Great is not a word that I would use to describe this school. There are three major concerns: The first is priorities. The reputation of the choir is priority number one. Your son is important only insofar as he contributes to the choir and he will be expected to arrange his life around rehearsals and performances. The school is mainly a way to supply the choir with boys who sing beautifully and rehearse daily, but not much more than that. The second concern is how the school understands boys. They advertise as boy friendly with pitches like we understand boy. However, they basically view issues and problems that boys present from a moralistic perspective rather than one informed by knowledge about child development. The school lacks a learning specialist and a counselor and that becomes evident very quickly. A third concern has to do with planning and management of local and international tours. There have been problems related to the care and well-being of the boys. When our son was at the school very few of the staff members who chaperoned tours were parents and that really showed in terms of how they responded or not to the boys physical and emotional needs.
Pacific Boy Choir Academy is truly a unique educational and character development experience for young boys in 4th through 8th grades. The school is located in Oakland, CA and its enrollment reflects the bay area's diverse community. In addition to rigorous, dynamic, broad and challenging academic classes, the combination of hard work with extraordinary accomplishment, yields lifelong lessons for impressionable young boys in the area of both teamwork and personal responsibility. The opportunities this school has given my 12 year old son are simply incredible. From performing classics in Russian, German, Latin and French with professional symphonies and opera companies to traveling internationally and learning through those experiences, I am so grateful my son has this opportunity to attend Pacific Boychoir Academy. Once he graduates, while in high school, my son will continue to participate in performances and trips as part of the academy's "changed voices" and "continuum" choirs. It's an experience of a lifetime!
I think this school is the one of the best kept secrets in Oakland. My son has attended since the 4th grade. He is now in 7th. I am considering holding him back a year so he doesn't have to leave. Just kidding! (Sort of.) The academic program is challenging and creative. They do a serious in depth study of a different Shakespeare play every year. It takes months and all of the kids are completely into it. They learn to really read with depth, and this is the mentality that guides the entire academic program.The musical education (up to two hours a day) they get is definitely unsurpassed, and probably unequaled anywhere in the US. They also keep a rigorous and exciting performance schedule. There is enough diversity among the student population that any kid who liked music would be happy here.My son feels safe, and cared for, and valued and he is proud of his accomplishments and proud of his school. We love this place.
This school is truly, "one of a kind." They blend traditional academics and music education in a seamless way that engages and stimulates the boys to want to learn, perform and be better people. Our son has grown so much during his 2 1/2 years at PBA. The work is challenging, yet the teachers know how to cater to individual learning styles. The small class size helps too! The boys don't just learn through reading and memorization. Much of the work is hands-on. They grow things in science, take field trips in history and learn about different cultures directly on an international trip each year. The boys have performed with great orchestras the world over, performed for thousands, been on America's Got Talent and won TWO Grammy Awards. The teachers and staff understand boys and channel boy-energy in a way that gets great results in the classroom, on stage in in preparation for life beyond 4th-8th grade. We could not have chosen a better school for our son.
I recommended PBA for middle school boys interested in music of any kind. My son plays drums, but the music education, including theory and vocal training, has enhanced his musicianship even outside of school. Rehearsing and performing with the PBA choir, helps him be a better rock band member, knowing he must practice in order for the entire group to be at its best. Excellent life lessons are learned at this school. In addition, the academics are as rigorous as any private school in the area. However, since the teachers speak "boy" (knowing how boys learn and allowing them all the wiggle room they need), the stress of academics is handled well. Lastly, the school is cultivating future leaders. The boys are given responsibilities for ensuring the school is a safe, well-kept and fun place to be. For a well-rounded education, PBA is a great choice.
We came from a local school district with a high API score and a California Distinguished designation. We were still unhappy with the large class sized and the lack of individualized attention. PBA has rekindled the love of learning into our son. He enjoys every aspect of his day ! From the intimate class size, challenging academic and music lessons, and community; our son is growing by leaps and bounds. Learn about the school for yourself and you won't be disappointed.
PBA is the only Boychoir school on the west coast. Its hands on approach to learning and daily musical instruction makes Pacific Boychoir Academy a very unique school. PBA's small class size allows for wonderful class discussions and group learning. The boys learn how to work together not only in the classroom, but also in their performances. Teamwork between the students and faculty is a huge component of the success at PBA. I am constantly impressed with the quality of young men this school produces.
This school has been one of the most wonderful experiences and opportunities for my son. Not only is it giving him a fantastic, and rigorous academic education, but it is also giving him the opportunity to have music and singing in his world everyday. Our boys get to travel the globe, sing with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, sing at A's games, Cal Performances and much more. We are so very lucky to be part of this wonderful community and to have our boys really understand the level of dedication it takes to be a professional musician and performer. These are the skills that make you a happier and more successful person in later life. I wish that all schools understood the importance of the arts, music especially in a child's life.
Pacific Boychoir is the best school I can imagine for my son. It has great academics while managing to stay fun for boys. The music program is fantastic, as one would imagine. The boys learn to work together through singing, and learn discipline through performing.
We joined this school for the academics, not the choir - and we're really happy with both. Initially, our son wasn't enthusiastic about singing in a choir (to say the least), but he now enjoys it very much, and we see the benefits every day: Rigor, collaboration, sustained effort - all resulting in achievements that the boys have every reason to be proud of. The teachers - especially Science, Math, Music, and English - are excellent.
The PBA is a gem of a school. Classes are small, and boys can be singled out for individual lesson plans quite easily. Learning occurs in a project-based way; this works particularly well for a school of boys. The music education is exceptional. Perhaps most importantly for me, is that the boys learn through their music that it takes a lot of dedicated practice to excel at something. They learn (among other things) to behave well (no, you cannot fidget or pick your nose while you are singing with the San Francisco Symphony), to work together as a team, and to be able to perform well under pressure. The latter I believe is an exceptionally important and transferable life skill. The boys preform and travel frequently. My son is just setting out in this school. I have known 2 other families with boys in this school, now recently graduated. They tell me that sending your child to the PBA is a "family commitment". I see in their boys, and hear from their parents, that this school graduates 13 and 14 year old boys who have a quiet confidence in themselves. I could not think of a better way of setting up my son for his teenage years.
There is exactly one thing that matters at the Pacific Boychoir Academy (PBA), singing. Everything else is an afterthought, including academics, classroom behavior, and even the boys themselves. Your son and your family will be expected to adapt to an exceedingly demanding rehearsal and performance schedule that leaves no time for other activities. The school is well staffed with music instructors, but other essential services are absent. There are no counselors at the school and it really shows. Lack of knowledge about child development, learning differences, and challenges faced by middle school boys is a serious problem. If your son loves to sing you are better off sending him to a good, well-rounded public or private school that includes music and choir. Another alternative is to enroll him in one of the outstanding afterschool choirs in our area, such as the Grammy-Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus. - Submitted by a Parent
We have a son, aged 13 who started this year at the PBA. This is a wonderful place for any musical boy to be! Previous to coming here our son was at a public middle school and unhappy -- he was not challenged/engaged and was annoyed by the disruptiveness of the other students. Since coming to PBA, our son has thrived. He pushes himself to be his very best and loves the courses he previously dreaded -- like History & English. The teachers provide individual attention to the students. He is happy to go to school everyday and loves performing!. Kevin Fox is an incredible teacher/mentor/director and the students look up to him and are inspired by his commitment to excellence. We are so happy to part of this welcoming, inclusive environment that invokes a support amongst the boys at every grade level. As an added bonus, we have the opportunity to attend events. e.g. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & the Nutcracker Ballet and enjoy the performances of the choir. The day school goes through the 8th grade,though our son can continue with the choir through high school & maintain long-lasting relationships with his peers. We are grateful to be a part of the PBA community!
Not satisfied with your soon to be middle school boy s education? Does your son need to be more engaged? Is he lacking passion to excel at his current school? Would he thrive in a low student-to-teacher ratio learning environment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is a solution! Check out the Pacific Boychoir Academy (PBA). The school offers a challenging academic program for grades 4-8, provides intensive choral music and performance training, and has produced a Grammy-winning, world-renowned choir. My 6th grader has attended the school since 4th grade. The boy centric curriculum, quality teachers, phenomenal music training, and small class size have served him well. The choir provides cultural and professional experiences. The rigorous performance schedules, international travel, and professionalism the choir requires helps the boys develop focus and discipline. Since joining PBA my son has gained confidence, become more focused, and found a passion for singing and performing. He regularly and favorably speaks of his travels with the choir. PBA has given my son the opportunity to excel and become really good at something!
My son has been a part of the Pacific Boychoir after school program for 3 years. When it came time for him to start 4th grade he all but got down on his hands and knees and begged me to let him attend the day school. I must have said no at least 10 times. We were completely happy at our BUSD public school, we were in the very coveted Spanish Immersion program, I was the PTA President and we had invested so much in the school community. After meeting with the school administrators multiple times and seeing my son's love of singing, I decided I would take it one year at a time. Well, imagine my surprise when I realized how much better school could be for my son. The smile on his face when I pick him up every day is worth the price of admission! The teachers know how to keep boys engaged and focused. I feel like their is a new child living in my home. My son sets his homework out with a journal to one side and pencils to the other and works. He wants to do well. And did I mention the music education that he is getting? On top of just being a part of an incredible school community that "speaks boy" he is also getting a first class music education!
Imagine an educational institution in which every single member of the school is on the same team, working together toward a common goal. Not just a few select football players but everyone. And imagine their common goal was not against another team, but personal and combined excellence. Something extremely challenging, something they do on par with the best in the world. Imagine small class sizes, personalized learning. Imagine seeing the world each summer on concert tour. Imagine your 10 year old winning a Grammy (!) That's PBA. Personal responsibility is very high, and boys learn more than academics and music. They learn how to work in groups, how to be flexible, how to push themselves to excel, how to help others in need. Learn about other countries and then visit them. Sing in many different languages, alongside singers from around the world as well as the Bay Area's best. An effusive review is of limited value. Visit the school, watch the students in class, see their faces, hear their angelic voices. You'll know right away that the Pacific Boychoir Academy is something special.
The Pacific Boychoir Academy is a hidden gem in the Bay Area! I urge any parent looking for a life-changing experience for his or her son to explore the Pacific Boychoir Academy without reservation. The school delivers on its promise to educate, nurture, challenge, and provide an unparalleled opportunity for its students to be part of something truly world-class. What PBA offers will prepare my son to attend the high school and college of his choosing and more importantly approach life with the sense that anything is possible. Where else can a 10 year-old boy enjoy individualized attention from an engaging and highly accomplished teacher, travel the world performing with a Grammy-winning choir, and build the confidence and sense of responsibility well beyond his years? There isn't anywhere that does this like the Pacific Boychoir Academy. It's not just about an education at PBA, it's about a world-class experience that sparks intellectual curiosity, builds confidence, and establishes a sense of pride and presence in middle school boys that is rarely seen.
Our oldest son is currently a student in his second year with PBA. He has grown in musicianship, leadership, scholarship and friendship. We considered many schools, including homeschooling, and PBA was far and above the first choice. The teachers are exceptional, the music program outstanding, and the opportunities unparalleled. Beyond academics, the boys learn to be considerate, helpful, polite and confident. My son is happy to be there, and it is a pleasure to be a parent at such a school. We are lucky to have this school in the Bay Area and to us it is worth even a substantial commute.
One of the East Bay's Best Kept Secret! Boys become first rate musicians, internationally-minded individuals with the help of truly caring, professional faculty and administrators! Give your children a chance to open a window to many worlds (academic, culturally, etc.) by way of music.
I teach at the Pacific Boychoir, so I may be biased, but I think it's a wonderful school. The class sizes are very small, so the boys get a lot of individualized attention, not only on their academics, but on their social development as well. The teachers and staff all get along very well, so there's always a positive work environment, which makes for a pleasant and happy school day. The parents are supportive and actively involved and of course...the kids are awesome. We have bright and talented kids who are already positively contributing to their communities and will continue to so so as they grow older.
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