In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities. Virtual options are now available for summer camps, private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.
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Bachelors of Music, DePaul University
Masters of Music, DePaul University
Monica Benson is a multifaceted artist and music educator. Her love for music and teaching has led her to be a sought after performer and educator. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Monica moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University where she earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Music. As a performer, Monica has played with numerous groups including the Brass Band of Battle Creek, The Ides of March, the Chicago Brass Band and indie rock group The Generationals. Her versatility as a performer has led to her ongoing residency as the official Bugler at the Arlington International Racecourse since 2014. Monica is an Artist Ambassador for Denis Wick Products.
In 2018 her various passions within music inspired her to commission a new work for unaccompanied trumpet entitled “Out of the Gates” by composer Jim Stephenson. This piece is currently set to be performed by Monica at the International Trumpet Guild conference. Due to her experience as a freelancer and educator, she was an invited guest speaker and lecturer at the International Women’s Brass Conference in 2019.
As an educator, Monica believes that each student is brilliant and unique in their own way. This approach focuses on cultivating not only good musicians but also good people. She prioritizes the specific needs of the student and creates tailored lesson plans to help them cultivate a love for music and accountability to their goals. Currently, she teaches a wide range of students at various locations. Monica teaches at the Merit School of Music, Lincoln Park High School, and Lockport Township High School. Since 2018, she has also been teaching at her former alma mater in the DePaul Community Music School. In the future, Monica hopes to teach trumpet and entrepreneurship at the collegiate level.
In her free time, Monica enjoys photography, spending time with her cats and curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee. She currently resides in Chicago, IL.
“I am in the business of creating not only good musicians but also good people. Music has many life applications and learning music is so much more than just knowing notes on a page. Learning music is learning goal setting and responsibility, It’s learning storytelling and compassion for others. Music is individual, all-encompassing and beautiful all at the same time. My goal is to teach music while also seeing each student as an individual and helping them reach their goals with plans that are right for them as a human and a musician. No one seeks out music in the same way and I believe it should not be taught as such. The way you learn music should be as individual as you are.”