Conservatory Band Students & Parents,
As you may be aware, Merit was originally established 40 years ago when Chicago Public Schools cut music and art programs dramatically from their curriculum. Since that time, music programs have been reestablished in some Chicago Public Schools and have continued to grow in neighboring school districts. Regardless of the school district you attend, the success of Merit’s Conservatory is dependent on the support of your music programs and music teachers. Our primary objective is to provide you with the highest quality musical training so that you return to your school music programs and enrich them with the skills you have learned here.
Over the last year, I have received word from a few band directors that Merit students are opting out of their school music program and electing to use Merit as their sole source of music education. I want to be clear that Merit does not condone or support this action. Merit students should participate in their home music program to the best of their ability whenever possible. We have established good relationships with many music teachers in the area and have the ability to mitigate conflicts as they arise. That said, we will not be able to continue fostering these relationships if students elect to drop their home music programs for Merit. If you have notified your school music program that you are planning to withdraw in lieu of Merit’s Conservatory program in the 2019-20 school year, I urge you to reconsider that decision and participate in both.
Thank you for your help in ensuring that we maintain strong partnerships with music programs across the city, suburbs and surrounding areas.
Merit School of Music
Band Program Director
Joy Faith Knapp Music Center
38 South Peoria Street
Chicago, IL 60607