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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Faculty & Staff

Robert Sherman

Department Chair: Guitar; Ensemble Director: Guitar; Faculty: Jazz Guitar


Indiana University
Masters of Music


Robert Sherman is forever grateful to his parents who encouraged him to learn an instrument—the guitar, which ultimately led him to join the Merit faculty in 2005 as a guitar instructor. In addition to Merit, Mr. Sherman teaches at Dominican University and Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, as well as privately in Oak Park, Illinois.

In joining the Merit faculty, Mr. Sherman is inspired by the families who relentlessly support their children’s musical pursuits. Of his own approach to teaching, he says, “I make it a priority to create a comfortable learning environment that will allow students to develop instrumental technique, musicianship and creativity – all while exploring the countless musical styles that feature the guitar.”

Mr. Sherman holds a Master of Music in jazz studies and a Performer Diploma in classical guitar from Indiana University (IU), where he was awarded the highly coveted position of Assistant Instructor. This provided classroom teaching opportunities in jazz improvisation, jazz history, as well as directing a jazz ensemble and coaching a string quartet. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science (minoring in music) from the University of Vermont.

While studying at IU, Mr. Sherman held the guitar chair in the David Baker Jazz Ensemble, the premiere ensemble of IU’s jazz program, and performed with a number of elite jazz performer-educators. He was commissioned to give the debut performance of a work for classical guitar by renowned California composer Martin Rokeach.


Originally from Dorset, Vermont, Mr. Sherman lives with his wife and three children in Oak Park, Illinois.

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“I am inspired by my colleagues who are determined to help every student meet their fullest potential.”