What people are saying about Mr. D's Music Club and Summer Camps.
Thanks to all and what a neat concept!
I’d like to say thanks to Stephen and all the counselors /directors. The performance today was very impressive! My daughter Chloe had a great time this week and what a great experience creating and contributing to the show! It was fun as a parent watching it come together through the week - seeing the artwork (Very cool!), the playlist ( Wow!), the posts on moment ( definitely a fun and relaxed vibe!). And today I was pretty blown away- the stage looked amazing, the music sounded amazing, and above all, the kids really looked like they were having a blast!! So thanks to all, that was a very cool camp!
~ Greg F- Oakland 2018
This was my daughter's second summer with Mr D. It was the one camp that she absolutely had to do again. The camp is great. The art work the kids create is better than any other camp, even camps where art was supposed to be the focus. My daughter is shy, but the staff makes her feel comfortable. The performance and the stage set was spectacular. We will be back next summer!
~Jill S, Oakland 2018
My son loves Mr. D's summer camps! This is his third year and he can't wait to return next summer. It always amazes me how the kids can learn so many songs and dance routines in one week! Kudos to Mr. D and his fun staff! The Friday performances are always something to look forward to!
~ Eva F. Oakland 2018
This camp is amazing. And differs from others in some beautiful ways:
1) ALL kids are intentionally and genuinely welcomed. The shy ones, the testing-boundaries ones (that's mine), the awkward ones, the natural-born talents, the rhythmless, the girls, the boys, the non-identifiers and everyone between. And the kids see themselves in the staff and counselors, who are like a brilliant rainbow.
2) Regardless of the theme, the emphasis is on creativity, expression, and being one's self. And they'll met your kid wherever they are.
3) Mr. D is exuberant. He's a natural. And he hires well. ( :
~ Madawg. Oakland 2018
I was watching the performance at Friday afternoon and the kids did amazing! I was surprised how much they learn in a week. And I can see all the kids enjoy the camp so much with Mr. D. My son give it 10 star out of 10! I am so glad that I send him to Mr D music camp. He learned singing, dancing also doing art painting and yoga! He liked it a lot. If your kids likes music and dancing, don't miss this fun camp!This is the most amazing camp! If your child likes to sing, dance and visual arts, this is the place for them.
~ Reese H. Oakland 2017
The day starts with a morning gatheringandplan for the day. The camp breaks into groups to start learning music and different dances. Then comes art. Depending on the theme for the week, your child will get art instruction from a talented art instructor Julie Pollack . Mr. D - Steven Duffy is the most loving and inspirational man. He manages to take the kids from Monday to Friday learning so many songs and dances that are performed at the end of the week with stage design all done by the campers. It is truly astounding how well they process the material and perform as though they had been practicing for weeks. The dance teacher MoMo is like the pipes piper of children. He really gets to know the kids and challenges them to do the best possible performance that can!
~ Suesan G. Berkeley 2017
We love this camp! I wish I had found it sooner!"...Mr. D's Music Club has been a staple for my daughter for 3 years now. She started with Mr. Duffy in an after-school setting and has been chasing his summer programs since 2014. This year, she cannot get enough! After each session, she comes home with a genuine interest in practicing each song over and over again. Mo-Mo, the dance instructor is clearly an accomplished professional with a keen eye for showcasing young talent. There is no comparison with these camps - your kid will get a music history lesson, a chance to take risks and set goals, an opportunity to mingle with children from different peer groups, and most of all, if you take a ride with Mr. D's Music Club your child will have an appreciation for the hard work it takes to prepare for and perform in a full-fledged concert. We hope we never grow too old for this summer ritual..."
~ Michelle C Alameda 2016
"...Mr. D's Music Camp was a week of endless singing, dancing, art, yoga, picnics in the park, and all around fun.
On thefirstday my daughter arrived not knowing any of the other kids, but Mr. D immediately made sure my daughter felt welcome and comfortable. The kids pick up on that vibe and all of them were so encouraging and supportive of one another. They have professional instructors who encourage the kids to do their best, and the kids pick up on it. It's the perfect relaxed atmosphere to bring out the best in every kid, no matter their ability. When I arrived to bring my daughter home on Wednesday the kids organized themselves and stayed almost half an hour late practicing the routines for their show on Friday. They were so happy and excited to dance and sing they just couldn't stop! That moment really stood out to me, because 1) the kids did this on their own without the instructors, and 2) the staff didn't shoo them out just because time was up.
Another lovely moment was at the talent show on Thursday. I accidentally caught the last 15 minutes of it, and every kid who got up there received a huge round of applause no matter how perfect or off-key their performance. What a lovely, safe place to grow!
Another plus: the Rockridge location at Saint Peter's church has a parking lot and ample street parking so it's easy to drop off and pick up the kids..." ~ Fancy P. Alameda 2016
"...I have sent my daughter to a number of camps in Oakland, and she says this one is her favorite!!! The environment is fun and creative, and builds confidence for kids to sing dance and perform. They also do art projects, and even do yoga! Mr. D is fantastic, and his staff is great with the kids! HIghly recommend..." ~ Christine F Piedmont CA 2016
"...Oh my goodness, my 8 year old daughter absolutely LOVED this camp! She loved Mr D, she loved Momo(hip hop instructor), the dancing, the singing, the art, the yoga. She loved everything about this camp. I took a big gamble signing her up as she had never taken a hip hop class or really performed in front of a crowd like this and I didn't ask if she wanted to be in this camp but it paid off big. From the first day to the last she enjoyed it all. She now wants me to enroll her in a hip hop class and has a new found confidence in her dance ability. It was an amazing experience and she has already told me she would like to attend the camp next year and the year after that and the year after that...thank you Mr. D et al for creating such a nurturing, fun and confidence building program ..."
~Odisa W. Berkeley 2016
"...My daughter has loved Mr. D's Music Club for several years running, and only wants more. Other camps wear out eventually, but this one never ceases to be fun, and challenging in the best way. She says, "its because there is always a new theme, so it's never exactly the same. To me, it's amazing that we can actually put an hour-long show together in a week. We work hard and it's super fun. Mr. D pretty much always has a funny thing to say, and he just makes us all laugh and is really a great guy to be around." Mr. D is clearly committed to a high-quality musical and camp experience for every kid; he hires warm, talented people to help him and is very hands-on and involved. I couldn't recommend this camp more!.. "
~ Laura F Alameda 2016
"...Wow, what can I say about Mr. D's Music Club that hasn't already been said? It's FANTASTIC. My somewhat shy-but-yearning-to-unleash-her-inner-star 8-year-old daughter has enjoyed this camp so much. She has really blossomed in her self-confidence and desire to do more singing and dancing. He gets kids to dive right in, shed their shyness, and engage in the art, dancing, singing, games, silliness, and fun from the get-go.
She has and she's loooooved it. She's also been learning some great songs and pop-culture references from this session "at the movies" so we chat a lot about it after camp. It's always a good sign when your kid comes home smiling, sweaty, exhausted, and excited to show you everything they've learned! You've inspired her, Mr. D! Keep on, keepin' on..." Becky W. Berkeley, 2016
"...I have watched Mr. D work his magic in elementary school and at his highly regarded summer camps. It is remarkable to me that he can inspire these large groups of children to transcend themselves creatively, and have a ton of fun doing it, while motivating them to higher standards. Mr. Duffy has just the right measure of heart and soul, caring for the kids with a firmness and fairness that leaves them feeling supported, while giving them the space to dance their creative spirit out into the world.
Thank you, Mr. D.!! "
~ John LoRe, Oakland, January 2015
"... Stephen Duffy is not only a talented musician but he's funny! Kids LOVE him and his approach to teaching music makes it SO much fun for them! My daughter attends Glenwood Elementary and she not only is lucky to have him as her regular music class teacher, but she also has the privilege to attend his after-school music club on Thursdays. She comes out of there with such exuberance and expressing utter pleasure in participating, as it's much more than singing. It's dancing, acting, performing, and oh yeah, singing! He lets the kids have fun while teaching them the skills of the art of music and performance. We are so lucky he came into our world!" ~ Gretchen H. San Rafael, December 2014
"...About Stephen Duffy - Mr. Duffy has transformed the music experience at Glenwood into an exciting learning environment in which students are eager to participate. Using songs vetted in the real world of music, Mr. D creates rich digital accompaniments- giving the students confidence to express their feelings while singing. The cultural connections students make through their explorations and performance of the songs that have shaped our history gives them new depths of understanding. With limited instructional minutes, Mr. D admirably fulfills the California State Standards for Music as students create, improvise, perform, make cross curricular connections and understand their living history. My daughter says Mr. D's class is her favorite time at school! ~ Peter Govorchin, San Rafael, November 2014
Just want to say what a stellar job you did this year with the music program and how utterly amazing the Spring Sing was! Congratulations! And Thank You. The kids obviously adore and respect you. And clearly you love them and love what you do. As a parent, I’m so appreciative of the music program and so happy you are at Glenwood. I enjoyed every minute of the concert last week. It was beyond fabulous. GREAT JOB!!!
~ Theresa, San Rafael, May 2014
What an event last night!!!! My goodness talk about a phenomena that should have been covered by the Independent Journal of San Rafael!! I think I'll forever have the image burned into my brain of 450 kids wearing fox masks and all dancing in unison, with lights flashing across faces that were grinning ear to ear!!! Pure Gold, straight up LOVE in motion :). I think I said, " That was AWESOME!" about 50 times on my way home four blocks away! Bella had so much fun it took all of us about an hour to wind down! So much fun! So much work by so many!! In my entire career as a mom at Glenwood, I have never seen so many kids adhere to the color dress code for a performance - ever! That was amazing ! It was visually beautiful - it speaks a thousand words about how much you inspire these kids to greatness - as a group there was not one thing they would not have done for you - you commanded excellence and you got it! Amazing - my niece who is soooo shy, was singing at the top of her lungs with an open mouth and with passion. You have a true gift, Stephen :). Thank you for sharing that with our children, our community and our city :) Thank you for such a wonderful, family night of true entertainment!
~ Kim L., San Rafael, May 2014
What a wonderful fun and creative night! Mr. D you totally rocked it out tonight!
~ Adrienne, San Rafael, May 2014
That is without a doubt the BEST school concert I have even seen....and we're parents of three and grandparents of five. The Spring Sing was so absolutely wonderful, I can't think of enough adjectives to express how much it was enjoyed by all. Each grade was so terrific but without a doubt, seeing the whole school dancing to "What Does the Fox Say" was spectacular. The kids ran the length of the building, silhouetted by the lights, bouncing to the music. Wow. We have seen several music teachers at Glenwood and other schools and you are without a doubt beyond compare. You absolutely bring those kids alive and it's obvious they love every minute of it. Thank you, thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Tonight you made history at Glenwood, without a doubt.
~ Cathy L., San Rafael, May 2014
Wow!!! Last night was truly amazing! I loved every minute of it. The music was fantastic and you did such an incredible job making it fun and humorous even when technology failed you! You are a real pro, dear Stephen, and you created such a special evening that I'm sure no one at Glenwood will ever forget. It created such a great community spirit. So wish we could have worked together longer! You are a gem!
See you soon, Janie
That performance last night was nothing short of fantastic and a total inspiration – hats off to you! There was just so much engagement, fun, and honestly great entertainment. Alistair enjoyed it so much and I was just awed. The What Does the Fox say bit was Internet viral sensation worthy.
~ J. S., San Rafael, May 2014
"...If you are looking for a place for your child to giggle, celebrate life, sing, giggle and sing some more... THEN THIS IS THE CAMP! I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. D's Music Club for several years now, as my daughter takes his after school classes. Mr. D has the midas touch with kids.... particularly girls. He truly has a gift for being able to build their self esteem and help them tap their inner talent. He can help any kid overcome stage fright. It is truly impressive. Mr. D exudes a happiness and comfort that truly brings out the best in each child. He is excellent in helping young stars explore their vocal capabilities and tap their music creativity, turning those squeaky notes into something harmonic. I am always impressed with Mr. D's ability to get the children to harmonize not just vocally but in the way they interact with one another. I absolutely love hearing all the songs that the kids learn. They cross all genres and thankfully are age appropriate for young girls to sing. I honestly can not say enough about Mr. D's Music Club. Like Mr. D himself, it is a one-of-a-kind camp... a place where magic happens..."
~ Bibi J. Oakland, 2013
My daughter is LOVING Mr D's Music Club at Bay Farm school!!!! She can't wait for Monday to roll around so she can go!!!!! Thank you!!!!!"
~ K. Sumrok , Alameda, March 2013
I love Mr. D’s Music Club! It's like choir, only really fun because we get to work on songs that I love to sing!"
—Grace M. 4th grade. Bay Farm Elementary, Alameda Feb 2012
Dear Mr. D, what a beautiful night last night was. It brought tears to my eyes. As a first time parent, I didn't really know what to expect, and it surpassed any possible expectation. It was so precious to see the kids up there singing their hearts out. Thank you for adding music to our children's lives. All the best,
~ Paola M., Danville CA
I wanted to tell you it was so wonderful having our son singing the Halloween town song to himself all over the house. He loves that song and is still singing it! And the concert was amazing! The kids were really enjoying themselves and the songs you picked out were super fun. Thanks, great job!
~ Theresa (Crestmont School), November 2011
Dear Mr. D,
Our 3rd grade son has always dreaded school concerts. Even in pre school he would act out before the event and then when he got on stage he would stand there, head down, looking sad and forlorn. As parents watching our son I can tell you it was heartbreaking. This year, however, something changed. He was excited getting ready. He ate his dinner and couldn’t wait to put on his Sunday best. We said nothing. When his grade came on stage and the music began he lifted his head, and with a big smile on his face sang and danced through all three songs. Both my husband and I shed tears. You have found a way to breathe new life into the program for sure, but more than that we can’t thank you enough for inspiring our son to step out of his comfort zone and move past something that was clearly very difficult for him. Afterwards, we went for ice cream and he couldn’t stop talking about how much he loves you and how funny you are. Thank you again. We are so lucky to have you at our school.
~ Mr and Mrs I., Danville, CA
Dear Mr. D. Molly loved this years camp! She has learned a lot over the years with you and she sounds incredible around the house singing. Her confidence in performing is improving and your location of the last camp was stellar. Thanks for your efforts and expertise.
~Erik Lee, Alameda, September 2013
Mr. D. ....What a lucky school to have you as their music director, and how sad it is for us to lose you. I've been attending our school concerts for 6 years now, and the program you put together last spring was the only one that gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes, and that is not an easy thing to do! You are tremendously talented, and I will miss the pleasure of your company, your good cheer and your collaboration.
~Amy K. El Cerrito, September 2013
Thank you Stephen for sharing your love of music, your beautiful voice, and your time and energy with our kids. Bob truly appreciated the opportunities you gave him to play his guitar in class and at the Spring Sing.
~ Sue T., September 2013
Oh Mr D… we will miss you!! I certainly understand you not missing this opportunity and wanted too send you a personal thanks. F really grew under your tutelage and gained a lot of self confidence. You are an excellent teacher and have the patience of a saint. It is a massive loss for our school and I don't think the music program there will ever be matched but I certainly wish you well in your future endeavors and look forward to seeing you in camps.
Thanks for everything!
~ Amy P., September 2013
"...Our daughter (8 yrs) thoroughly enjoyed Mr D's Summer Camp. She came home singing and dancing every day and was motivated and excited about music, lyrics and more. She has since learned to play a few of the tunes on the piano and performed one of them at her piano recital. We'd do the camp again for our daughter and son. Thank you Mr D! "
~ Sarah F., Alameda, 2012
“Our fifth grade son took Stephen's music class this year. He loved Stephen's warmth, energy and teaching style. Our son was one of only two boys in the class that session, and initially had expressed mild concern over this. Stephen has a magical way to get all the kids working as one unified team, or band. He instills terrific confidence in the kids, and also challenges them to step up no matter where they are musically...Stephen is a versatile musician and has his students singing and dancing a wide range of classic and hip songs. We highly recommend Stephen for his high-energy, fun, and effective teaching”
~ E. Wiess, Berkeley, February 2012
Our little one really enjoyed the camp. She really enjoyed the music, yoga, art and other children. When she saw her dance teacher at the local diner, she lit up with excitement. She is always talking about Mr. D, and she really looks forward to going back next year. The camp was kept active, safe, clean, creative and light-hearted. A well-balanced and thoughtful program like this is appreciated.
~ Cheryl R., Oakland, August 2012
My daughter just went to Mr. D's winter camp and says it was "the best camp ever!" (that is not easy; she's been to many different camps since Kindergarten, she is kind of hard to please ...) She is singing the songs all her spare time since then. She's signing up for the after school class too!
~ Chako A. Alameda, 2013
“ Dear After School Program,
My 2nd grade daughter, similar to many kids her age, tends to be shy, and although she loves to sing, until she took Mr. D’s class would dare only to sing in private. Yesterday Mr. D held a recital for his class which was held in Gopher Club with parents and peers in attendance. To see these kids work together as a group and sing their little hearts out brought tears to my eyes and was clearly a testament to Mr. D's ability to relate to them and to make this a safe and fun experience for all”
~Anna B., Glorietta School Parent, Orinda, April 2012
"...My 7 year-old attended Mr. D's Music Club this July and he had a blast. The age limit was 8, but after seeing my boy Stephen agreed he was mature enough to be with bigger kids. Great, because he enjoyed very much the time, especially yoga and dancing. Stephen is great with kids. The last day they all came to him and hugged him. Great connection. I recommend Mr. D's Music Club and give it 5 stars! "
~ Marc T., Oakland, 2012
Dear Mr. D, my daughter was very excited to take your class. She loves it and I am not surprised at all. I am very happy she has a comfortable outlet to do what she loves! I would definitely recommend this class to others. Thank you,
~ Merri P.R., Bay Farm Elementary, Alameda, February 2012
"...Thanks so much for your class Stephen,
My daughter loves to sing and has really enjoyed your class, but still a little shy to "cut it loose" in front of us here at home! Her mom and I hope this is just temporary and she'll do the entire song book for us by the time you're all done. We're actually just so happy she's having such a good time and doing something SHE likes! "
~ Regan & Carol, Bay Farm Elementary, Alameda, January 2012
" Dear Mr. D, I have been wanting to tell you how much my daughter is LOVING your class. After the first day I asked her how it was on a scale of 1-10 and she said a billion. She sings all the time at home and loves pop music so your selection of songs/artists was super fun. I really hope you will be able to have multiple after school sessions next year – my daughter wants to sign up for all of them. Thanks again for creating such a fun and engaging learning environment. It’s really great."
~ Kim - Bay Farm Elementary, Alameda. March 2012
“...my daughter LOVES your class ... absolutely, no holds barred! She has always loved music and has been actively involved with music since she was about one. I can see (and hear!) her enthusiasm for your class ... so, THANK YOU for all you do!”
~ Glorietta Elementary School Parent, Orinda, December 2011
I just wanted to write you to tell you how much we enjoyed the Spring Concert. Our kids were so excited for the evening and it was clear to see why! The music, decorations, video clips, etc were amazing. Thank you for all you did to make the evening such a special one for the kids and also the families. We are so lucky to have you a part of St. Isidore School!
~ Linda B., Danville, May 2010
Hi Mr. D, just wanted to say that you have an amazing talent and we love what you have done for our music program. I have to say, I anxiously await your Christmas and Spring Concert and my daughter Madison, who graduated last year, absolutely loved the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance routine. We were all amazed by that as well. Your openness to the students' ideas is so refreshing as well. Thank you so much!
~ The Castelein Family Danville, June 2011
“Dear Mr. Duffy……Wow!!!!! What a concert!!!! You did an incredible job! The kids were engaged. The parents were tapping their toes and smiling. We have had kids at this school for 15 years and we both felt that the concert last night was the best ever!!!! Thank you for making it so much fun for the kids. My older son was even jealous of the number that the 8th graders got to do. It was the first time that my husband remembers being able to hear the kids, so you did a great job with the acoustics too. Thank you!!! Thank you!!!”
~ Lisa and Dominic M., Danville, June 2010
Mr. D, wanted to write and say that our son, Matt, has developed a love of music through his experience with you and cannot be separated from his newly found love - his guitar. This enjoyment of music is a surprise to me and is 100% attributable to Mr. D. Matt has often talked about how much he has learned about musical productions from you and plans to be involved with theatrical and music productions in High School as a result of this experience.
~ Rick M., Danville, 2011
Hi Mr. Duffy,
I’ve been at S.I. school for 11 years now and that was the BEST concert yet!! Thank you for the tremendous amount of time, energy and effort you obviously used to create such a wonderful concert. I love how you were so creative with each of the numbers – the kazoos, the soccer video, Wizard of Oz clips, amazing artwork accompanying the songs, and of course, my personal favorite was “Thriller”. Those kids looked so excited to be performing and they did a fantastic job. I was totally surprised! Anyway, what a way to end a fabulous concert. You have a way of inspiring these kids to get excited about their songs (probably because you work on an interactive basis and let the kids make suggestions- well done!). We are lucky to have you at our school! Thanks again.
~ Meg M., Danville, 2010
This is not your average boring singing camp...this camp is hip and vibrant....Mr. D has a way ith the kids...My daughter went to this camp and everyday came home saying how awesome it was...we would definetely be going back this summer.
~ Laila S. El Cerritto, Feb 2013
Dear Mr. Duffy,
I want you to know that you have made an incredible difference in Carl's life as a music teacher. Your enthusiasm and love of teaching our children shines through when our son comes home singing a tune or song he heard in class. I particularly want to thank you for all the encouragement and "tips" you've given Carl with playing the piano. I was thrilled when he said he wanted to learn to play a 'Beatles' song and insisted his piano teacher stop with her regular lessons so he could learn it and eventually play the song in your class.
Thank you for all your professionalism, hard work and dedication to the kids from the bottom of our hearts. I feel fortunate that Carl had a well-rounded, fair and open-minded instructor that was not afraid to help our kids express themselves musically.
~ Pat T., Danville, June 2011
I was so impressed Thursday night. That was the best concert I’ve seen! I cannot believe the level of enthusiasm each of those children has, it is simply amazing. We are truly lucky to have someone like Mr. Duffy at our school. Thank you, Mr. Duffy!
~Lisa C., May 2010
“…Dear Mr. D, you brought a fantastic change to our school. You taught the children about the world of music in a way others haven't before. You brought life and excitement to song--- you made our children want to SING. As a matter of fact, my daughter told me she got up in class several weeks ago and tried out for a solo. I cried when I heard this. This is because of YOU. Thank you Mr. Duffy. Know that your hard work, dedication, spirit and love of life and music DID NOT go unnoticed...”
~ The O’Brien Family, May 2011