Merit School of Music

Piano Classes & Lessons

Whether you’ve played piano for years or are just getting started, Merit’s celebrated faculty are here to help you unlock your full musical potential.

Our students have used their time at Merit to prepare for acceptance to some of the country’s best music conservatories, received international recognition for their talent, pursued careers as teaching artists and performers, and gained the confidence to chase their dreams in music and beyond.

A group class wearing headphones as they practice piano

Programs for Musicians of All Levels

Hone your skills and technique, build confidence, and forge life-long friendships in group classes. Beginners welcome!

Work one-on-one with skilled and supportive faculty to explore your individual talents and musical interests.

Join the best of Merit’s talented student musicians by auditioning for Merit’s prestigious tuition-free Conservatory.

Make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s line-up of camps, classes, workshops, and ensembles.

Watch Merit Piano Students in Action

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

Past performances include concerts at Symphony Center, Grant Park Music Festival, and the Economic Club of Chicago. Some of our piano students have even performed at Carnegie Hall!

Chicago's Best Piano Teachers

“Regardless of a piano student’s goals in music, a thorough grounding in the basics provides a strong musical foundation for any path. More than just the rudiments of scales, rhythm, and harmony we try to teach our piano students the benefits of diligence, practice, and persistence. Plus, scientific studies have proven that a music education has many indirect and intangible benefits and rewards, regardless of a student’s chosen future pathway in life.”

Dr. Elena Doubovitskaya
Piano Department Chair

Meet Our Faculty

Our celebrated teaching artists hail from across the globe and have degrees from some of the world’s most prestigious conservatories and universities. Beyond their teaching at Merit, our Piano faculty have extensive solo and collaborative piano careers working extensively throughout the city of Chicago and internationally. Committed to helping Merit students succeed in music and in life, our Piano faculty provide students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.

Piano FAQs

What age can my child start learning piano?

Your child can begin piano starting at age 6. Learn why.


Even if your young music-lover isn’t old enough for piano, there are plenty of classes we recommend that will help prepare them for instrument study:

  • Music Masters 1 (Ages 3-5) – This class teaches children the components of timbre, rhythm, pitch, beat, and style. Your child will explore the building blocks of music, experiment with percussion instruments, and play and sing along to music from world cultures.
  • Music Masters 2 (Ages 5-7) – This class prepares young music-lovers for instrument study. Your child will learn the basics of music theory, note reading, and music composition through playing the glockenspiel and exploring musical games and stories. Children ages 5 to 7 explore the instrument families, learn to read music notation, compose, sing with Curwen hand signs, and complete short weekly homework assignments to reinforce learning.

Browse Classes & Lessons →

How do I know what level of piano to sign up for?

New to Merit? Use our handy piano placement quiz or feel free to reach out to Merit’s Piano Program Manager, Sarah Forbes, at if you need help! Returning Merit piano students should reference their teacher recommendation when selecting a Continuing Piano class.

Do I need a piano to start classes or lessons?

Every student will need their own keyboard or piano for practicing at home before the first day of class. Learn more about your instrument rental options

What is the attendance policy for classes and lessons?

Students are expected to be present and on time for all classes and lessons. We are unable to provide refunds, credits, or make-ups for any lessons missed by students.

Read more about Merit’s attendance policies.

Still have questions? Visit our FAQs page or contact us at

Additional Resources

Financial aid is available for qualifying students. Learn more about how to apply.

We’re here to help! Find answers to your questions. Click here.

Three easy steps. All ages, instruments, and skill levels are welcome. Get started today!

Start Making Music with Merit!

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