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 until further notice. Virtual options are now available for private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

To learn more about online offerings and supporting Merit during this time, please
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FAQs

Dear Merit Families and Friends,

We hope that you and your loved ones are well and know that you, like all of us here at Merit, are figuring out how to navigate the challenges we face as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. As you know, in order to safeguard the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community, Merit has suspended all activities at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center until further notice. We will continue to assess this timeline on a weekly basis.  

Despite this closure, we remain dedicated to providing Merit families with access to the life-affirming and life-changing benefits of music wherever possible. Our staff is diligently working on providing virtual private lessons and Early Childhood classes to students, and we’re exploring additional virtual group class options via FaceTime, Zoom, and other online platforms. If you are a Merit student or parent, you can expect to hear from your teacher soon if this is an option for your family. We thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters. In the meantime, we encourage our students to keep practicing! We will get through this as a community and we want everyone to remain as motivated and passionate about music as ever.

Once we have a better understanding of which classes are able to be moved online and which will need to be cancelled or postponed, we will be reaching out to families about potential tuition refunds or modifications to payment plans. If and when the time comes, we ask you to consider waiving your refund in exchange for a tax-deductible donation if doing so is a possibility for your family.

As a nonprofit arts organization, we are reliant upon financial contributions and community support to sustain our daily operations. It is certain that we, like all our fellow arts organizations, will experience significant losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that could potentially negatively impact our school community. ​Your support or waiving of any tuition refund, would help to offset that impact. Click here to support Merit today.

Thank you for your continued dedication to Merit during this challenging and unique time. We’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to those of you ​who have shared messages of support or posted beautiful tributes to music on social media. We are so grateful to have all of you as part of the Merit community!

Stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to making music together again soon.

With all best wishes,

Charles Grode
President & Executive Director


En Merit hemos seguido supervisando el COVID-19 pandemia y ahora tienen una actualización basada en mandatos de gobernador Pritzker y la Alcaldesa Lightfoot. El gobernador simplemente ordenó que todos los eventos de más de 250 personas sean cancelada o posponer hasta el 1 de mayoy que todas las reuniones de 1,000 personas o más sean cancelada de forma indefinidamente. 

Tomando esta actualización en consideración, Merit ha tomado la decisión decancelar todos los programas efectivomañana el 13 Marzoen un esfuerzo por proteger la salud y el bienestar de la comunidad de Merit.

En este momento, permitiremos que el profesorado enseñe lecciones privadas fuera del edificio de Merit a discreción mutua de maestros y familias. Además, estamos investigando opciones para el aprendizaje a distancia en caso de que la situación continúe durante un tiempo prolongado y / o el profesorado y los estudiantes ya no puedan reunirse cara a cara. Espere actualizaciones sobre cualquier cambio en el acceso al edificio u horas de operación. 

Mientras que actualmente no estamos seguros de la longitud definida de este cierre, tenemos una reunión del equipo de organización para discutir lo que tiene sentido y que está alineado con el mejor interés de nuestra comunidad. Ese mismo equipo se se reunirá para discutir cómo este cierre tendrá un impacto en eventos de la primavera (conciertos, recitales, concursos y clases magistrales) que actualmente está previsto que tenga lugar antes del 1 de mayo. Gracias por su paciencia mientras se determina qué eventos pueden ser reprogramadas o cancelado. Tan pronto como tengamos claridad sobre esto vamos a comunicar con la comunidad más amplia de Merit. 

(Para los padres – En la medida que esta decision impacta matrícula pagado por una programación que no ocurrirá, nuestro equipo de servicios estudiantiles está diseñando una políza que se comunicará directamente a las familias mientras la oficina de Servicios al Estudiante estará cerrada para las entradas. inscripciones persona y pagos hasta nuevo aviso.  Registro verano y todas sus preguntas cse pueden ser dirigida a través de su cuenta de mérito o por correo electrónicostudentservices@meritmusic.org. Agradecemos su paciencia y comprensión.)   

(Para el personal y la facultad -. Es la intención de Merit para proceder con sensibilidad al pago por hora de facultad y personal. Y para hacer todo lo posible para apoyar y compensar a nuestros empleados durante este cierre. Aunque no tenemos todos estos detalles hoy, por favor sepa que estamos considerando cómo continuar a compensar justamente los individuos.  Durante este tiempo para el personal que tiene la capacidad y flexibilidad para trabajar de forma remota, puede hacerlo con efecto inmediato y / o el trabajo con su supervisor para determinar lo que es posible para MMIC facultad -.. Comezandoel lunes16 de marzo vamos a suspender antes y después programación de escuela hasta nuevo aviso.  Planean continuar nuestra instrucción de durante-el-dia de de escuela por planes de CPS y de la escuela pareja).    

Muchas gracias por su atención a este importante asunto y por su apoyo continuo de la salud y el bienestar de la comunidad de Merit. 


Merit 學校最近有持續在觀察新管狀病毒的疫情。學生跟 Merit 學院的健康對我們來說是第一優先。昨晚伊利諾伊的州長以及芝加哥市長要求250人以上的聚會需取消或是延遲到5月1號以後,如有1000人以上的聚會則無限期的取消。

考慮到此要求,Merit 決定從今天起(3/13)取消所有位於 Joy Faith Knapp Music Center 的課程,但私人課程除外,直至另行通知,以致力於保護 Merit 學院師生健康。這段期間,我們允許老師繼續在本學院內私人課程,一旦老師和家庭間互相協調。我們也更近一步的正在研究遠程教學,如果情況繼續讓學生跟老師無法面對面授課。請隨時等待有關此地點開放跟營運時間。

雖然我們不知道關閉時間的長久,我們還有團隊繼續在討論下一步要怎麼做才符合我們學院最大利益,同時也將開會討論學校關閉後將會如何影響目前計劃於5月1日前及以後舉行的春季活動(音樂會、演奏會、比賽和大師班課程)。在我們確定可以重新安排或取消哪些事情之前,謝謝您的耐心配合。一旦我們對此事件有所了解我們將與 Merit 師生溝通。

在一定程度上,這個決定對於已繳交課程學費的學生來說會有影響的部分,我們的學生服務團隊 (Student Services) 正在制定一項方案,將轉達給各位家庭。同時學生服務辦公室和圖書館將關閉,親自註冊和付款服務,直至另行通知。但夏季註冊和所有問題可以通過您的線上帳戶或發送電子郵件 studentservices@meritmusic.org 至本學院詢問。任何與圖書館有關的問題請發電子郵件至 library@meritmusic.org 。我們很感謝您的耐心及理解。

非常感謝您對這個重要問題的關注,以及對 Merit學院師生健康和福祉的持續支持。

Click the button below to browse open classes and register:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merit is currently only taking registrations online. If you have a question or need assistance with registration, we’re still here for you virtually!

Contact us at studentservices@meritmusic.org.

Who do I talk to if I need to change my group class schedule?

We encourage all families to register for their recommended group class to secure their spot and then contact the respective program director to inquire about schedule changes.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, a non-refundable registration fee of $30 per student applies to each academic year and summer programming. Register by June 1 for summer camps and classes to receive a 50% discount ($15) on this fee. The Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory registration fee is $125. If Merit cancels a program or class the registration fee will be refunded in full.

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. For more information about online payment and automatic payment plans, please contact Student Services.

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, a registration fee and a deposit of the first four lessons are due before lessons can begin. Failure to pay within the billing schedule may result in program interruption.

What happens if I fail to pay?

Merit is dedicated to working with families to satisfy payment obligations including, but not limited to, creating payment plans, etc. so students can remain enrolled in programming.  Accounts that fall into arrears without communication to Student Services or installment arrangements may be sent to collections. Students’ participation may be interrupted if accounts fall behind in payment. Applications with unpaid registration or private lesson deposits cannot be processed.

What is the withdrawal procedure?

All requests for withdrawal must be received by the program manager of the respective department, in writing, before 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 class or private lesson attended. Students receiving financial aid or scholarship forfeit their award upon withdrawal.

What is the refund policy for Instrumental & Vocal Music and Early Childhood programs?

The refund policy is as follows:

  • 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 (3) classes.
  •  If the student has taken 4 classes, a tuition refund of 50% will be given.
  • If a student has taken 5 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 start date.
  • Students withdrawing on payment plans are subject to the above refund policies.
  • Registration fees are non-refundable.
  • Please allow three to four weeks for processing of refunds

What is the refund policy for private lessons?

If you didn’t receive lessons that were paid for but were not taken due to instructor absence, Student Services will credit your account appropriately at the end of the semester when attendance is reviewed.

Cancellations: Group Classes (Instrumental & Vocal Music)

While this is unusual, classes 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. Band small group cancellations may offer the option for the student to enroll in private lessons in place of the group at an equal tuition rate.

Cancellations: Private Lessons

Students who wish to withdraw from lessons must notify their private teacher as well as the private lesson manager.

While we are dedicated to providing as much aid as possible to requesting families, financial aid is a limited resource and is awarded on a first come, first served basis. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate all requests.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Please fill out our online financial aid application or submit a copy of your 1040 tax return (2018) or other documents reflective of your household income to Student Services at studentservices@meritmusic.org or in-person in Room 101 or 102. If you are unable to provide a tax return, please inquire with Student Services about alternative documentation.

When will my financial aid be applied?

Once approved, your financial aid will be applied once you have provided the $30 registration fee for the Academic Year ($15 Summer Session), and, if applicable, paid the deposit for the first four private lessons.

How often do I need to submit my financial aid documents?

In order for us to maintain a fair and equitable process, families must resubmit their financial aid documents annually. Student Services will keep your documents on file for one full calendar year. Due to limited resources, submitting your documents does not guarantee your student will receive financial aid. Many factors are taken into consideration.

Are new students eligible to receive financial aid?

New students can receive financial aid if their family’s tax return deems them eligible, and if financial aid funds are still available (As noted above, financial aid is a limited resource and awarded on a first come, first served basis).

What would prevent a student from receiving financial aid?

There are a variety of reasons why a student might not receive financial aid (listed below):

  • Household income exceeds threshold to qualify for financial aid
  • All of Merit’s financial aid has been distributed and there are no more funds available
  • Registration fees and private lesson deposits were not received by Student Services

For questions or more information regarding financial aid, please email Student Services at studentservices@meritmusic.org or call 312-786-9428.

Merit’s instrument rental program is administered through the Glasser-Rosenthal Library.

The rental program is open to students who are currently enrolled and receiving financial aid.  Please note that rentals are subject to availability, so you are encouraged to see the librarian about instrument needs soon after completing class registration!

Academic Year 2019 – 2020 Rental Fee: $37 – $170 (sliding scale, based on financial aid)

You can submit an application to rent an instrument here.

Library Open Hours
Monday: By appointment only
Tuesday – Thursday: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Friday: By appointment only
Saturday: 9:00 am – 11:50 am, 12:30 pm- 2:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

The Library will be closed from February 25 – March 9 in preparation for spring and summer registration. Regular open hours will resume March 10.

The Library is always available by appointment! Please email us at least 2 business days in advance to schedule your appointment.

library@meritmusic.org

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Missed classes:

  • Any student who misses three consecutive classes without alerting the Early Childhood Program Manager or teacher may be removed from the class roster.
  • Please contact the Early Childhood Program Manager as soon as possible to find alternative class times that you would be able to attend.

Make-up classes:

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

Music Master 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.

If you plan to discontinue your class:

GROUP CLASSES (INSTRUMENTAL & VOCAL MUSIC)

  • Students are allowed up to 3 absences per semester and can be taken for any reason
  • Though you are not required to report absences, please do let your teacher and/or Program Manager know whenever your student will be absent whenever possible
  • 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 3-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.

PRIVATE LESSONS

  • There are no excused absences for private lessons.
  • Students are expected to be present and on time to all private lessons. Families are responsible for payment of all lessons whether or not the student is in attendance.
  • Private lesson teachers are not required to reschedule lessons due to student absences or tardiness. However, make-up lessons can be given with instructor discretion.
  • As a courtesy, if a student is unable to attend a scheduled lesson, please contact the individual 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.
  • 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.

CONSERVATORY

Students must arrive on time and attend all classes each week.

If you know your child will be absent in advance:

  • Fill out an Absence Approval Form at least two weeks in advance and return the form to the front desk or Conservatory Director. The form is also available throughout the year in the Student Services office or at the front desk.

If your child is absent unexpectedly:

  • Please call immediately so that we are aware of the student’s whereabouts and follow-up with the Absence Approval Form.

Examples of excused absences:

  • Musical performance
  • Academic requirement
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Student illness
  • Family emergency

Examples of unexcused absences:

  • Athletic events
  • Oversleeping
  • Too much homework

Failure to submit an Absence Approval Form or to phone in an unplanned absence may result in an “unexcused” absence.  After one unexcused absence or three excused absences, the student and his/her parents will be called in for a meeting.  At this time the student’s future in the program will be determined. Any student asked to leave the program may have his/her Private Lesson Passport revoked.

How does the automatic re-enrollment program work?

Students who join the automatic re-enrollment program complete their formal registration once and receive a secured spot in class in perpetuity (or until you tell us you’d like to cancel). Your credit card will then be charged at the start of each 10-week session and bypass any future registration and payment paperwork.

What are the benefits of automatic re-enrollment?

Discounted tuition

Students enrolled in the automatic re-enrollment program receive a 10% discount on class tuition!

Reserved/Priority spots in class

Students who participate in automatic re-enrollment will be enrolled in upcoming classes before registration opens to the general public.  This means that your student will have “first dibs” on their preferred class time- no more losing a spot in your favorite class simply because someone else completed their registration before you!

Skip the paperwork

Once you join the automatic re-enrollment program, your job is done!  Skip the paperwork and hassle of enrolling for classes every 10 weeks- we’ll take care of the work for you.

What if I want to move to a new class for the upcoming session?

You will be contacted by the Early Childhood Program administration a few weeks before the start of each upcoming session to confirm your student’s preferred class schedule.  You will be welcome to change your class day and time if needed and will also be able to move into the next level class if your student will be graduating to the next age range.

I love the idea of this program- how do I join?

Simply add the coupon code “AUTOENROLL” to your first class purchase during online check-out.  After your first registration, your credit card will be charged automatically at the start of each session for the registration fee (assessed once per academic year and once per summer) and class tuition (minus the 10% discount). You are responsible for letting Merit know if you wish to discontinue classes and automatic payments.

What happens if I fail to keep my credit card information current in my account?

You must keep a valid credit card number on file to participate in the automatic re-enrollment program.  If your credit card number changes or expires and you fail to proactively update your account information at Merit, your student will be automatically withdrawn from the auto-enroll program and will no longer receive the priority registration benefits and tuition discounts associated with the program.

What happens if I choose to discontinue Early Childhood classes at Merit?

You must alert Merit’s Student Services Department in writing at least two weeks in advance of when you would like to discontinue your participation in the automatic re-enrollment program.  Students who choose to discontinue within their first 7 or 10-week session of classes will have the 10% tuition discount billed back to their credit card.  Students who have attended at least two full, consecutive 7 or 10-week class sessions will be able to keep their 10% tuition discount but will be held to the following refund schedule:

  • 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 (3) classes.
  • If the student has taken 4 classes, a tuition refund of 50% will be given.
  • If a student has taken 5 classes or more, no refund will be given.
  • Registration fees are non-refundable.
  • Please allow three to four weeks for processing of refunds

Students withdrawing from Early Childhood classes are subject to the rules and regulations outlined in Merit School of Music Enrollment Policies.

What if I don’t want to participate in the automatic re-enrollment program?  What are my alternative registration options?

Merit also offers per-term registration.  You are welcome to register for each 7 or 10-week session of Early Childhood classes individually however you will not be eligible for the automatic renewal tuition discounts and class spots will be subject to availability.  You will need to complete a new class registration for every session in which your student participates.

Our address is:

Merit School of Music
Joy Faith Knapp Music Center
38 South Peoria St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Merit is easily accessible by car, public transportation, and rideshare. However, parking in our West Loop neighborhood is extremely limited and our parking lot is for permit parking only.

Due to the limited space in our lot, parking is strictly enforced and vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. There are two 30-minute visitor parking spots available to guests who check-in at the front desk.

Parking options include metered street parking around Merit as well as nearby paid public parking lots. We recommend using SpotHero to conveniently find a parking spot.

The safety of students, families, faculty, staff, 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 www.meritmusic.org or www.emergencyclosingcenter.com 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.

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 at ASAP.com.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?