Merit School of Music

Resources for Merit Students & Parents

Informational resources to support your Merit experience

How to Register


  1. Optional step: Apply for financial aid (Financial aid applications and pre-registration must be submitted before registering for any classes or lessons. Read more.)
  2. Browse our programs online
  3. Select your course
  4. Complete your registration
  5. Optional step: Rent an instrument

Private Lessons

  1. Optional step: Apply for financial aid (Financial aid applications and pre-registration must be submitted before registering for any classes or lessons. Read more.)
  2. Submit an inquiry form
  3. A program manager will contact you to match you with a teacher
  4. Confirm your enrollment
  5. Optional step: Rent an instrument

Returning students: Learn how to renew your private lesson package for the next semester.

Apply for Financial Aid

Now Accepting Financial Aid Applications for Summer 2024 & the 2024-25 Academic Year

We’re dedicated to providing access to music education through the award of financial aid to eligible families. Aid is based on a sliding scale of up to 75% of tuition.

While Merit desires to provide as much aid as possible, it is a limited resource and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note! In order to receive your financial aid package, you need to submit a financial aid form (below) and pre-register with Merit’s registration tool, SmartRec, before you register. Once processed, your financial aid will be automatically applied to your SmartRec account so you know exactly how much you will owe. Your aid cannot be applied retroactively.

Special thanks to The Negaunee Foundation and The Negaunee Fund for Educational Excellence and Access for supporting our financial aid program.

Fill out a financial aid form

More information

How is financial aid determined?
Financial aid is need-based, contingent upon household income and number of members in a household. Aid is based on a sliding scale up to 75% of tuition.

What income evidence is required?
Merit accepts any of the following documentary evidence of income:

  • Most recent tax return
  • W-2
  • Signed letter from employer certifying employee income
  • Proof of:
    • Unemployment
    • Social Security income
    • Medicaid
    • Disability benefits
    • Public assistance
    • Child support

If your family has been impacted by any extenuating circumstances not reflected in your evidence of income, please feel free to use the “Questions or comments?” section in the financial aid form to explain any financial changes that you may have experienced so that we can take that into account when putting together your aid package.

How often do I need to submit my financial aid documents?

In order for us to maintain a fair and equitable process, families must resubmit their financial aid documents annually.

Student Services will keep your documents on file for one full calendar year.

Due to limited resources, submitting your documents does not guarantee your child will receive financial aid. Many factors are taken into consideration.

When will my financial aid be applied?

Your financial aid will be applied once it’s reviewed and approved by our Student Services team and you’ve pre-registered with SmartRec. Our team will then pre-load your SmartRec account with your financial aid package. You must apply for financial aid before you register for classes or lessons.

*Note: Up-to-date financial aid documents must be submitted prior to registration. This is a necessary step to receiving your discount and allowing us to process it in time for it to be automatically applied to your invoice.

Are new students eligible to receive financial aid?

Both new and returning students can receive financial aid if their family’s tax return deems them eligible and if financial aid funds are still available.

As noted above, financial aid is a limited resource and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

What would prevent a student from receiving financial aid?

There are a variety of reasons why a student might not receive financial aid:

  • Household income exceeds the threshold to qualify for financial aid
  • All of Merit’s financial aid has been distributed and there are no more funds available

Are there scholarship opportunities available in addition to financial aid?
Private lesson students are eligible for need- and merit-based scholarships to further subsidize their music education. Students do not apply for scholarships; scholarships are granted based on faculty recommendations and input from the Scholarship Committee. Donors and organizations that fund scholarships also determine the criteria for eligibility.

Competition scholarships are awarded to Conservatory level students on an annual basis. Information about competition scholarships and their processes are shared with qualifying students during the year. Competition scholarships are awarded based on third-party adjudication.

If you’re interested in private lesson or competition scholarships, speak with your teacher to see if they might be the right fit for you.

String players in action during a performance

Rent an Instrument

Merit’s Glasser-Rosenthal Library hosts an inventory of more than 1,300 instruments as well as all accessories a young musician needs—strings, reeds, instrument cases, and more. From tuning and repairs on instruments, to sizing up as students grow from one size to another, we’re prepared to meet all the needs of our students.

All current Merit students are eligible to rent instruments, and are encouraged to stop by our library during open hours to explore our catalog of sheet music, books, and more.

Please note that rentals are subject to availability, so you’re encouraged to see the librarian about instrument needs soon after completing class registration.

Rental fee for Academic Year 2023–24: $50–$200 (sliding scale, based on financial aid)

Library open window hours
Tuesday–Thursday: 3:30–6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am–2:00pm

Library support is always available by appointment! Please email us at least 2 business days in advance to schedule your appointment. Contact us at

Fill out an instrument rental form

More information

Am I eligible to rent an instrument?

You are eligible to rent an instrument if you are currently registered for Merit programming. Applicable registrations include private lessons, group classes, ensembles, summer camps, and Conservatory.

What if I need a different sized instrument?

If your teacher decides it’s time for a different sized instrument, you can swap it at no cost. Simply stop by the library during open hours (listed above) or contact us at

What happens if my instrument breaks?

Merit understands that accidents happen, and we try to be as forgiving as possible. Repeat or extenuating offenses are subject to discussion and may be the responsibility of the family. To inquire about replacing a broken instrument, visit the library during open hours (listed above) or contact us at

What instrument supplies/accessories does Merit offer?

Merit offers a vast array of supplies and accessories related to the instrument you’re renting—from bows and instrument cases to rosin and mouthpieces. A limited number of supplies are included in your instrument rental, and anything over that amount is available for purchase.

Can I use a Merit instrument outside of Merit?

Merit instruments must be used in Merit classes and lessons, Merit Music in Communities sites, performances, or at home practice. They are not intended for use in non-Merit programming.

Does the rental fee qualify for financial aid?

Yes, the instrument rental fee is eligible for financial aid. Click here to apply for financial aid if you haven’t already. 

Report an Absence

Need to Miss a Class or Lesson?

Let your teacher and Merit administration know ahead of time by filling out the absence form for your program below.

View Merit’s attendance policies by program →

Click on the appropriate dropdown below to report an absence.

Early Childhood

Please email Ms. Frances as far in advance as possible to let her know the date of your absence and to schedule a make-up class.

Group Classes (IVM)

Private Lessons

Contact your teacher directly.


Contact Us

Merit’s Student Services team is here to support students and parents throughout every step of their music education journey.

(swipe for more)

Student Services Office Hours

Tuesday–Thursday: 3:30–6:30pm

Student Services Support Is Always Available by Appointment!

To make an appointment, please contact us at

Start Making Music with Merit

Close this search box.