Summer Music West (Home)

"Summer Music West is a great experience through which to share the love of music, meet new people and learn more about my instrument"

-2010 Participant

Program Descriptions

Chamber Music
String and Piano Academy
Piano Duo Academy
Musicianship
Gilbert and Sullivan Scenes
Composition Intensive



Chamber Music
At least four years private instruction required. Previous ensemble experience recommended.
Ages: 12-18
Audition required. See audition requirements for details.
When: July 21-August 1, Monday-Friday 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Performances: Thursday, July 31, 3 p.m. and Friday, August 1, 2 p.m.
Tuition: $780
Application Deadline: April 15

Experienced musicians (violin, viola, cello, piano, woodwinds or horn) receive intense daily coaching in wide-ranging repertoire. Curriculum also includes master classes, independent rehearsals and seminars. Most pianists play in a piano duo; those with especially strong skill levels may play in a mixed ensemble. Seminars include rehearsal technique, healthy playing and music history. Special events include collaboration with the Composition Intensive and a performance presented by the San Francisco Symphony Education Department. The program culminates in two concerts featuring performances by all ensembles.

"Summer Music West gave me confidence, motivation and inspiration."
-- Chamber Music student, age 16, flute

Sample Daily Schedule

12:30-1:25   Seminar Period (sample topics: rehearsal techniques,    
   healthy playing, breathing/cueing, listening, guest artists)
1:25-1:30   Passing period
1:30-2:55   Independent Group Rehearsal (25 min) and Coaching (1 hr)
2:55 - 3:10   Break (10 min) and Passing period
3:10-4:30   Independent Group Rehearsal (20 min) and Coaching (1 hr)

Additionally, there will be occasional sight reading sessions, master classes and faculty and guest artists recitals.


String and Piano Academy
At least three years private instruction recommended. No previous ensemble experience required.
Ages: 9-12
Audition required. See audition requirements for details.
When: July 7-18, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Performances: Friday, July 18, 12:30p.m. and 2 p.m.
Tuition: $925
Application Deadline: April 15

Young string players and pianists grow immensely in this course, which focuses on intense chamber ensemble instruction. Groups vary according to instrumentation and ability, though most pianists are given duo assignments. Students also explore string orchestra or piano class, ear training, sight reading and music theory. Special events include master classes, assemblies and guest artist appearances, including a performance presented by the San Francisco Symphony Education Department. The program culminates in a special concert featuring performances by all ensembles. Piano enrollment is limited to 12 students.

"The String and Piano Academy was challenging, fun and exciting. I learned a lot!"
-- String and Piano Academy student, age 11, cello

Sample Daily Schedule
9:00–10:30   Music Theory and Ear-training
10:30–10:40   Snack Break
10:40–12:00   Piano Class or String Orchestra
12:00–12:40   Supervised Lunch
12:45–1:40   Small ensemble rehearsal 1
1:45–2:40   Small ensemble rehearsal 2
2:45–3:30   Special events  --  faculty and guest recitals, sight reading practice, master classes



Piano Duo Academy
At least three years private instruction recommended. No previous ensemble experience required.
Ages: 9-12
Audition required. See audition requirements for details.
When: July 21-August 1, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Performance: Friday, August 1, 11 a.m.
Tuition: $725
Application Deadline: April 15

The Piano Duo Academy allows intermediate level students to explore piano duo chamber music, piano technique class, ear training, sight reading and music theory. Students may also participate in special events of the Chamber Music program. The program culminates in a presentation for parents of class demonstrations and performances by all duos. Enrollment limited to six students.

Sample Daily Schedule

9:00-10:00   Music theory and ear training
10:00-11:00   Piano technique class
11:00-12:00   Piano duo coaching



Musicianship
No previous music theory or ear-training experience required. Also appropriate for current Preparatory Division musicianship students.
Ages: 9-18
No audition required. Placement by questionnaire.
When: July 7-18, Monday-Friday 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Tuition: $450
Application Deadline: June 1

Students will improve general musicianship skills while attaining solid groundwork for exploring music in other programs. Three class levels offered, grouped by age and experience.

"Summer Music West — I learned so much!"
-- String and Piano Academy student, age 12, piano


Gilbert and Sullivan Scenes
The perfect training program for the young stage performer -- now in its twelfth year! A collaboration with Lamplighters Music Theater.
Ages: 10-18
Audition required. See audition requirements for details.
         2014 Audition dates: April 12, 13, 26 and 27
When: June 16-28, Monday-Thursday 1:00-5:00 p.m.; Friday 12:00-5:00pm
Performance: Saturday, June 28, 2:00 p.m.
Tuition: $790
Application Deadline: April 15

Explore the "Topsy-Turvy" world of rollicking pirates, damsels in distress and modern major generals! Daily classes and rehearsals emphasize singing, acting and stage movement, leading to a fully staged and costumed performance of Gilbert and Sullivan scenes in association with artistic staff from Lamplighters Music Theatre, San Francisco's award-winning Gilbert and Sullivan company.

"Participation in Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes expanded my range, helped me meet new people, recognize new talents and helped me grow as a singer."
-- Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes student, age 14

Sample Daily Schedule

1:00-1:30   Vocal warmup/movement
1:35-2:30   Musical coachings/Staging #1(large ensemble numbers)
2:30-2:45   BREAK
2:50-3:30   Musical coachings/Staging #2 (solos/small ensembles by group)
3:35-4:10   Musical coachings/Staging #3 (solos/small ensembles by group)
4:15-5:00   Musical coachings/Staging #4 (solos/small ensembles by group)

Note: Every student will experience unscheduled time slots, which may be used for individual or small group practice.


Composition Intensive
Proficiency on an instrument, basic music theory and notation skills required.
Ages: 9-20
Audition Interview and submission of one previously composed work required
When: June 23-July 24, Monday-Thursday
Section I: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (ages 9-13)
Section II: 12:30-4:30 p.m. (ages 14-20)
Performance: Thursday, July 24, 7:00 p.m
Tuition: $985
Application Deadline: April 15

Students explore the chamber music composition process, from the initial idea to sketching, workshops and completing the final score. Studying scores and recordings is central to this concentrated program, which includes group seminars, private lessons, and special events including instrument demonstrations, recitals and reading sessions.  Students learn from the work of both traditional and contemporary composers while developing their individual voice within a small group of their peers. The program culminates in a concert of students' works performed by chamber music students and guest artists.

"I've learned more about music in this intensive than I have in my entire life. It has been an incredible experience and I hope to come back next year!"
-- 2012 Composition Intensive student, age 14


"Visiting the group of composers enrolled in the San Francisco Conservatory's Summer Music West program brought back memories for me. I got my own start as a composer back in 1989, shortly before going into my final year of high school, when I participated in the exact same program... albeit against the totally different backdrop of the former Spanish-style building on Ortega Street. Over the years, it has been amazing to me to witness how much more skilled younger composers have become since I started, and my younger colleagues here in the Bay Area are proving to be no different... I loved meeting everyone. Kudos to Summer Music West for continuing to find, train, and encourage the voices of the future!"
-- Gabriela Lena Frank, Composer, 2009 Latin Grammy award winner, SMW alum 1990

Sample Daily Schedule

AGES 9-13
9:30-10:00  Develop a repertoire of musical gestures and compositional strategies
10:00-10:30  Cultivate improvisational, dictation and listening skills
10:30-10:45  Break - free studio time
10:45-11:30  Practice time in studios, lessons, student presentations, counterpoint & harmony
11:30-12:15  Hone idiomatic writing techniques as well as instrumentation and notation skills
12:15-12:30  Lunch break - free studio time
12:30-1:30  Score reading and study, instrument demos and group activities

AGES 14-20
12:30-1:30  Score reading and study, instrument demos and group activities
1:30-1:45  Break - free studio time
1:45-2:30  Hone idiomatic writing techniques as well as instrumentation and notation skills
2:30-3:15  Practice time in studios, lessons, student presentations, counterpoint & harmony
3:15-3:30  Break - free studio time
3:30-4:00  Develop a repertoire of musical gestures and compositional strategies
4:00-4:30  Cultivate improvisational, dictation and listening skills