Music Discovery & Youth Collegium

UPDATE (June 10, 2021): It is with heavy heart that due to unforeseen circumstances, we will need to cancel this year’s Music Discovery Workshop & Youth Collegium. We remain committed to providing a space for children and youth to explore early music, and stay tuned for future opportunities!

Enroll today

Midsummer Magick on the Village Green
9AM to 4PM
Pacific Boychoir Academy
215 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland, CA 94611
June 21-25, 2021 (orientation on June 20)

Yuko Tanaka, director

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 minimize any risks related to Covid-19, we will follow current local and state health guidelines. These safety measures includes mask-wearing, social distancing, and limits on classroom capacity. Students will also be required to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than seven days prior to the start of the camp. Test results should be emailed to All faculty members are vaccinated.

Midsummer Magick on the Village Green

Immerse your child in a fun-filled week as we explore several centuries of English 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 English 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, 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 Collegium directors Vicki Melin and Farley Pearce.


Cynthia Black violin and viola
Jennifer Hobbs arts and crafts
Vicki Melin recorder and flute; co-Instrumental Collegium director
Jennifer Meller Baroque dance
Farley Pearce cello, viola da gamba, and guitar; co-Instrumental Collegium director
Adam Sussman theater
Susan Swerdlow voice
Yuko Tanaka, D.M.A. artistic director, harpsichord

Dates, Deadlines, and Fee Information

Full tuition is $525.
Sibling discount: $50 per additional sibling enrolled

Additional questions regarding payment? Contact Stacey Helley at

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

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


About the Workshop

SFEMS’s Music Discovery Workshop & Youth Collegium 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 workshops for children, not only here in the Bay Area, but in the nation.

The Music Discovery Workshop 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

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 Workshop & Youth Collegium:

Usually families are invited to attend our final performance at the conclusion of our workshop on Friday. (N.B. In 2021, venue restrictions may prevent us from being able to invite all family and friends.) 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!