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Merit School of Music

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Homeless & Housing


Joy Faith Knapp Music Center38 South Peoria StreetChicago, IL 60607 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Merit School of Music provides high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. Its primary goals are to help young people achieve their full musical potential, to remove economic barriers to participation, and to stimulate personal and educational growth through music.


Founded in 1979, the Merit School of Music has provided thousands of Chicago youth with high quality music education and helped them gain entrance to college. Over 97% of Merit's Tuition-Free Conservatory graduates enroll in college, many with full scholarships. As budget restrictions have forced cutbacks in public school art programs, Merit has and continues to offer one of the country's largest music education partnerships with the Chicago Public Schools, reaching more than 4,000 children each week.


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