SUMMER COVID PROTOCOL UPDATES: Beginning June 1, Merit will be instituting new COVID protocols, including moving to masks recommended for all visitors. Current COVID protocols remains in effect through May 31, with the exception of a few special events. READ MORE »


🌞 THERE’S STILL TIME TO JOIN SUMMER music camps & classes!

SAVE THE DATE! Fall Early Bird Registration opens June 27

Whether you’ve played guitar for years or are just getting started, Merit’s celebrated faculty is 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. 

Browse summer guitar programming

CLASS IS FULL June 25 • 10:00am – 12:45pm (Ages 8-13) & 11:45am – 12:45pm (Ages 4-13)
JUST ADDED! August 20 • 10:00am – 12:45pm (Ages 8-13) & 11:45am – 12:45pm (Ages 4-13)

Have a music-loving child who isn’t quite sure which instrument to choose? The best way to pick is by trying them all! This fun introductory class is designed to give young music lovers the chance to explore various instruments—piano, violin, trumpet, guitar, flute, voice, & many more!

Children ages 8-13 will begin the day with a session on wind and brass instruments and guitar. Younger kids are invited to join us for the second part of the session as we explore strings, piano, and voice. Students will end the session by choosing their favorite instrument and will have the opportunity to reserve a spot in Merit’s popular fall group classes and ensembles.

> Learn more & register now!

July 13 • 10:00am – 2:30pm

Calling all guitarists! Merit’s Guitar Workshop gives young guitarists the chance to hone their skills and explore musical styles (from classical and jazz works, to pop and classic rock tunes) in a fun and supportive environment.Students will have
the opportunity to meet other young guitarists from across Chicagoland, while working with special guest artists.

This workshop is best for students who have studied guitar for a minimum of two years (at Merit or elsewhere). No teacher recommendation or placement audition required!

> Learn more & register now!

June 21 – August 4 • 4:30pm – 5:25pm or
June 22 – August 10 • 4:30pm – 5:25pm

It’s time to make some music this summer! Our Beginning Guitar class gives aspiring student musicians a creative outlet and is a fun way to learn to read music and build strong practice habits. Your child will begin strumming in a twice-weekly group class of five to eight students with ample opportunity for group learning and individual support.

Students will learn the following skills:

  • Identifying the parts of the musical staff
  • Reading notes and rhythms
  • Playing scales, arpeggios, and chords in 1st and 2nd position
  • Tuning a guitar

> Learn more & register now!

June 21 – August 4 • 4:30pm – 5:25pm or
June 21 – August 4 • 5:30pm – 6:25pm or
June 22 – August 10 • 5:30pm – 6:25pm

Keep strumming all summer long! Your child will continue building their skills and love for the guitar after the school year ends with this summer program focused on advancing technique, musical skills, and knowledge of the instrument.

Students will learn the following skills:

  • Playing scales and arpeggios in major and minor keys
  • Playing major, minor, and seventh chords
  • Playing guitar repertoire in a variety of styles from different genres of music
  • Improvising melodies over a series of chord changes
  • Identifying common intervals aurally and visually

This intermediate-level class is best for students who have studied guitar for a minimum of one year (at Merit or elsewhere) and is available to students by teacher recommendation or a placement audition.

> Learn more & register now!

Programs for musicians of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

Hone your technique and skill alongside other driven young musicians. Beginners welcome!

Private Lessons

In-person & virtual options available

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

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

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

Summer Camps

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, venues throughout Chicago, and online.

Past performances include concerts at the 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 Faculty Chair
& Jazz Guitar Faculty Member

Guitar Student Chicago

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 provides students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.