Launched in 2003 to support music education in public schools—JumpStart in Music is a low-cost, high-impact version of our Summer Music Camp. JumpStart brings together Bay Area public school students and their music instructors—along with high school mentors and parent chaperones—for an action-packed three day music immersion program at our camp during the school year.


During their stay, JumpStart students participate in an intensive schedule of practice, rehearsal, and performance. This is a rare opportunity for music students who usually meet just a few hours per week to immerse themselves in an exciting and challenging musical repertoire. They make rapid progress both individually and as an ensemble. We also provide plenty of time for rest and play, offering activities including sports, games, environmental education and arts and crafts.

At night, students sleep outside on single-sex tent decks beneath the majestic redwood trees and star filled sky. We provide three delicious, healthy meals per day cooked from scratch. Each day closes with a different evening program and the weekend culminates in a formal student concert attended by proud family and friends. JumpStart is truly a unique school music retreat!

In order to qualify for the program students must attend one of our partner public schools and be an active member of their school music program. Our JumpStart in Music program currently serves over 600 youth each year from the Berkeley and Oakland Unified School Districts, West Contra Costa County and schools throughout Sonoma County. We have plans to expand JumpStart to other public schools in the Bay Area as well.

Our JumpStart In Music Retreats Include
  • Four to five hours of practice and rehearsals on both Friday and Saturday.
  • Extra help and coaching from high school music mentors.
  • Time for rest, recreation and enjoying the beauty of the redwood forest.
  • Group activities including campfires, skits and a special staff and mentor concert performed just for the campers.
  • A student concert held Sunday afternoon in our beautiful amphitheater.
What JumpStart Students are Saying
  • “I think the most important thing I walked out of camp with was confidence. I felt much more confident in myself and my musical abilities.”
  • “It was to the extreme of fun!”
  • “I like how powerful we sound when we all play together.”
What Their Teachers are Saying
  • “We could hear them improving by the hour.”
  • “I see six months of progress in three days!”
  • “JumpStart helps me attract and retain new students!”
What Their High School Mentors are Saying
  • “I remember when I was their age, so it’s nice to work with them and hope that they continue music. MUSIC IS IMPORTANT.”
  • “When you teach others, you improve and you work harder to set an example. I felt like I really taught them something.”
  • “Awesome experience.”
What Their Parents are Saying
  • “Just the right mix of training and free time; excellent opportunity for music education and to build community.”
  • “Teachers love the music and are great with kids; mentors are great role models.”
For More Information About JumpStart in Music

Contact Emily Wainacht, Executive Director at or call 510-527-7500 Ext. 13.