Whether you’re a singer-songwriter, musical theater buff, or coloratura soprano in training, Merit’s celebrated faculty will help you find your voice. 

For over 40 years, Merit students have gained the confidence to chase their dreams in music and beyond. Our singers have auditioned into All-State Choir, sung with the Lyric Opera Children’s Choir, gone on to attend some of the country’s best music conservatories, and pursued careers as teaching artists and performers. 

Each year, Merit singers of all ages come together to perform in vocal concerts at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and at venues throughout the city. Past performances include concerts at the Symphony Center, Civic Opera House, Time Out Market Chicago, The Field Museum, and the Skydeck at Willis Tower.

Programs for singers of all levels

Group Classes & Ensembles

In-person & virtual options available

Hone your technique and skill alongside other driven young singers in group classes and choir ensembles. Classes are open to singers ages 7 and up. 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. Lessons are open to singers ages 12 and up.

Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory

In-person & virtual options available

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

Summer Camps & Workshops

In-person & virtual options available

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

Each year, Merit Band 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, Millennium Park, The University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Illinois Music Education Conference. 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.

Download our Summer Course Catalog! →

Chicago’s finest Voice faculty

“It is my duty to push these students hard toward excellence by making them aware of how talented they are and what a responsibility that is. I give my students — from all walks of life, rich or poor — a reality check, sugar-coating nothing. And if I think they have what it takes to go far, I back up my encouragement by doing my best to infuse them with fearlessness and brazenness that is necessary to pursue a solo performance career. And their efforts are reaping fruit.”

– Jade Maze
Voice Department Chair and Voice Faculty Member


Our celebrated teaching artists are working jazz, classical, and pop musicians who have toured nationally, led ensembles, and supported students in achieving ambitious goals. Committed to helping Merit students succeed in music and in life, our Voice faculty provides students with the immersive training, feedback, and mentorship they need to learn and grow.