Merit School of Music

Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Answers to Common Questions


How do I register?

Signing up for classes and lessons with Merit is easy!


  1. Browse our programs online
  2. Select your course
  3. Complete your registration
  4. Optional steps (complete at any point during your registration):
    1. Rent an instrument
    2. Apply for financial aid

Private Lessons

  1. Submit an inquiry form
  2. A program manager will contact you to match you with a teacher
  3. Confirm your enrollment
  4. Optional steps (complete at any point during your registration):
    1. Rent an instrument
    2. Apply for financial aid

I forgot my registration login info.

Passwords can be reset here.

If you’ve forgotten which email address you used to register your account, email us at [email protected]. We can email you temporary login information.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, there is a non-refundable registration fee of $30 per student for each Academic Year that must be paid in full at the time of enrollment.

The registration fee for Spring Session is $20 and Summer Session is $15.

The Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory registration fee is $200. Conservatory registration fees may be eligible for payment plans. However, we are not able to prorate these fees for early withdrawals.

If Merit cancels a program or class, your registration fee will be refunded in full.

Do you offer financial aid?

We’re dedicated to providing access to music education through the award of financial aid to eligible families. Aid is based on a sliding scale of up to 75% of tuition.

Please note that while Merit desires to provide as much aid as possible, it is a limited resource and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more and apply for financial aid, visit our Student & Parent Resources page

How do I rent an instrument?

Merit students have the option to rent high-quality and low-cost instruments through our Music & Instrument Library.

Click to learn more and fill out a rental application. → 


How do I pay?

Payments are accepted by check, money order, credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover), or cash. Credit card payments may be made online or over the phone.

Automatic credit card deductions can be made to your account monthly by setting up a payment plan.

When are payments due?

Registration fees are due in full at the time of registration. Tuition is due prior to the start of the program. Payment plans are available and must be set up at the time of registration.

For private lessons, you must pay the registration fee before lessons can begin. Failure to pay within the billing schedule may result in program interruption.

All registrations (group classes, private lessons, or Early Childhood classes) made after the registration deadline will incur a $15 late fee in addition to the base registration fee.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes! We’re happy to offer payment plans for music classes and lessons.

During your online registration, you’ll have the option to “Select a Payment Option”. Select “Payment plan with $X due now”. Simply pay the amount due (i.e. your registration fee) by credit card or electronic check.

Once you’ve paid the registration fee, your outstanding invoice will be updated with your new payment plan.

You have the option of receiving a monthly invoice for manual payments or scheduling automatic credit card payments. See below for more information on auto-payment.

Families are responsible for all installments of their payment plans—even if students withdraw from programming early. We are not able to prorate tuition fees for early withdrawals. Non-payment of payment plan fees could result in additional requests for payments, suspension of services, and referral of accounts to a collection agency.

Need help? Contact us at [email protected].

How do I sign up for auto-payment?

Signing up to have your monthly installments charged automatically is easy!

If you already have a card saved to your account:

  • Email us at [email protected] confirming the last four digits of the card you’d like to use.
  • We’ll get your payment plan set up for auto-payments using this card until the end of the session.

If you don’t have a card saved to your account:

  • Head to the “Billing Info” section of your Merit account.
  • Add a card.
  • Email us at [email protected] with the last four digits of that new card.
  • We’ll get your payment plan set up for auto-payments using this card until the end of the session.

Attendance Policies

How do I report an absence?

Make sure to let your teacher know you won’t be in class by filling out the absence form that pertains to your program.

Please keep in contact with your program manager if you have questions or concerns.

Group Classes

  • Attendance is expected at all group classes. We are unable to schedule make-up classes or provide credits for missed classes.
  • Students are allowed up to three absences per semester and can be taken for any reason. Please let us know when your child will be absent by filling out our absence form.
  • If your student is marked “tardy” to class three times, it will be considered the equivalent of one absent day and will count against your three day allowance.
  • If your student will be performing in a concert, attendance is mandatory for the dress rehearsal and the concert. Students are also required to attend the first day of a new semester. Absences are not allowed on any of these mandatory attendance days.
  • Merit may dismiss any student from group classes who has three consecutive absences without notification; who has exceeded their absence allotment; who is consistently tardy; or who fails to adhere to their payment schedule.

Private Lessons

  • Students are expected to be present and on time for all private lessons. There are no excused absences for private lessons.
  • As a courtesy, if a student is unable to attend a scheduled lesson, please contact your instructor directly at least 24 hours in advance.
  • If the instructor cancels the lesson or is late, the teacher is responsible for making up that lesson time.
  • We are unable to provide refunds, credits, or make-ups for any lessons missed by students.
  • Merit may dismiss any student from private lessons with three consecutive absences without notification; who has a pattern of absences; who is consistently tardy; or who fails to adhere to their payment schedule

Early Childhood

Missed Classes

  • Need to miss a class? Please email Ms. Frances as far in advance as possible to let her know the date of your absence and to schedule a make-up class.
  • Any student who misses three consecutive classes without alerting the Early Childhood program administration may be removed from the class roster.

Make-up Classes

  • A total of two make-up classes per semester are permitted so that students can bond and the class culture can grow.
  • In order to prevent over-booking any singular class, please do not attend a make-up class without first contacting the Early Childhood program manager.
  • All make-up classes must be completed by the last week of the semester.

Music Masters 2 Families

  • In order to stay current with the curriculum from week to week, please plan your make-up classes to take place within the same week as the class you intend to miss.


  • Students are expected to be present and on time at all Conservatory activities.
  • If needed, students may take up to four absences per year. In the case of planned absences, you must fill out an absence form at least one week in advance.
  • If your child has an emergency and must be absent unexpectedly, please call or email your program manager or director to inform us as soon as possible. You will still be asked to fill out an absence form for documentation.
  • An absence from any Conservatory class counts as one full day of absence.
  • If a student is marked tardy to a class on three separate occasions, that will result in one full absence on their attendance record.
  • A student may not be absent on a mandatory attendance day (noted in the Conservatory calendar).
  • Students who do not meet the attendance requirements of the program may be asked to leave the Conservatory. This may affect their financial aid award eligibility in Merit’s Private Lesson Program.

Making Changes to Classes & Lessons

How do I change my class or lesson schedule?


We encourage all families to register early for your recommended group class to secure your spot and then contact the program manager or director to inquire about schedule changes.

Your program director can help determine if there’s availability during another class time that works better for your schedule or if your child should be placed in a different class due to skill level.

Private Lessons

When registering for Merit’s private lessons, keep in mind that enrollments span the full academic year: fall, spring, and summer semesters. If needed, day, time, and length changes can be made to your private lesson package at any time.

If you wish to change the length of your lesson, you must submit this request in writing to the Student Services Department.

Lessons can only be cancelled during the drop/add window between semesters.

How do I withdraw from classes or lessons?


All requests for withdrawal must be received by your respective program manager or director, in writing, before being considered withdrawn. Verbal requests to withdraw do not fulfill this requirement. Notifying the teacher does not constitute notice of withdrawal.

The effective date of withdrawal is the date that the written notice is received, not the last date of the class or private lesson attended.

Students receiving financial aid or scholarship forfeit their award upon withdrawal.

Read about our refund policies below.

Private Lessons

Students who wish to withdraw from lessons must notify both their private teacher and the private lesson coordinator in writing.

Merit has limited cancellation windows for private lessons. Enrollment is binding for the semester once the term begins. You can choose to discontinue private lessons during the drop/add window between semesters.

Read about our refund policies below.

What is your refund policy?

Group Classes & Summer Camps/Workshops

  • Students withdrawing more than two days before the first class/lesson will receive a full tuition refund, minus the registration fee.
  • A pro-rated refund will be given to withdrawing students who have taken up to three classes.
  • If a student has taken four classes, a tuition refund of 50% will be given.
  • If a student has taken five classes or more, no refund will be given.
  • Students registering for classes that are six weeks or less in program duration are not eligible for a refund after the start date.
  • Students withdrawing from payment plans are still subject to the above refund policies.
  • Registration fees are non-refundable.
  • Please allow three to four weeks for the processing of refunds.

Private Lessons

  • Attendance is expected at all scheduled lessons.
  • We are unable to provide refunds, credits, or make-ups for any lessons missed by students.
  • If your teacher cancels a lesson, they will work with you to reschedule the lesson.

Early Childhood

  • Families withdrawing more than two days before the first scheduled class are eligible for a full credit or refund, minus an administrative fee of $45.
  • Families who withdraw within the first three weeks of their scheduled class date/time are eligible for a prorated credit to their account. Full refunds are not available after the start of the semester.
  • Credits will not be issued past the third week of the semester.
  • Annual Membership withdrawals made prior to the two semester commitment will incur a $200 cancellation fee.


While this is unusual, group classes, Early Childhood classes, and summer camps/workshops may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment. If this occurs, the school will make every effort to reschedule the student for another class at a convenient time. If this is not possible, you will receive a full refund including both tuition and registration fees.


What is your COVID-19 policy?

At Merit, your health and safety are our priority.

While masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required, we’re committed to continuing to keep our building safe and clean.

Our upgraded HVAC system increases air circulation throughout the building and introduces more fresh outdoor air. In addition, hand sanitizing stations are offered throughout our music center.

Please note: Merit’s COVID safety team will continue to monitor conditions and could make the decision to return to more conservative COVID mitigation measures if and when deemed necessary.

How will I know if my class is cancelled due to inclement weather or emergency situations?

The safety of students, faculty, and all visitors to the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center is of the utmost importance to the Merit School of Music.

In cases of inclement weather or emergency situations, Merit will actively monitor the situation and keep you up-to-date on the status of classes via the email on your Merit account. In urgent situations, we may also text or call the phone number on file.

You can also check or for updates at any time.

Please always use your discretion if you personally believe your commute to be unsafe and report any absences to your teacher and/or program manager/director as soon as possible by filling out an absence form.

In order to ensure we can get in contact with you in emergency situations, always make sure your contact information is up-to-date on your Merit account.

Still Have Questions?

Check out our Student & Parent Resources page or contact us—we’re here to help!