Songwriting, Composition & Theory

Concordia Conservatory’s programs in Songwriting, Composition and Music Theory amplify your creativity and solidify your fundamentals. Lessons are tailored to the interests of each student, whether you want to develop your skills in composing, theory, songwriting, and arranging. And we offer frequent readings, concerts, and recording sessions to get your music performed, recorded...and shared!

Private Lessons in Composition & Theory

Concordia Conservatory offers private lessons in composition, theory, songwriting, and arranging for beginning through advanced students of all ages. Enrollment is open to students for all ages and abilities who have played an instrument for at least two years. We offer lessons in 30, 45, and 60-minute lengths, and first-time students are required to interview with the Executive Director prior to registration.

“Can composition be taught?”

Yes! Our faculty mentors teach students techniques that they use to unlock their own creative voices. Students build their artistry “brick by brick” through creative challenges and through collaboration with faculty and student performers. Students who began their training at Concordia Conservatory have gone on to participate in prestigious summer programs, have become music majors at the country’s most competitive institutions, and have won national awards for their compositions. Throughout the course of their lessons, students utilize materials from pencil & paper to advanced music software.

Private Lessons in Music Theory

Music theory plays a significant role both for composers finding their creative voice, and for performers – both instrumentalists and vocalists – seeking a deeper understanding of great pieces of music. Lessons are tailored to the level of each student, but all students will strengthen basic concepts of music notation, ear-training, rhythm, reading, writing and listening skills, rhythms, intervals, major and minor scales, and transposition complex rhythms, intervals, scales and modes, and music analysis.

Lesson Per Semester Year-long
30-minute Lesson $920 $1,840
45-minute Lesson $1,380 $2,760
60-minute Lesson $1,840 $3,680

Hear It Live

Hear It Live is Concordia Conservatory’s showcase concert in Spring 2016 for student composers in elementary, middle, and high school adjudicated by a consortium of composer educators. Student composers will share their work, the concert will be recorded, and the Conservatory will provide the instrumentalists for the concert and recording. There will be three awards in the amount of $75 to the most accomplished work in each category—elementary, middle, and high school. Participants will submit a written score (for composition) or lead sheet and lyrics (for songwriting) by March 15.

Songwriting and Composition Intensive

Directed by composer, teacher and pianist Matt Van Brink, the Songwriting Composition and Intensive offers talented middle and high school composers and songwriters the special opportunity to focus for two weeks solely on exploring and refining their compositional skills.

Students receive private composition lessons as well as classes in analysis, score-reading, theory, and aural skills. During the program, composers write pieces for small ensembles that will be performed and recorded in a full evening concert. This will provide the students with a valuable archive and learning tool.