Summer Camp: Popular Music for Piano!

August 7-11, 2017

Two Sessions Available

Morning: 9 a.m. - Noon
Afternoon: 1 - 4 p.m.

Concordia University Chicago's Preparatory & Community Piano Program hosts piano camps in the summer for students who are entering grades 6-12.

summer camp: popular music for piano

  • Learn current pop and rock hits! 
  • Write and record your own song! 
  • Play songs with other campers! 
  • Learn basic theory and techniques used in popular music!  

Lennon and McCartney, Billy Joel, Taylor Swift, Norah Jones, John Mayer – Have you always dreamed of adding your name to the list of great songwriters? If you already play piano then this camp is for you! 

Students will learn the basic techniques and skills used in composing music and writing popular songs as well as learning to play current radio hits. Students will also have the opportunity to record their original songs to take home at the end of the week.

All students must be able to play piano proficiently (including basic chords), with 3 years of previous study recommended. Registration is limited to the first ten students per session. This program is open to students entering grades 6-12.

Morning sessions are held from 9 a.m. - 12-noon and afternoon sessions are held from 1 p.m. - 4p.m. in Kretzmann Hall on the campus of Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, IL. Kretzmann Hall offers the use of a 10-keyboard piano lab, soundproof practice rooms, a computer lab and private piano studios equipped with both Steinway grand pianos and Yamaha upright pianos.


Summer Camp: Popular Music for Piano!

Registration is limited to the first 10 students per session. Download the enrollment form (PDF). Tuition must be received by July 28.


  • $275 if paid before July 1
  • $299 if paid before July 28

Tuition includes workbook and downloadable digital recording of the song you will write at camp. Camp tuition is payable to Concordia University Chicago.


If a student withdraws prior to the beginning of the session for which tuition has been paid, a full refund will be made; withdrawal after June 10 will result in no refund. Should a full class size fail to materialize, the session will be canceled and a full refund will be made.

Missed Class

No refunds will be given for any missed classes.

Sample Day (Morning Session)

Time Activity
9-9:30 a.m. Rockin’ finger warmup and  pop theory 
9:30-10 a.m. Listening and learning pop songs 
10-10:30 a.m. Rhythms of rock music 
10:45-11:15 a.m. Composing chord progressions 
11:15-11:45 a.m. Private and group practice with mentor 
11:45-Noon End of day group and solo performances


Billie Howard

Billie Howard

Billie Howard joined Concordia’s Preparatory and Community Piano Program full-time faculty in 2004. She holds a MMus degree in piano and piano pedagogy from Northwestern University. Howard received the honor of Outstanding Performance while completing a BA degree in piano and violin at Montana State University. She has won several competitions and awards including a semifinalist standing in the MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition.  She is a member of Music Teachers National Association, Illinois State Music Teachers Association and Chicago Area Music Teachers Association.

Ms. Howard appears regularly as a soloist and collaborative performer in the Chicago area, performing with NbN Trio, Chicago Composer's Orchestra,, Classical Revolution and Palomar. In addition to classical performances, Howard plays electric violin, synthesizer and sings for several rock and pop bands including the 20 piece all-female Girl Group Chicago. An active session musician, she has been featured on studio recordings by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Grammy-nominated children’s artist Justin Roberts and many other recording artists.

Alex Rowney

Alex Rowney

Recording engineer, Alexander Rowney, holds a Master’s in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance from Northwestern University. In addition to his work as a piano instructor and performer, Alex is also a professional musician and recording engineer with experience recording everything from classical piano to electronic music to rock.

Inquiries please contact Billie Howard at or 708-209-3141.

Concordia Universty admits students without regard to age, sex,creed, race, color, national or ethnic originan, or handicap.