Why Choose Merit?

Music Classes & Lessons at Merit

For more than 40 years, Merit School of Music has been engaging Chicagoland youth through equal access to deep, meaningful, and high-quality music education.

From Merit’s group classes and private lessons with some of Chicago’s finest instructors, to our Early Childhood classes for babies and toddlers, and our tuition-free Conservatory program, students of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels have the opportunity to learn and grow through music.

Wondering if Merit is the right fit for you or your child? 🤔

↓ Here’s why thousands of music-lovers choose us:

merit choir camp students


There are many different reasons why parents, kids, and teens pick Merit School of Music for music instruction. Here are just a few of them.

Options for all ages, instruments, & levels

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced musician, Merit’s music classes and lessons will help you discover your full musical potential. Our programming options include group classes and ensembles, private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and summer camps.

The best music teachers in Chicagoland

Merit’s passionate and highly experienced teaching artists are some of the best in the region. They foster a safe, developmentally rich, and fun environment for students to learn and enjoy music. Read what both parents and students have to say about their teachers at Merit.

A diverse & welcoming community

Did you know Merit has students that come from over 135 zip codes throughout Chicagoland? Students of all ages and backgrounds are here to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their world views. Read more about our community here.

Support at every age & stage

Merit’s distinct music education pathway allows your child to continue to learn and grow through music as their interest and skills expand. Small class sizes and individual support from teachers create a personalized music education experience, ensuring the right mix of rigor and fun for each student.

Our high-quality curriculum is built for musical & personal growth

Our age-appropriate and sequential curriculum covers three main areas of instruction: musical knowledge, instrumental skills, and personal & social-emotional growth. Merit teachers are hired and trained to be able to bring our school philosophy of “providing an inspirational, motivational, deep, and meaningful experience for all students” to life.

40+ years of excellence

As a nationally accredited music school helping students reach their full musical and personal potential since 1979, you know that you’re in good hands. Learn more about our history here.


“My favorite part about attending Merit was the progress I could see in myself. Every week I was learning new pieces and techniques to better myself as a musician and as a human being and I could really see the change.”

– Emma, Merit alum


“My favorite day of the week is when I come to Merit and create, refine, and enjoy music with my teachers and peers. My day at Merit elevates me.”

– Rafi, Merit student


“The Merit team is responsive, communicative, supportive, encouraging, and understanding. These are the kinds of mentors I want raising my children!”

– Mary, Merit parent

merit summer camp student



students trained


esteemed teaching artists


of Conservatory graduates attend college


Interested in music classes or lessons, but not sure where to start? Fill out the form below.👇


We’re nationally accredited with 125 passionate and highly experienced faculty members. Merit achieves excellence through these expert teachers who create a deep, inspiring, and motivating learning experience for a diverse student body. Merit’s teachers come from top conservatories and universities and go through meticulous background and reference checks.

We’ve created a distinctive music education pathway, which students can join at any stage:

Merit offers programming for:

  • Band
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Strings & orchestra
  • Voice & choir

Band instruments include bassoon, clarinet, euphonium, flute, french horn, oboe, percussion, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and tuba. Strings instruments include bass, cello, viola, and violin. Vocal styles include classical, musical theater, pop, and jazz.

We provide financial support through payment plans, need-based tuition relief, and low-cost instrument rental and music supplies, so that motivated students can participate in our programs regardless of economic circumstances.

Merit students range from newborns through adults, though most of our students fall between the ages of 0 and 18. The skills and experience of students vary, and we welcome beginners through advanced musicians to join the Merit community. 

We engage a diverse student body that reflects the city of Chicago. Our students come from every background and every corner of Chicagoland. As we bring together students from 135+ zip codes through music, we are proud to foster a community that supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging.

View up-to-date statistics on Merit’s student body in our latest annual report.

Music classes give kids and teens a creative outlet, and the opportunity to forge friendships with music-loving peers from across Chicagoland. This is just one of the many benefits of music education!

At Merit, students love being part of a community and making friendships. Watch this video of students sharing what Merit means to them.

Click here to register online. If you have a question or need assistance with registration, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We are here to help!

¿Necesitas ayuda? Contáctenos [email protected].

需要帮忙?请通过 [email protected] 联系我们.


Sign up to begin your musical journey at Merit!