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Whether you’ve played piano for years or are just getting started, Merit’s celebrated faculty is 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. 

Each year, Merit Piano students of all ages come together to perform in concerts at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and at venues throughout Chicago. Past performances include concerts at Symphony Center, Grant Park Music Festival, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the Barnett & Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions. Some of our students have even performed at Carnegie Hall! 

Browse fall piano classes

Learn piano with Merit this school year! Piano gives aspiring student musicians a creative outlet and is a fun way to learn to read music and build strong practice habits. Your student will begin playing in an in-person class of five to six students with ample opportunity for group learning and individual support. Students will practice reading music, defining basic vocabulary terms, and performing a variety of pieces.

Students will learn the following skills:

  • Recognizing parts of the musical staff
  • Reading rhythms and notes in treble and bass clefs
  • Maintaining proper posture and hand position


Deepen your technique and love for the piano! Students will be challenged with more complex repertoire and musical concepts, develop their musicianship and instrumental technique, and build knowledge and discipline on their way to becoming a poised musician.

Students will learn the following skills:

  • Playing major and minor key signatures and associated scales and arpeggios
  • Mastering complex rhythms
  • Developing sight-reading skills
  • Using pedals



Programs for musicians of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

In-person & virtual options available

Hone your technique and skill alongside other driven young musicians. Beginners welcome!

Private Lessons

In-person & virtual options available

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

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

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

Summer Camps & Workshops

Make friends, memories, and music all summer long with Merit’s line-up of in-person & online camps & classes.

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

Past performances include concerts at Symphony Center, Grant Park Music Festival, and the Economic Club of Chicago. Some of our students have even performed at Carnegie Hall! Even when we can’t make music together in person, the Merit community finds new life online through virtual group classes, Zoom concerts, and socially-distanced private lessons.

Chicago’s finest piano faculty

“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, 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

Piano Student

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 provides students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.