- Music Classes & Lessons
- Group Classes & Ensembles
- Private Lessons
- Early Childhood
- Summer Camps
- View by Instrument/Age
- Why Choose Merit
Individual lessons and group classes for students at any level.
- Community Programs
Bringing accessible, high-quality music education to Chicagoland communities.
- Selective Programs
- Chicago Musical Pathways
The highest level of achievement for Merit students in tuition-free, audition-based programs.
Who we are and what we believe in.
How Merit makes a difference.
Merit's supporters remove barriers to music education, ensuring access for Chicago's youth.
Additional info for current and prospective students.
Merit Music in Communities (MMiC)
Bringing transformative, high-quality music education to schools and community centers across Chicago.
We’re Teaming Up with Schools & Community Centers
Launched in 1984, Merit Music in Communities (MMiC) provides high-quality music education at 25 schools and community centers throughout Chicago.
In many cases, the MMiC program serves as a student’s first step on a lifetime journey of musical involvement and appreciation.
Motivated students are encouraged to continue their studies by enrolling in Merit’s group classes and private lessons, or auditioning for the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory.
MMiC continually engages children and families in underrepresented and often under-resourced communities where the need is greatest and access most limited.
Merit and MMiC have filled this need for tens of thousands of children over the last 35+ years.
school and community sites
average value per student
"I see our Merit program students bubble up with pride every time they perform before the entire school. I see that their practice and hard work pays off. They learn to be gritty in the process and become better students as well. All of our Merit program students have great attendance, and they are all recognized for their high levels of citizenship and service within the classroom."
Merit offers a wide variety of programming options for our community partners.
We work with each school or community center to tailor programming to their individual preferences and resources.
MMiC offers group instruction for:
- General music
- World percussion
Ensembles, Group Classes, & Private Lessons
Our most intensive programs provide:
- Large ensemble rehearsals (band/orchestra/choir)
- Smaller sectional rehearsals
- Group classes
- Individual lessons
Removing Additional Barriers
In order to further reduce financial barriers to music education, in some cases, Merit offers:
- Low-cost or free instrument rentals
- Discounted music supplies
- Transportation assistance
- Alfred Nobel Elementary School
- Augustus H. Burley Elementary School
- Barton Elementary School†
- Burbank Elementary School
- Jonathan Burr Elementary School
- Carson Elementary School
- Chicago Friends School
- Child’s Voice*
- Christo Rey Jesuit High School
- El Valor, Pilsen
- Frank W. Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy
- Frederic Chopin Elementary School
- James Hedges School
- James Otis Elementary
- James Ward Elementary School
- Kinzie Elementary School*
- LaSalle Language Academy
- NSSEO/Terrace Elementary*
- Oliver S. Westcott Elementary School†
- Philip D. Armour Elementary School
- Proviso Mathematics & Science Academy
- Richard J. Oglesby Elementary School†
- St. Bartholomew School
- St. Sabina Academy
- Trinity School for the Deaf at Children of Peace*
* In partnership with The Foundation for Hearing and Speech Resources (FHSR)
† In partnership with Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC)
Interested in partnering with Merit? Contact Amy at [email protected]
Give the Gift of Music
Your support helps provide high-quality music education in schools and community centers across Chicago.