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Individual lessons and group classes for students at any level.
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Bringing accessible, high-quality music education to Chicagoland communities.
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The highest level of achievement for Merit students in tuition-free, audition-based programs.
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Merit's supporters remove barriers to music education, ensuring access for Chicago's youth.
Additional info for current and prospective students.
DePaul University, Candidate for MM
Lawrence University, BM
Merit School of Music, Tuition-free Conservatory
Ethan Valentin, Chicago native and Merit alum began playing piano at the age of six. During high school, Ethan spent his Saturdays at Merit participating in their distinguished Tuition-free Conservatory. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Lawrence University studying under Anthony Padilla, and his Master’s Degree from DePaul University where he studied with George Vatchnadze and Marta Aznavoorian. He has won numerous awards and scholarships and participated in festivals and competitions nationally and internationally. Since 2018, Ethan has been a member of the piano faculty at the Merit School of Music and Musical Chairs Studio. He is also currently the organist at Queen of Angels Catholic Church and pianist with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra.
I listen to all kinds of music and could never pick a favorite. Today, I’ve listened to music by Yuja Wang, Martha Argerich, Lizzo, Lady Gaga, and Johnny Cash. It was a different mix yesterday and it’ll be a different mix tomorrow!