Band

Click here to browse Band classes and sign up for spring.

Whether you’re learning to play oboe in your school’s band, have always dreamed of being a percussionist, or want to study alongside some of the best trombone players in Illinois, Merit’s celebrated faculty is here to help you unlock your full musical potential.  

For over 40 years, Merit students have auditioned into All-State Band, gone on to attend some of the country’s best music conservatories, pursued careers as teaching artists and performers, and gained confidence to chase their dreams in music and beyond. 

Merit offers Band camps, classes, workshops, and private lessons for the following instruments:

  • Bassoon
  • Clarinet
  • Euphonium
  • Flute
  • French Horn
  • Oboe
  • Percussion
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Tuba

Each year, Merit Band students of all ages come together to perform in concerts at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and at venues throughout Chicago. Past performances include concerts at Symphony Center, Millennium Park, The University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Illinois Music Education Conference. Even when we can’t make music together in person, the Merit community finds new life online through virtual group classes, Zoom concerts, and socially-distanced private lessons.

Browse spring band classes

Online registration opens January 4

The clarinet is a soulful woodwind instrument that many say sounds like a human voice. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the clarinet. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

The flute is a reed-less wind instrument that sounds light and ethereal. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the flute. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

With a distinctive curved shape and clear mellow sound, the french horn is an exciting and beautiful instrument.  This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the french horn. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

Low brass instruments like the tuba, trombone, and euphonium have a deep rich sound that anchors any ensemble they’re a part of. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the tuba, trombone, or euphonium. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

From the bongos to the triangle, percussion players get to master a wide range of instruments that keep the beat of any ensemble they’re a part of. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing percussion. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

Versatile and cool, the saxophone is an instrument that allows musicians to convey a wide array of emotions and musical styles. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the saxophone. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

The trumpet is a brass instrument that dates back to 1500 BCE. This small but mighty instrument is a great choice for students interested in performing in both classical and jazz ensembles. This class is designed to give students their first introduction to playing the trumpet. Sign up to gain life-long musical skills, learn how to read music and play your instrument, and make music and friends in a fun virtual environment.

> REGISTER NOW

Merit’s Continuing Band classes are best for clarinet, flute, classical percussion, saxophone, trombone, euphonium, and trumpet students with 1-3 years of experience. Students will build their technique and stay connected with the Merit musical community in these engaging, online group classes led by Merit’s celebrated band faculty.

> REGISTER NOW

Programs for musicians of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

Virtual & in-person options available

Hone your technique and skill alongside other driven young musicians. Beginners welcome!

Private Lessons

Temporarily Virtual

Work one-on-one with skilled and supportive faculty to explore your individual talents and musical interests.

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

Temporarily Virtual

Join the best of Merit’s talented student musicians by auditioning for Merit’s prestigious tuition-free Conservatory.

Summer Camps & Workshops

Temporarily Virtual

Safely make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s online camps, classes, and workshops.

Chicago’s finest band faculty

“The Band program at Merit takes a comprehensive approach aimed at helping each individual student realize their potential. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. By focusing on each student’s individual skills, strengths, and weaknesses, we are able to ensure that every student receives exactly the guidance that they need to progress as musicians and as members of society.”

– Andrew Zweibel
Band Program Director

Clarinet Student

Our celebrated teaching artists are working jazz, classical, and pop musicians who have toured nationally, led ensembles, and supported students in achieving ambitious goals. Committed to helping Merit students succeed in music and in life, our Band faculty provides students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.