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"Popular Music for Piano" summer camp offered at Concordia-Chicago


Students entering grades 6 through 12 are invited to participate in the “Popular Music for Piano” summer camp at Concordia University Chicago. Both morning and afternoon half-day sessions are available during the camp, which runs from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11.

The camp is part of the University’s long-standing and successful Preparatory and Community Piano Program (PCPP), which stands out among hundreds of piano instruction programs in Chicagoland by offering a comprehensive approach to learning. Students receive equal instruction of repertoire, reading, theory and technique.

“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!” says camp director Billie Howard, a faculty member for Concordia-Chicago’s PCPP. “Write and record your own song, play songs with other campers, and learn theory and techniques used in popular music.”

Students will learn the basic skills used in composing music, learn to play current pop and rock hits, and will have the opportunity to record their original songs. Attendees have access to a 10-keyboard piano lab, soundproof practice rooms, computer lab and private piano studios equipped with both Steinway grand pianos and Yamaha upright pianos.

Registration is currently being accepted for the summer camp sessions. Tuition is $275 if paid before the July 1 early registration deadline, after which tuition will be $299. Registration closes July 28. Registrants will receive a workbook for the week and a digital recording of the song they will write. All attendees must be able to play piano proficiently, including basic chords, with three years of previous study recommended.

Howard holds a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in piano and violin performance from Montana State University. She performs with several Chicago-area groups and has been featured on studio recordings by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Grammy-nominated children’s artist Justin Roberts and many other recording artists. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, Illinois State Music Teachers Association and Chicago Area Music Teachers Association.

Alex Rowney is a professional recording engineer and holds a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Northwestern University. In addition to his work as a piano instructor and performer, Rowney is a professional musician and recording engineer with experience recording everything from classical piano to rock.

For more information and to download an enrollment form, visit or contact Billie Howard at 708-209-3141 or