We hope that you and your loved ones are continuing to stay healthy and safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

As we settle into our new Merit spring schedule of adjusted activities, we will begin reducing the frequency of these Family Newsletter updates. Weekly updates will continue through the end of April with bi-weekly updates starting in May.
The  Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory  is the culmination of Merit’s instructional continuum and represents the best of Chicago's talented youth musicians. This spring, we're excited to offer auditions by video submission for the 2020/2021 Conservatory. Audition videos are due by May 1st for piano and May 16th for all other instruments.   
All Merit students and families are invited to attend our online Gala on May 5. Join us at 7pm for a brief celebration of the Merit community and our honorees Richard W. Colburn of The Negaunee Foundation and the talented artists of the Civitas Ensemble. This free online event will feature performances by Merit students and a message of hope from our students and staff. All are welcome to tune in - no ticket needed!  
NEW! Virtual Musical Storytime!
Saturday, April 25 10am-10:30am

All Classes are Virtual!
Spring session classes are in session.
  • Our Early Childhood classes are continuing virtually at their normal class meeting times. Please contact your teacher or Sally Blandon (sblandon@meritmusic.org) for instructions on how to join your virtual class via Zoom if you have not already joined. 
  • BONUS! Sign up for your preferred Early Childhood class today and get unlimited access to ALL of Merit’s virtual classes until Merit is able to resume in-person programming.

Merit's Suggested Family List of @Home Instruments/Musical Resources  
  • Any musical toy instruments  
  • Towels 
  • Pots/Pans 
  • Wooden, plastic or metal utensils 
  • Balls 
  • Hula Hoops 
  • Drums (DIY resources available upon request) 
  • Shakers (DIY resources available upon request) 
  • Streamers (DIY resources available upon request) 
  • Bubbles (DIY resources available upon request) 

Spring/Summer Sessions EC Registration Open
  • Registration is still open for both Spring and Summer classes
  • Refer a friend and receive $20 off when they sign up for our spring session!
  • Reserve your spot early to secure your ideal class day/time/instructor
  • Receive 10% off when you register for both Summer and Spring Sessions
  • Click here to view class options and to register. 
Classes are Virtual!
Small group classes are now virtual! Please check your email for information regarding which virtual platform your class is using and log in instructions.  Information has been sent to the email address on file in your ASAP account.  If you have questions regarding virtual group classes, please reach out to:
Adjusted IVM Calendar
As a result of building closures in March, the IVM program calendar for the remainder of the academic year has been adjusted. 
  • March 30-May 16: Regular class days - virtual learning
  • May 18-May 23: Final week of IVM classes - virtual learning
NEW Student Council Meeting
Saturday, April 18 @ 12pm

Conservatory Auditions now via Video Submission
Auditions are switching to a virtual/video submission format. Please review changes in process by visiting Merit's website under the Conservatory page.
  • Conservatory entrance audition materials are available on Merit's website. Please check your audition requirements as some items have changed due to COVID-19
  • NEW! for 20/21 ALL STUDENTS must re-audition into the Conservatory.

In-Person Conservatory classes concluded, virtual experiences available
  • Due to the shelter-in-place extension, we have made the difficult decision to officially conclude Conservatory classes for the 2019/20 school year.
  • While in-person classes have been concluded, Merit’s Conservatory faculty are still finding ways to connect with students virtually! Please see below for a schedule of virtual check-ins available to students.

Symphonic Band Power Hour via Zoom -  ALL CONSERVATORY STUDENTS WELCOME!
Concert Band Zoom Meeting
Wind Symphony Zoom Meeting

Piano performance Class Zoom Meet-Up

Weekly Voices of Merit Check-In
Weekly Perfect Cadence Check-In

String Orchestra Zoom Meeting
Merit Philharmonic Zoom Meeting

Weekly Guitar Ensemble Check-In

Jazz Forum Zoom Meeting

Theory Classes and Final Exams:
For those students enrolled in Theory 1, 2, or 3, final exams will be sent out to be completed virtually on April 25 . In preparation for this test, final exam prep classes will be hosted virtually via Zoom every Saturday through April 18th.  Please join the session appropriate for your theory level. All classes are meeting Saturdays from 12-1pm.

Theory 1 Review

Theory 2 Review

Theory 3 Review

Leadership Institute: Personal Finance and Budgeting
Virtual by appointment
  • We encourage you to take advantage of this resource while stuck at home! Reach out to Meredith Richard at marichard@meritmusic.org if you would like to setup a virtual appointment.
All Classes Suspended
 Due to the state mandate and CPS closure, all programming has been suspended until further notice.

As Stringtacular attracts a crowd of close to 1,000 people, we unfortunately must cancel this year's performance due to mandates from the state .
Summer Camps, Classes and Private Lessons
The current COVID-19 situation makes planning for summer activity particularly difficult. Merit hopes to release more information regarding updated summer programming options by April 30th. Please stay tuned to your email for these updates.
Virtual Lessons
As you have heard, private lessons have moved to the virtual space until further notice . It's important to keep up with your lessons even if they're not in-person! Please contact your teacher regarding your lesson schedule and how to get set up with virtual lessons if you have not already done so.  

If you have issues setting up virtual lessons, please reach out to one of the following Merit staffers:

Recitals Postponed
Private Lesson Recitals have been postponed until further notice.
Student Services
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merit's physical Student Services office will be closed until further notice. Summer registration is still open and available online . If you have a question or need assistance with registration, we’re still here for you virtually! Please email us at studentservices@meritmusic.org with any questions or concerns.
We care deeply about the welfare of our Merit families, and we understand current events may have impacted your family financially. Any suspension notice or accompanying deadlines that you may have received should be considered postponed for the time being.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to  esalgado@meritmusic.org with any questions or concerns you may have.
Merit's physical library will be closed until further notice. We're still here for you virtually! Please email library@meritmusic.org with any questions or concerns.
Currently, the 2019-20 Academic Year instrument rental period is scheduled to expire on May 31. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, w e will reevaluate this deadline if necessary.

Planning on signing up for summer camps or classes? Email library@meritmusic.org to renew your instrument rental after you complete your summer enrollment.