How We’re Making Music This Fall

This post was updated on Wednesday, September 9 to reflect that all private lessons will continue to be held online during the fall of 2020.

Fall registration opens August 3rd, and we’re excited to welcome Merit families back for another year of music making! In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Merit School of Music will continue to host our fall programming online. As we saw in our recent Virtual Showcase concert, Merit students are accomplishing remarkable things in their online lessons and classes. The music doesn’t have to stop just because we’re all staying safe at home!

Here are some important programming changes that Merit families should take note of ahead of fall registration:

Instrumental & Vocal Music (Group Classes) and Early Childhood

Please note that this year’s Instrumental & Vocal Music and Early Childhood programming will be broken into two semesters. Your registration in August will reserve your student’s spot in class from September – January, and you should plan to complete a second registration in January for classes set to meet February – May. Our first semester – starting on September 28th and ending on February 1st – will be held entirely online. We will not be running large ensemble practice during this period of online learning. 

Registration for all Merit Instrumental & Vocal Music classes opens on August 3rd. Click below to explore some of the classes we’re offering this fall:

In addition to their virtual group classes, students will also have the opportunity to sign up for new, low-cost electives. These electives will cover an array of musical interests and give students the chance to try their hand at a new instrument or way of thinking about music.

Private Lessons

For the safety of our staff and community, all private lessons will continue to be held online during the fall of 2020. Over the coming months, Merit School of Music staff will continue to review recommendations from the CDC and state officials to determine if and when private lessons can resume in-person at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center. In the meantime, if you’d like to sign up for private lessons with a Merit faculty member, please click here to fill out an inquiry form

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

We can’t wait for Conservatory to get started! This year, all Conservatory programming will be virtual from September to at least the end of January. We hope to resume in-person Conservatory programming in February, but will look to pandemic experts, local authorities, and Merit leadership to determine if it is safe to do so at that time. We will communicate our decision with Merit families in December. 

This fall, Conservatory students will continue to participate in large ensembles, music theory, small group classes, and Live from Gottlieb Hall – all from the comfort of home. Our faculty will use Zoom and other virtual platforms to facilitate group and one-on-one teaching, and we believe you’ll find that young musicians will achieve significant growth during this time of socially-distant learning. Along with a few of our regular Conservatory-specific elective classes which are included in our tuition-free experience, students will also have the opportunity to register for new, low-cost online electives covering an array of topics including music history, advanced theory (AP level), and ukulele. 

We’re so proud of the many ways our students and faculty have kept the music going throughout the pandemic. We miss you all, and can’t wait to see you (online!) this fall.

Questions? Please email if you have any questions or concerns about Merit School of Music’s fall programming.