From leaders of the United States to Grammy-winning pop stars and even the first person to land on the moon, this list offers a snapshot of successful people who studied classical music. Some might surprise you!
High-quality instruments, expanded classes, exciting performance opportunities, and more—read about the impact the Klepak Foundation’s partnership has helped us make in our Merit Music in Communities (MMiC) program.
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Music Director, Maestro Enrique Mazzola, spent weeks with Conservatory students preparing them for Winter Concerts and leading an unforgettable open rehearsal with the Merit Philharmonic and Conservatory choirs.
You might have noticed that playing an instrument or singing makes you feel good, but have you ever wondered why? Research shows that creating music is directly connected to natural healing processes in both body and mind.
Play On 2022 was a resounding success! The benefit concert held at City Winery in November featured performances by Merit’s own Honors Jazz Combo and alums Peter CottonTale, Julius Tucker, Nico Segal, and Jack Red.
Merit guitarist Eddy Liberzon is on a roll. Seventh-grade Conservatory student had four performances at three different venues over the course of five days! And Eddy is just one of the many Merit students who are back to performing all around town this year.
Studying music helps prepare you for a successful career—whatever that career may be. Whether you pursue finance, medicine, or education, read about how those who learn to play an instrument or to sing are prepared to excel.
Merit’s school year kicked off on September 24! Read a letter from our Dean & Vice President for Educational Affairs, Kurtis Gildow, welcoming back families and sharing a few high notes to look forward to this year.
Summer 2022 has been a blast! What a pleasure to welcome talented, passionate, and energetic youth musicians into our building for a summer filled with music camps, classes, workshops, and ensembles.
Is my toddler too young to start music classes? Is my teenager too old to take piano lessons? Children can start on violin at age four, but did you know that they need to wait until age 9 for trombone? How can parents learn what to do?
Merit Philharmonic’s collaboration with Music of the Baroque was captured in a short documentary, released as part of Music of the Baroque’s MOB in the Community initiative. Learn more about this amazing experience and the impact of this incredible partnership!
The Alice S. Pfaezler Conservatory graduation ceremony took place in Merit‘s Gottlieb Hall on April 24. Of the 52 graduating seniors, 100% were accepted to college and 24% are the first in their family to go to college. Read more about the graduation celebration and Class of 2022 statistics.
Merit’s Gala, taking place on May 18 at the Four Seasons, is the first opportunity for many of our students to perform live in our community since 2019! Meet a few of this year’s student performers, including Alegre Strings, Honors Jazz Combo, and more. Hear about how excited they are to dazzle the audience!
During her time at Merit, Conservatory Voice Alum Gwen Maramba found her calling in composing and is now Hearing in Color’s Young Composer in Residence. Her debut piece, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”, was premiered this past March. Read more about Gwen and watch her piece’s premiere!
Merit School of Music’s Conservatory students sat down with talented industry professionals at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center for life-changing and inspiring workshops.
Merit Music in Communities cello student, Xavier, discovered an opportunity for new and creative learning during the pandemic. Read the full story about his remote learning experience.
Merit Conservatory alum and current Juilliard freshman, Joshua Mhoon, performed pieces by Isaac Albéniz and Nikolai Kapustin at Carnegie Hall in New York City with a special surprise appearance by world-renowned pianist, Lang Lang. Check out the full story!
Merit’s inspiring Leadership Institute, a free mentorship program supporting Conservatory high school juniors and seniors’ college prep, hosted a panel to chat with students about how music study influenced their careers and gave them valuable life tips.
Emerging Artists Chicago, a thriving hub for the musical community, established a new scholarship for Merit students amidst the pandemic. Mio Nakamura, Co-Founder, discusses her vision and what human connection through music means to her.
Merit students had the opportunity to work with composer and conductor Kevin Day at our Conservatory Winter Concert series. Read about how this unique musical experience impacted the young musicians of Wind Symphony.
The start of a new year is a great time to kick old habits to the curb and create better practice routines and goals. Explore these 16 practice do’s and don’ts from a few of Merit School of Music’s celebrated teaching artists.
Check out the amazing story of this dynamic Mother-Daughter Duo, Merit alum Dr. Jennifer Turner and her mother, Dr. Audrey M. Turner, and the scholarship Jennifer created to support young musicians.
Merit’s Proviso Mathematics & Science Academy (PMSA) band and Chicago Freedom Ensemble’s collaborate for an event fostering creativity and community. Watch excerpts of the performance!
Travel across the globe with Merit’s Conservatory musicians and Ballet Chicago’s talented young dancers in our 3rd annual collaboration.
Take a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of Merit Conservatory student Luke Magee studying piano & percussion.
Merit students visited neighborhoods from Pilsen to Lincoln Park, filling the city with music through a series of Summer Pop-up Events.
Not sure how to choose an instrument for your child? We’ve made it easy by breaking down the 5 principles to consider.
Donors like Tom and Janet Leopold help young musicians by believing in Merit’s core mission.
After 16 months of making music and creating community virtually, we are beyond excited to kick off summer camps & classes by reopening our doors in July.
When Tony was in first grade, he was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Soon after, Tony’s mother enrolled him in music lessons at Merit.
Enjoy some of our favorite socially-distanced student performances that you can watch from the safety and comfort of home.
Merit School of Music and Chicago Sinfonietta put together a free resource to help you develop your musical skills and artistic practice during a pandemic.
“We as adults have to do whatever it takes to make sure that access to what’s essential is never taken away.” – Principal Kiltae Fernando Kim, Gunsaulus Elementary
Not long into the pandemic, Merit realized students were struggling to keep their instruments in tune. Our team quickly found a creative solution.
Curious what it’s like to learn music online? Pop into a few virtual classrooms to meet some of Merit’s amazing faculty and experience it for yourself.
Merit School of Music stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and join those who are speaking out against racism and hate.
Make the most of social isolation by using music to connect with friends, neighbors, family, and the Merit community.
Learn how Joshua Mhoon, a 16-year-old Merit student, was recognized by the Lang Lang Foundation as one of the most promising young pianists in the world.
“Music lessons are the last thing you want to give up, but sometimes they’re the first thing that has to go. Merit made sure that my family didn’t have to make that decision.”
While preparing for the next chapter in her life as a musician and student, Carly reflected on the community that helped her become the person she is today.
In 2019, two Merit students joined the National Youth Orchestra. Learn how NYO gave them the opportunity to travel the world while doing what they loved.
Merit’s Conservatory Wind Symphony was invited by the University of Illinois to take a special tour of the school and perform alongside the illustrious Illinois Wind Symphony.
Friend of Merit Diana Leifer supported music education with a particularly meaningful gift. Hear the story of why Diana sold her mother’s piano to support young Chicago musicians.