Virtual Electives

Ready to explore your musical interests and try something new?

Merit’s online electives are here to help young musicians tap into new ways of thinking about and making music. Students will have the chance to dive into the history of rap music, radicalize and reclaim music history, sing songs from around the world, learn ukulele, and more.

All electives are held online and meet once a week. Sign up to make friends, new discoveries, and music from the safety of home! 

Browse SPRING electives

Up your ukulele game! In this elective, you’ll polish intermediate and advanced ukulele techniques like bar chords, complicated strum patterns, and fingerpicking while playing popular songs from around the world. Song requests welcome!

This intermediate-level class is best for students who have already taken a beginning ukulele class (at Merit or elsewhere) or know C, Am, F, G, G7, D, D7, and basic strum patterns.

“My kids took Annaeka Johnson’s ukulele class, and it was affordable, useful, engaging, and a hit for all 3 of them! The teacher was so encouraging and kind and really helped build my children’s confidence in everything. Even anecdotal things they would mention unrelated to the ukulele were met with praise. During a time when everyone feels so anxious and uncertain, I really feel like this teacher contributed greatly to raising their self-esteem, purpose, and happiness. We are continuing next semester and are really happy to be doing so.” – Mary, Merit Ukulele Parent 

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Let’s talk about what really happened in music history and start changing the narrative. We will explore topics throughout history and discuss inequity and resistance in music while developing leadership, research, and analytical skills to make an impact in our communities. All levels of experience welcome!

“Merit’s online electives are such a great, low-cost way to keep learning during the pandemic. From the assigned readings/videos/songs to the in-class discussions, each component of this class was put together in an incredibly thoughtful way. I learned a lot from Ms. Salgado and left the class with the skills to keep learning on my own. Highly recommend!” – Laura, Radicalizing, Reclaiming, & Revolutionizing Music History Student

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Social media has become a powerful tool for musicians – both for marketing yourself and creating a sense of community. In this online course, we will learn about the concepts of entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, recording techniques, post-production work, multitracking, and social media management. This is a project-based class, and students will work individually and in groups to create multiple multitracking projects over the course of 14 weeks, with guidance from the faculty to help plan, produce, and share these projects effectively.

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Take a musical journey around the globe with Merit’s Songs from Around the World virtual elective! Your young music-lover will learn songs in different languages and build an appreciation for other cultures. Students will experience music from France, Kenya, Cuba, Italy, and more. No singing experience required!

“We are very fortunate to have a competent, dedicated, and encouraging teacher like Ms. Acosta!” – Merit Voice Parent

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What exactly is “flow”? Over the course of this class, we’ll look at rhythm, articulation, and many other musical aspects in order to truly understand the intricacies of rap. We’ll study the evolution of flow and explore trends to see how rap has evolved over the course of history. Together, we’ll build our musical skills, knowledge, and vocabulary, in order to answer questions such as:

  • What characterizes a rapper’s flow?
  • What makes a rapper’s delivery effective or ineffective?
  • What distinguishes certain rappers from others?
  • How can we talk about rap music using the same concepts and ideas that we use to discuss and analyze the classical or jazz music that we learn and perform?

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