In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities until further notice. Virtual options are now available for private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

To learn more about online offerings and supporting Merit during this time, please
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VIRTUAL Summer Camps & Classes

Learn something new this summer! 

Keep the music going all summer long! We’ve reworked our summer offerings to allow students to experience the best of Merit School of Music’s camps, classes, electives, and workshops. Online summer camps and classes are a great way to stay social, creative, and engaged with your instrument while staying safe and healthy at home.

Financial aid + COVID-19 relief discounts are available to qualifying families.

BROWSE VIRTUAL SUMMER PROGRAMMING

Registration is currently open through June 7

Virtual Percussion Camp

Is your child an aspiring drummer or percussionist? This virtual camp is designed to expose young musicians to the wide world of percussion, giving students the chance to develop their skills from the comfort of home.

Mentored by Merit’s esteemed faculty and featuring guest presenters from across the city and country, students will make tremendous strides as musicians through this virtual experience!

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Piano Camp

During this 5-week camp, pianists will develop their skills in music theory, ear training, transposition, and solo performance, and participate in weekly masterclasses with Merit’s excellent piano faculty. This camp is open to intermediate to advanced pianists with a minimum of 3 full years of instruction with a piano teacher. Conservatory pianists are welcome to enroll as well.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Solo String Workshop

Merit’s Virtual Solo String Workshop gives students the chance to hone their solo performance skills in an intensive, supportive environment. Intermediate to advanced violinists, violists, and cellists will spend the week learning advanced practice strategies, receiving technical pointers, and deepening their understanding of different musical styles, all while mastering the most challenging and exciting solo pieces in the string repertoire.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Trumpet Camp

Join Merit’s Virtual Trumpet Camp for a week of master classes, orchestral repertoire, big band and jazz studies, and presentations. Students will practice trumpet fundamentals, learn new practice techniques, and participate in master classes presented by faculty member Paul Lowry and special guest artists.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Clarinet Workshop

This virtual workshop gives students a chance to hone their clarinet skills in an intensive, supportive environment. We’ll cover fundamental clarinet techniques and practice methods, and students will receive individualized feedback from Merit’s esteemed faculty. They’ll also have the opportunity to meet other young clarinetists from across Chicago. Presented in a virtual format, this workshop will meet in conjunction with Merit’s Saxophone workshop.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Guitar Workshop

This four-day virtual workshop gives students the chance to hone their guitar skills in an intensive, musically diverse environment. We’ll explore various guitar techniques and musical styles (from classical and jazz works, to pop and classic rock tunes). Students will have the opportunity to meet other young guitarists from across Chicago, while working with special guest artists each day. Students will need to have their own instrument to participate.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Saxophone Workshop

This virtual workshop gives students the chance to hone their saxophone skills in an intensive, supportive environment. We’ll cover fundamental saxophone techniques and practice methods, and students will receive individualized feedback from Merit’s esteemed faculty. They’ll also have the opportunity to meet other young saxophonists from across Chicago. Presented in a virtual format, this workshop will meet in conjunction with Merit’s Clarinet Workshop.

Click here to learn more and register!

Explore your interests and passions with Merit’s Virtual Summer Electives! With options ranging from conducting to ukulele to sound engineering and everything in between, you are bound to find a class (or two!) that will interest and excite you!

Intro to Sound Engineering

Learn the basics of sound engineering and production. During this elective, you’ll create and manipulate both audio and MIDI data, learn how to best record your own music, and practice basic principles of effects processing.

Click here to learn more and register!

Special Topics in Music Theory

Prepare for the AP Music Theory exam and deepen your knowledge of how music functions. Prior to enrolling, Merit Conservatory students should have already completed Theory Level 3. If you’re not already a student in Merit’s Conservatory, you’ll need to take a placement exam prior to enrolling.

Click here to learn more and register!

Intro to Music Literature

Have you ever wondered why certain pieces of music are described as masterpieces? In this elective, you’ll deepen your knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of classical music and develop listening skills that will help you hear your favorite pieces in a new way.

Click here to learn more and register!

Middle Eastern/North African Drumming

Try something new this summer! In this elective, you’ll build your own percussion instrument and use it to explore the musical genres and cultures of Africa and the Middle East.

Click here to learn more and register!

Songwriting Junior

Learn the basics of electronic songwriting! In this elective, you’ll use online songwriting software to write your own new compositions! Songwriting Junior is best for middle school students.

Click here to learn more and register!

Songwriting Senior

Learn the basics of electronic songwriting! In this elective, you’ll use online songwriting software to write your own new compositions! Songwriting Senior is best for high school students.

Click here to learn more and register!

Composer's Toolkit

Ready to get creative? This summer, explore the fundamentals of music composition by analyzing great works and writing your own! Please note, to take this elective you should already have some background in music theory and at least 3 years of experience playing your instrument.

Click here to learn more and register!

Intro to Guitar

Want to learn a second instrument?  Learn the basics of guitar, including simple chords and how to put them together to play your favorite songs or write your own. This class is geared towards current music students interested in trying out the guitar as a second instrument. If you don’t have experience on another instrument, check out our Virtual Beginning Guitar Classes.

Click here to learn more and register!

Leadership in Music

Have you ever wanted to lead an ensemble, start a band, or help run an orchestra? This summer, learn what it takes to be an effective leader in music and beyond. 

Click here to learn more and register!

Intro to Ukulele

Explore the sounds of paradise! In this elective, you’ll learn the basics of the ukulele and master a diverse range of songs and genres. All levels of experience are welcome! 

Click here to learn more and register!

Multicultural Music Explorations

Go beyond the Western canon to explore and perform music from all over the world. In addition to studying the traditions, instruments, and musical practices of other cultures, you’ll learn how to perform the scales and melodies from a range of musical traditions.

Click here to learn more and register!

Fundamentals of Music (Music Theory Junior)

Play with the building blocks of music! In this elective, you’ll play games and try your hand at a series of engaging projects to learn basic rhythmic skills, musical terms, note reading, scales, and much more.

Click here to learn more and register!

Orchestral Exploration

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about symphony orchestras, this is the elective for you. This summer, explore the history, instrumentation, and repertoire of orchestral music.

Click here to learn more and register!

Drumline

Join Merit’s first-ever VIRTUAL summer drumline! In this elective, you’ll learn to perform cadences and classic drumline moves online with your classmates. Some experience with percussion instruments is recommended, but not required! 

Click here to learn more and register!

Intro to Conducting

Have you ever wondered how a conductor experiences music? They make no sound, but are the artistic leaders of orchestras and bands. This summer, learn the basic techniques of score reading, practice conducting patterns, and watch some of the world’s greatest conductors in rehearsal.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Beginning Group Guitar

Learn to play guitar at Merit this summer! Guitar 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 strumming in a twice-weekly small group class of five to eight students with ample opportunity for group learning and individual support.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Beginning Group Piano

Learn piano with Merit this summer! 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 a twice-weekly small group 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.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Continuing Band | Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, and Percussion

Do you have a young band student with one to three years of experience? Help them to continue honing their skills through our virtual group classes this summer! These fun, twice-weekly classes are designed to help young musicians maintain, grow, and polish their skills over the summer. Summer group classes will focus on instrument-specific technique building in a fun and engaging virtual environment.

Instrument options include:

  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Percussion

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Continuing Group Guitar

Keep strumming all summer long! Your student will continue building their skills and love for the guitar after the school year ends with this summer program focused on advancing technique, musical skills, and knowledge of the instrument. These intermediate-level classes are best for students who have studied guitar for a minimum of one year (at Merit or elsewhere) and are available to students by teacher recommendation or a placement audition.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Continuing Group Piano

Deepen your technique and love for the piano after the school year ends! Students in this summer program 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.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Continuing Suzuki-Alegre Strings

Students in these intermediate-level Suzuki-Alegre Strings classes will be challenged with a more complex repertoire and musical concepts, learn musicianship and instrumental technique, and build knowledge and discipline on their way to becoming a poised musician. 

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Continuing Traditional Strings

Students in this intermediate-level program will be challenged with a more complex repertoire and musical concepts, learn musicianship and instrumental technique, and build knowledge and discipline on their way to becoming a poised musician.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Summer Singers - Intro to Music Making

Summer Singers – Into to Music Making at Merit is the perfect way to get your young aspiring musician started this summer!

Join other singers each week for fun activities that will get your student excited about making new friends, sharing their voice, and building a strong musical foundation. Students will be placed in a class of no more than 4, allowing for individual attention alongside group work.

Click here to learn more and register!

Virtual Summer Singers - Raise Your Voice!

Do you have a student who loves to sing? Are you looking for ways to keep them engaged in music and using their voice this summer? Summer Singers – Raise Your Voice at Merit is the perfect summer activity to keep the music going!

Students will meet twice a week in groups of 4 – 6 working on the fundamentals of vocal technique, breath control, posture, and so much more. Classes are designed to be fun and challenging, giving your student plenty to keep them busy this summer.

Click here to learn more and register!

NEW TO MERIT?

These featured camps are a great place to start.

Flexible options for all families:

Instruments offered:

  • Band
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Strings
  • Voice

Questions? Browse our FAQs or email studentservices@meritmusic.org to learn more about Merit’s summer programs.