In 1984, Merit responded to requests from Chicago Public Schools to create an in-school music education program, resulting in the formation of Merit Music in Communities. Today, the program serves more than 2,000 students each year, bringing the highest caliber music instruction to dozens of public and private schools, and community centers throughout Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Merit teaching artists work within these sites to offer group instruction in strings, band, choir, piano, guitar, early childhood, and general music.
Merit employs a faculty of passionate and highly-skilled music educators committed to helping young people succeed in reaching their full musical and personal potential. Faculty members hold advanced degrees, many from major conservatories and music schools from around the world.
In many cases, the Merit Music in Communities program serves as the first step for students in Merit’s comprehensive continuum of instruction. Motivated students are encouraged to continue their studies at Merit’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center by enrolling in Private Lessons, the Instrumental & Vocal Music Program or by successfully auditioning into the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. Merit School of Music opens these doors for students by providing financial support in the form of need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and/or music supplies. Become a part of the Merit School of Music community through the Merit Music in Communities program where your students can develop their unique musical talents.