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It's Not Too Late: Music Camps

June 5, 2014

Still need something for your child to do over some part of the summer? Here are a few noteworthy music camps you can still register for.

Charity Kahn’s JAMcamp

JAMLocation: San Francisco
Dates/Times: June 16-20; July 14-18; Aug.18-22, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ages: 5-9 (some Kindergarten-ready 4’s accepted with prior approval)
Audition: No
Tuition: $385/week (includes tuition, organic snacks, camp t-shirt, all materials, and full set of award-winning Charity and the JAMband CDs)

Program: JAMcamp is a joyful and enriched opportunity to dive deep into the musical world of the award-winning family music of Charity and the JAMband through the vehicles of song, dance, creative drama, songwriting, art creation, crafting, gardening, yoga, mindfulness and play.

Description: We offer weeklong summer camps (culminating in a performance of our own creation), and daylong mini-camps throughout the year. The environment is intimate (max 14 campers, and takes place in Charity’s home), so there’s lots of time, space and attention for everyone. JAMcamp is an experience your children will remember forever, overflowing with love, creativity, mindfulness and connection. Come join us in the JAM!

Peninsula Youth Orchestra: Peninsula Music Camp

PeninsulaLocation: Redwood Shores Elementary School and Carlmont High School, Belmont
Dates/Times: July 21-25 and July 28-Aug. 1; half-days: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.; full day 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ages: 6-18
Audition: Not required.
Requirements: At least one year of school or private instruction on an orchestral instrument.
Tuition: $190-$385 depending on camp; financial aid is available.
Registration deadline: July 3 for Sunrise Symphony, Summer Symphony, and String Camp.

Program: Summer musicianship classes in Orchestral Training and Chamber Music to include morning classes for Sunrise Symphony, afternoon classes for Summer Symphony, and full days for String Camp.

Description: The friendly and supportive atmosphere of the Peninsula Music Camp welcomes musicians to enroll at any proficiency level, and encourages musical growth through innovative classes designed for discovery, learning, challenge, progress, and success. The PMC accepts instrumentalists enrolled in their school music program (if offered at their school) who have studied their instrument one or more years. Summer 2014 offers several diverse one-week sessions for students for every stage of their musical journey. For more information and applications, please visit:

San Francisco Early Music Society

SFEMSLocation: Berkeley
Dates/Times: Faculty concert and orientation on Sunday, June 22nd; Camp runs daily from June 23-27, with an all-camp performance the evening of June 27th. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (after-camp care available until 5:30 p.m.)
Ages: 7-15
Audition: none required, but some experience with an instrument — violin, cello, harpsichord, recorder, or viola da gamba — is preferred.
Requirements: Contact director Tish Berlin ([email protected]) for information regarding instrument rentals and pre-camp starter lessons (additional fee applies).

Description: At SFEMS's Music Discovery Workshop, campers explore early music and history through instrument class, ensembles, dance, and theater projects for each age group. Besides music, dance and theater class, all campers have a period each day for games or quiet time. Campers' activity preferences are taken into account. The week culminates in a all-camp performance on Friday evening for family and friends. The faculty is all professional musicians and dance/drama teachers. Our theater project this year is “From Wolves to Knights to Kings and Queens: Storytelling in the Middle Ages” — come explore the ways people told vivid stories through music in medieval France and Spain!


ThingamakidsLocation: American International Montessori School, Berkeley
Dates/Times: June 23 - Aug. 22 (no camp on July 4th); 8:30 a.m. -4 p.m.; extended care: 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Ages: 6-12
Audition: No
Tuition: $340/wk, $170 half days (either 8:30 to noon, or 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.), $25 hot lunch, $80 extended care.
Requirements: None
Registration deadline: ongoing until full (most weeks sell out by middle of May)

Description: Thingamakids is a music camp, but it’s more than a music camp. We connect the arts with a Do It Yourself (DIY) perspective. The kind of campers that flourish in our camp are the ones that love to experiment, not afraid to make mistakes, and like to use their hands as much as their imagination in an open and safe environment. On any given week, a camper can expect to work with a number of wonderful artists and educators from the Bay Area who specialize in music, body movement, improvisation, creative writing, and over course instrument building. We also go on sound walks, do sports and go on the occasional field trip to our local cultural institutions.

Napa Valley Music Associates, MidSummer MusiCamp

Location: First United Methodist Church building, Napa
Dates/Times: July 21 - Aug. 1; 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Ages: 6-16
Audition: No musical experience required.
Tuition: $400 (includes non refundable $50 registration fee)
Requirement: Students must have own instruments to participate.

Program: includes Musical Theater and Instrumental Classes (choice of: Guitar/Ukulele, Recorder, Violin/Viola). Performance by all students on last day of MusiCamp.

Registration deadline: July 1. For application and further information, contact: Napa Valley Music Associates, or call 707-252-8671/707-322-8402. 

Mark MacNamara, a writer and journalist based in Asheville, North Carolina, has written for such publications as NautilusSalonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Vanity Fair. From time to time, his pieces in San Francisco Classical Voice also appear in  Noteworthy examples include a piece about Philip Glass’s dream to build a cultural center on the Pacific Coast; a profile of sound composer Pamela Z and an essay on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. MacNamara recently won several awards in the 2018 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented by the San Francisco Press Club.  His website is