Grades 4 – 12
2 – 5 days per week | 45-60 minutes

Introduce young musicians to their choice of brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments. One class can accommodate 25-60 students depending on age and level of instruction. For more comprehensive programming, schools can also offer sectional classes which focus on a specific instrument family.


Grades 1 – 12
1 – 5 days per week | 45-60 minutes

Teach students to use their voice as an instrument. One class can accommodate 20-50 students depending on age and level of instruction. Choir classes must have a working piano or keyboard and ideally, an accompanist for each rehearsal.


Grades K – 5
1 day per week | 40-60 minutes

Give students a musical foundation and head start in learning an instrument. One class can accommodate up to 30 students, however, an adult assistant for classroom management is encouraged. Global percussion can be offered as an add-on program for grades 3-5.


Grades K – 12
2 – 3 days per week | 45-60 minutes

Introduce young musicians to their choice of string instruments. Each class must be dedicated to one stringed instrument: violin, viola, cello, or bass. One string class can accommodate 6-10 students, and classrooms must include a music stand for each student. Schools can also add orchestra programming for students completing at least one year of strings. One orchestra class can accommodate 25-60 students depending on age and level of instruction. Orchestra space must include one music stand for every two students and provide room for the conductor/teacher, ideally with a podium.


Grades K – 5
1 – 2 days per week | 45-60 minutes

Give students the opportunity to learn piano and gain a strong foundation in music theory and performance. Group piano classes serve between six to eight students each and require the use of weighted keyboards and headsets. This is a great way to introduce students to the instrument in an engaging, collaborative setting.


Grades 4 – 12
2 – 3 days per week | 45-60 minutes

Provide guitar instruction to students and provide a foundation in performance and related theory. Guitar students learn best in small groups. One class accommodates 6-10 students depending on age and level of instruction. All students must have a foot stand, and classrooms need chairs and music stands for each student.


Grades Pre-K – 1
1 day per week | 45-60 minutes

Stimulate young minds with their first musical experience. One class can accommodate 15 students or as many as 30 students with an adult assistant. An open classroom space with carpet provides an ideal setting for dancing/movement, sitting on the floor and setting out instruments.



Merit is excited to offer general music residencies this year. In these residencies, Merit teaching artists collaborate with students and classroom teachers to creatively enhance reading, language, and critical thinking skills through music.

Merit offers the following units for third and fourth grade:


3rd Grade | 8 weeks

An integrated curriculum utilizing a variety of learning experiences. Classroom teachers work with Merit teaching artists to select a story and topic to bring to life through music and performance. The curriculum is tailored around one of three stories:

  • an Ashanti Tale (about cooperation, hard work, and laziness)
  • a Nigerian folktale (an anti-bullying message)
  • a West African Pourquoi Tale (about cause and effect relationships and taking responsibility)


3rd and/or 4th Grade | 16 or 32 weeks

Students learn the foundations of music performance and music theory through the recorder. This curriculum consists of singing games, dancing, and songs from American cultures and world music.


3rd and/or 4th Grade | 8 weeks

Students will learn effective strategies for problem-solving and create songs in a cooperative environment. Together students create album covers, write an artist biography and learn to create music. This residency might conclude with a final performance or presentation for other classrooms.