He was born in Aarau (Switzerland) and started as a self-taught person on the trumpet at the age of eleven. At the age of fifteen he won a prize at the Swiss Youth Music Competition, a national contest for young Swiss performers. He entered the Monastery Grammar school in Einsiedeln and took trumpet lessons with Max Sommerhalder in Zurich.
After receiving a Teacherís Diploma in General Education at the Teachersí Training College in Zug, he became an active teacher for three years. He then began his studies in music under the guidance of Peter Knodt in Basel, where he completed his studies with a Bachelorís degree in Trumpet performance. He devoted his time intensively to analysing the Trumpet philosophy of the German trumpeter Malte Burba (University of Mainz, Germany).
At the same time he taught the trumpet at the Swiss music schools in Rheinfelden / Kaiseraugst and Windisch for five years. Following that he won a position in the Arizona State University trumpet studio, where he studied the trumpet under the direction of Regentsí Professor David R. Hickman. He graduated from Arizona State University (ASU) with a Masterís degree in trumpet performance.

While studying at ASU he received an outstanding Brass Jury Award for performing the Sonata in D by Carlo Tessarini. His preferences include the baroque repertoire and the piccolo trumpet.

He also did complementary studies for English language teaching at the College of Language in Aarau, where he obtained the diploma to be able to teach English to the higher grade classes in the Swiss schools.

Additionally, he attendend complementary trumpet lessons and Masterclasses given by the american trumpeters Jerome Callet (Staten Island, New York) and Robert Bahb Ciciletti (Stanhope, New Jersey).

Currently, Matthias Merki teaches music at the Gymnasium Unterstrass (Zurich) and at the music school in Baden.