Band Classes, Lessons, & Ensembles

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 the confidence to chase their dreams in music and beyond. 

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

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

→ Study with Chicago’s finest music teachers!

Programs for musicians of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

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

Private Lessons

In-person & virtual options available

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

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

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

Summer Camps

Make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s line-up of camps, classes, workshops, and ensembles.

Watch Merit Band students in action!


Each year, Merit band students of all ages come together to perform in concerts online, 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.

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.”

Merit’s 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.