Concordia University Chicago offers a non-degree programs to assist current and prospective teachers of piano.

Undergraduate and graduate students at Concordia may earn the certificates in Parish Music and Piano Pedagogy while concurrently pursuing a music degree.


Certificate in Piano Pedagogy

Specifically designed for future piano teachers, undergraduate and graduate students may earn the Certificate in Piano Pedagogy while concurrently pursuing a music degree. The program is available equally to independent teachers who are seeking opportunities in a non-degree program to expand and update their teaching and performance skills.

Concordia-Chicago Certificate in Piano Pedagogy Overview

The philosophy of instruction in Concordia’s Preparatory and Community Piano Program is that there is music in every child, and that all children can, through music, become more confident, creative, and happier human beings. The pedagogy program seeks to mirror that philosophy and to explore the best of traditional methods of teaching as well as the latest thinking and techniques in music education.  Teaching methods follow a child development model.

Pedagogy courses focus on teaching the beginning and intermediate student. Practicum courses allow pedagogy students the opportunity of supervised teaching in Concordia’s Preparatory and Community Piano Program.

Applied piano will cover a broad range of piano literature, including pre-college teaching repertoire. These practical experiences, along with the other academic coursework, represent the spirit of the certificate program: to develop competent, successful piano teachers who in turn will enrich the lives of others with a love of music through quality performance and teaching.

Piano Pedagogy Course Information

Foundational Courses Required Before Applying for the Certificate:

MUS-2113 Music Theory I: Diatonic           3 hours

MUS-2112 Aural Skills I                            2 hours                                  

MUS-2203 Survey of Western Music          3 hours

Similar courses from other institutions may be accepted for the prerequisites.  However, diagnostic exams will be given to determine the level of competency if that level is not apparent from the course description.

For details about required courses and course descriptions, please visit our online catalog.

Piano Pedagogy Certificate Opportunities

Our close proximity to Chicago, a world-class center for music, can enrich your educational experience through concerts, workshops and other cultural events. Parishes throughout the metro area offer diverse opportunities to participate in church music. Students also have a unique opportunity for a field experience semester with the manager of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

CUC is highly active in the church music community, offering an annual Lectures in Church Music conference, which attracts church musicians from across the country. Seen as a resource by area churches, our students are often sought for regular and substitute church music positions, and three of our full-time faculty remain active as church musicians in local Lutheran congregations. Senior-level students have access to some graduate/undergraduate courses in our highly regarded Master of Church Music program.

Concordia-Chicago is part of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. You can learn more about the organization on their website: ALCM.

Director of Parish Music

The Director of Parish Music (DPM) Program is for students who want to participate in ministry in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) by sharing their musical gifts and becoming an integral member of a congregation.

Concordia-Chicago Director of Parish Music Overview

The DPM program at Concordia is a special certificate program within the liberal arts music major with additional coursework in church music. As a Director of Parish Music (DPM), you will play the organ and piano, direct a variety of choirs and instrumental groups, and help plan worship services with the pastor. Often, DPMs also become involved in other programs of the congregation that relate to music. Our program prepares you for all of these responsibilities.

CUC’s emphasis on performance in applied lessons and ensembles keeps you active at your craft, and a vibrant worship life in chapel provides numerous opportunities for musical participation—including involvement with Résonanz, our acclaimed contemporary chapel group.

Director of Parish Music Course Information

The music courses include academic courses, applied study and ensemble participation. Academic courses encompass the core areas of music theory and aural skills, music history and literature, and conducting. All music majors study a primary instrument or voice, and many study a second instrument. Applied study is available in every instrument, as well as voice. Students in the Director of Parish Music program study organ, piano or voice. In addition, students take specialized courses in the foundations and practice of church music.

Upon completion of coursework, you will receive a Certificate in Parish Music. This certificate is only available with the music major; you cannot take the certificate apart from the major. You also have the option to roster as a commissioned minister in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by taking a series of theology courses.

For details about required courses and course descriptions, please visit our online catalog.

Director of Parish Music Opportunities

Our close proximity to Chicago, a world-class center for music, can enrich your educational experience through concerts, workshops and other cultural events. Parishes throughout the metro area offer diverse opportunities to participate in church music. Students also have a unique opportunity for a field experience semester with the manager of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

CUC is highly active in the church music community, offering an annual Lectures in Church Music conference, which attracts church musicians from across the country. Seen as a resource by area churches, our students are often sought for regular and substitute church music positions, and three of our full-time faculty remain active as church musicians in local Lutheran congregations. Senior-level students have access to some graduate/undergraduate courses in our highly regarded Master of Church Music program.

Concordia-Chicago is part of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. You can learn more about the organization on their website: ALCM.