
“Merit has changed my life. It’s changed the entire trajectory of where I’m going, who I believe I am. Merit has given me these opportunities, this vision, this hope for a better dream of myself.”
“The gift of my scholarship has made it possible for music to be part of my life for as long as possible. There have been times when my family has seriously had to consider withdrawing from my music lessons for financial difficulties, but now I don't have to worry about that. I love playing the violin and I will always be truly grateful for this gift.”
“My favorite part about attending Merit was the progress I could see in myself. Every week I was learning new pieces and techniques to better myself as a musician and as a human being. I could really see the change.”