Early Childhood

Kids Rock. At any age.

Merit’s Early Childhood learning environment is playful, developmentally stimulating, and musically rich. We incorporate song, chant, movement exercises and instrument play to develop a child’s imagination, musical awareness, and expressiveness.

Our programs support a child’s first steps in a lifetime journey of musical appreciation that inspires them to participate in our Instrumental Music program and eventually the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory.

baby classes merit music

Why Merit?


+ Language and literacy aptitudes
+ Spatial reasoning
+ Fine motor coordination
+ Planning, prediction, and understanding of syntax


+ Music students show better memory, vocabulary, and reading levels over the course of a year
+ Musical children are more likely to pursue higher education


+ Enhanced communication and interpersonal skills
+ Added motivation/ambition
+ Greater self-regulation, discipline, and focus


Your registration supports an AWESOME mission to provide Chicago youth with equal access to music education.


“My teacher’s enthusiasm and joyous attitude were key to my child’s learning.  The teacher ensured that each skill was fun to learn.”

“I loved the use of instruments and props as well as the variation in types of music.  There were always 1-2 inclusions of multi-cultural songs each week.”

“My girls simply loved all the songs – they were always excited to go to class!” 

“Class has definitely helped my child’s gross motor skills.  She was pretty quiet before and now she’s running and dancing all over the place.  It’s something she looks forward to every week.”

Browse classes & register

FREE TRIAL CLASS: Trying to decide if music is the right fit for your student?  Contact Student Services to schedule one free trial class before enrolling in the full session.

REGISTER AT ANY TIME: Merit accepts late registrants into classes with open spots even after classes have begun for the session.  Contact Student Services to join a class at any point with prorated tuition for your missed classes.  Subject to class availability.

REFER-A-FRIEND DISCOUNT: Receive $20 off your student’s tuition for each friend you refer who enrolls in Merit Early Childhood classes.  See Student Services for details.

early childhood merit music

SIBLING DISCOUNT: Receive $20 off your second or third child’s tuition when you enroll more than one student in Early Childhood classes.  This discount does not apply to Ukulele & You! classes.  See Student Services for details.

AUTO-ENROLL: Students enrolled in the automatic re-enrollment program receive a 10% discount on class tuition! Learn more about auto-enroll here.