2023 Music Discovery Summer Camp

News from the Silk Road

9AM to 4PM
Pacific Boychoir Academy
215 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland
June 26–30, 2023
Yuko Tanaka, director

Enrollment will open soon, please check back!

Enroll today

Come join us this summer as we explore stories of magic, adventure and tribulations from the vast span of trade routes between China and Europe that lasted more than 1500 years.
The Silk Road carried much more than just merchandise and precious commodities. It was also a fertile ground for exchange of ideas, music, art, culture, language and science between diverse cultures. Hop on the Music Discovery Camp caravan and join our journey as we discover the exotic Silk Road through music, art, dance and theater!

Each day will be organized by skill level and age range. Class options include offerings for music, theater, dance, and art. Learn more below!

To attend this workshop, proof of “up to date” vaccination against COVID-19 will be required, as available by age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “up to date” means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.” For additional policies for SFEMS, please visit our COVID-19 protocol page. We will also follow guidelines as requested by our facilities.

More about Music from the Silk Road

Immerse your child in a fun-filled week as we explore several centuries of music through theater, dance, and visual art! As we delight in being able to more safely come together, we will explore music that celebrates renewal, rebirth, and rejoicing. 

History comes to life in tales and stories through theater. Music soars as you make music, dance and sing in the sun.

Over the course of just five days, your child will be absorbed by all aspects of creating a full production! In addition, we will offer semi-private instruction for voice students and those studying the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, viola da gamba, flute, recorder, ukulele, guitar, piano, and harpsichord.

More information will be available soon about individual class sessions, all taught by faculty who are both skilled practitioners of early music and active educators!

Instrumental Youth Collegium

The Instrumental Youth Collegium provides older and more advanced students an in-depth opportunity to explore music from the medieval period through the Baroque era, as well as participate in the production described above.

The collegium is intended for intermediate and advanced students of the following instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass, viola da gamba, flute, recorder, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, voice, ukulele, and classical guitar). Interested students who have not participated before will need to submit a short, 1–2 minute video of a solo piece which best displays their current ability to Instrumental Youth Collegium director Carla Moore at [email protected]

Learn more about our new venue the Pacific Boychoir Academy:

Visit MDW’s Facebook page to see photos and scenes from past workshops. 


Carla Moore violin and viola; Instrumental Youth Collegium director
Eva Melin-Gompper arts and crafts
Vicki Melin recorder and flute
Jennifer Meller Baroque dance
Farley Pearce cello, viola da gamba, and guitar
Adam Sussman theater
Susan Swerdlow voice
Yuko Tanaka, D.M.A. harpsichord; workshop director

Dates, Deadlines, and Fee Information for 2023 are TBD.

Registration will open soon.

Full tuition: $600
Early Bird discount: $50 off tuition by April 8.
Sibling discount: $50 off tuition for each additional child

Music Discovery Summer Camp Scholarship Request Form

Secure each child’s spot with a non-refundable deposit of $175. To receive the Early Bird discount, the balance must be paid by April 8.

Please contact administrator Stacey Helley at [email protected]ems.org for more information about the sibling discount.

All outstanding tuition balances must be paid by June 11, 2023.

Additional questions regarding payment? Contact administrator Stacey Helley at [email protected]

Limited scholarships available. For more information about scholarships about the workshops in general, contact director Yuko Tanaka at [email protected].

This program has been made possible, in part, with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players.


About the Workshop

SFEMS’s Music Discovery Summer Camp is a premier workshop for the kids in grades 1–12. Originally founded by Lee McRae in 1994, it has established itself as a unique gem among music camps for children, not only here in the Bay Area, but in the nation.

The Music Discovery Summer Camp is for younger children, in grades 1–5, who are looking for a fun and artistic introduction to the music of 1500–1800. The focus of the workshop is to introduce and immerse children in early music from the Middle Ages to the Classical period, while providing historical and cultural context, all in a fun, hands on way through instrumental and vocal music, theater and arts and crafts.

The Youth Collegium is a concurrent program designed for older, more experienced students, in grades 6–12, who want to explore early music in greater depth. Students round out their day by having semi-private lessons, and elective options of drama, art and period dance.

We request all Youth Collegium applicants to submit a brief, casual video so we may better assess their musical level. This video does not have to be a performance. It may be a brief recording of a piece or a work in progress and may be filmed on a mobile device. Please send the video to the director, Yuko Tanaka at [email protected].

About the Classes:

Our workshop provides semi-private instruction for all students. We are proud to keep a very low teacher-to-student ratio, between 1:2 to 1:5. All classes are taught in rotation: music, chamber ensemble, musicianship, dance, arts and crafts, choir, and theater.  During the assembly period, we will have visits from special guests and early music specialists.

Snapshot from a typical day at the Music Discovery Summer Camp:

Families are invited to attend our final performance at the conclusion of our workshop on Friday. The evening begins with a chamber ensemble concert of all the Workshop students, made concert-ready in just five days, and a highly imaginative, unique theater production, including music, dance, singing, costumes and props made by the students during arts and crafts class.  The evening finale will be a potluck celebration, as we revel in our newly forged or renewed friendships. As families depart, we all make a renewed promise to see each other again the following summer — and most of our families return year after year!