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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 fall guitar classes

Is your young musician ready to pick up a new instrument? Our in-person Beginning Guitar classes give aspiring student musicians a creative outlet, and are a fun way to learn to read music and build strong practice habits. Your student will begin strumming and plucking in a 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
  • Making music with friends and family!


It’s time to get together and make some music! Your student will continue building their skills and love for the guitar this year in a group class 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
  • Deepening their connection and understanding of the music they love!


Programs for musicians of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

In-person & virtual options available

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 & Workshops

Make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s line-up of in-person & online camps & classes.

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

Past performances include concerts at the Symphony Center and Millennium Park. Even when we can’t make music together in person, the Merit community finds new life online through virtual group classes, Zoom concerts, and socially-distanced private lessons.

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.