The Merit School of Music in Chicago has selected us to help with a Wallace Foundation-funded research project examining arts education decisions.
We will be conducting qualitative in-depth interviews to help the Merit team understand how the school and its programs are perceived by “influencers” in the Chicago education and arts communities. These influencers are school teachers and counselors, musicians, bloggers, and others whose opinions parents may seek when deciding whether to send their children to music lessons or classes.
“Merit has been on our minds since we gathered around a TV last year to watch one of its graduates, Anthony McGill, play in a quartet at Barack Obama’s inauguration,” says managing partner Cheryl Slover-Linett. “I’m proud that we’ll be helping the school, because its mission could hardly be more important to Chicago and to the future of music.”
The new research will be a follow-up to evaluations that Merit has already conducted in conjunction with its multi-year Wallace Foundation “Excellence Awards” grant, which focuses on increasing participation among disadvantaged K-12 students in the Chicago area.
Merit becomes the fifteenth Wallace Foundation grantee to select Slover Linett as a research and evaluation partner. We are also working with Excellence Award recipients in Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia, as well as several other Chicago organizations. These include museums, performing and media arts groups, and community schools of the arts.
Slover Linett’s work with Merit will be directed by Bill Hayward, who leads the firm’s education practice.
The Merit School of Music, founded in 1979, provides high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. Merit offers a continuum of comprehensive in-school, after-school and weekend programs for students from newborn to 18 years and from novices to advanced performers. Musical immersion sets Merit apart – students rarely come to Merit to take only one lesson or class but take a rich curriculum of classes including music theory, private or small group instruction, large ensemble and performance assemblies.
Category: Performing arts