In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities until further notice. Our staff and faculty are working diligently to provide virtual private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and other online classes wherever possible. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

To learn more about online offerings and supporting Merit during this time, please

Merit in the News

Internationally Acclaimed Trumpeter & Merit School of Music Alum, Marquis Hill Headlines 2nd Annual ‘play on’ Concert Benefiting Music Education At City Winery Chicago

Chicago’s Merit School of Music proudly presents its 2nd Annual ‘Play On’ concert benefiting music education, to be headlined by Merit alum, internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Marquis Hill, at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, Monday, March 2, at 7pm. Joining Hill will be fellow Merit alumni who both return to the … Continued

Merit School of Music featured on Wintrust’s Mural Building

Merit School of Music is thrilled to be featured on Wintrust Bank's iconic Mural Building. The three-sided billboard located near the intersection of North Avenue and I-90/94 is donated by Wintrust on a bi-monthly basis to local non-profits. We are incredibly grateful to be chosen for the months of December and January. Wintrust shares our … Continued

Howard & Howard Continues 150th Anniversary Celebration with Donations to Merit School of Music and the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation

Royal Oak, Michigan-based Howard & Howard has donated to both the Merit School of Music and the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation (FHSR) as part of a year-long charitable campaign involving all the Firm’s offices and their respective communities. The gift was announced at a reception held at Howard & Howard’s Chicago location on … Continued

Jeremy Nohel Honored by Chicago as 2019 Rising Star

  Photo: Joe Mazza Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, First Lady Amy Eshleman, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have announced the 2019 Rising Star Honor Roll presented by Allstate Insurance Company, comprised of 35 outstanding young artists. Recognized for their creative leadership and exceptional artistic talents, the honorees were nominated directly … Continued

Duffie Adelson Featured in Crain’s Chicago Business

  Photo: Kyle Flubacker Get to know our long-time president, faculty member, board trustee, and lifelong music advocate Duffie Adelson in this Q&A with Crain’s Chicago Business. She touches on childhood, memorable Merit moments over the past 40 years, and why music is critical for young people. You can read the full article online here.

Merit School of Music Celebrated 40 Years at Its 2019 Gala

Honoring Merit Life Trustee and Former President Duffie A. Adelson, the music school raised over $1.2 million   Merit School of Music held their 40th Anniversary Gala on Wednesday, May 8 at the Four Seasons Chicago. Over 350 attendees were greeted by Merit’s spectacular, advanced Suzuki-Alegre Strings Ensemble, a diverse group of young violin players, who … Continued

Merit @ Wintercamp Music Festival

  Merit School of Music is thrilled to be the featured non-profit of Wintercamp Music Festival 2019. Wintercamp is an annual music festival held each winter in the legendary Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago. This year, the festival takes place February 15th – 16th. 10% of all ticket proceeds go back to Merit and our Conservatory … Continued

Newly-established Equity and Diversity Fellowship, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, Recipient of the Nation’s Largest and Most Ambitious “pathways” Mellon Foundation Grant to Date, Trumpets New Leader, Chicago Area Native & Education Veteran Adrienne Thompson

CMPI Steering Team – Merit School of Music, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music, and Ravinia Festival – seek to discover and nurture promising young musicians from traditionally underrepresented communities   Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative … Continued