Guitar Classes & Lessons

Whether you’ve played guitar for years or are just getting started, Merit’s celebrated faculty are here to help you unlock your musical potential. 

Our students have used their time at Merit to build their musical abilities, go on to attend some of the country’s best music conservatories, pursue careers as teaching artists and performers, and gain the confidence to chase their dreams in music and beyond.

A young guitar student takes a short break during a group class

Programs for Musicians of All Levels

Hone your skills and technique, build confidence, and forge life-long friendships in group classes. Beginners welcome!

Work one-on-one with skilled and supportive faculty to explore your individual talents and musical interests.

Join the best of Merit’s talented student musicians by auditioning for Merit’s prestigious tuition-free Conservatory.

Make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s line-up of camps, classes, workshops, and ensembles.

Watch Merit Guitar Students in Action

Each year, Merit guitar students of all ages come together to perform in concerts at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and venues throughout Chicago.

Past performances include concerts at Symphony Center and Millennium Park.

Chicago's Finest Guitar Faculty

“Merit Guitar camps, classes, and lessons help students reach their full potential as musicians and tap into their creativity. Most importantly, our classes are FUN. Students learn the technical skills needed to be top musicians while developing lasting friendships and a lifelong love of music.”

Bob Sherman
Guitar Department Chair & Faculty

Meet Our Faculty

Our celebrated teaching artists are working jazz, classical, and pop musicians who have toured nationally, led ensembles, and supported students in achieving ambitious goals. Committed to helping Merit students succeed in music and in life, our Guitar faculty provide students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.

Department Chair: Guitar; Ensemble Director: Guitar; Faculty: Guitar

Guitar FAQs

What age can my child start learning guitar?

Your child can begin guitar starting at age 9. Learn why.


Even if your young music-lover isn’t old enough for guitar, there are plenty of classes we recommend that will help prepare them for instrument study:

  • Music Masters 2 (Ages 5-7) – This class prepares young music-lovers for instrument study. Your child will learn the basics of music theory, note reading, and music composition through playing the glockenspiel and exploring musical games and stories. Children ages 5 to 7 explore the instrument families, learn to read music notation, compose, sing with Curwen hand signs, and complete short weekly homework assignments to reinforce learning.
  • Ukulele & You! 1 & 2 (Ages 5-8) – Grown-ups and their little ones learn to play the ukulele while the whole classroom community engages with a variety of fun songs, singing games and dances, musical books, and instrument exploration. This class is designed for activities to continue at home to extend learning and family time through music.
  • Children’s Choir – Beginners and music enthusiasts welcome—no singing experience required! Students will learn how to use proper vocal technique including posture, breathing, and vowel shape, singing in unison, harmony, and solfege (do-re-mi), and counting rhythms.

Browse Classes & Lessons →

Do I need my own guitar? What kind of guitar should I get?

Every student will need their own guitar before their first class or lesson. Learn about your instrument rental options.

Purchasing your guitar? View our guide on what guitar to buy.

What is the attendance policy for classes and lessons?

Students are expected to be present and on time for all classes and lessons. We are unable to provide refunds, credits, or make-ups for any lessons missed by students.

Read more about Merit’s attendance policies.

Still have questions? Visit our FAQs page or contact us at

Additional Resources

Financial aid is available for qualifying students.