Sounds of China: STARTALK—Learn Chinese Through Beijing Opera Performance Summer Camp

Poster for Sounds of China Summer Camp 2015

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Offered by Binghamton University, Sponsored by the STARTALK Program

Who can apply: students in grades 6-12
Dates: July 31 - August 18, 2017   
Times: Mon - Fri (8:30 am - 4:00 pm)     
Place: Binghamton University campus

What is "Sounds of China"?

"Sounds of China" is a unique summer camp offered by Binghamton University for students entering grades 6-12 that teaches Chinese language through a focus on learning Beijing opera (Peking opera). Campers learn Chinese and engage in Chinese culture-themed arts and crafts in the mornings, and learn Beijing opera in the afternoons while using their recently acquired language skills. No other summer camp in the U.S. offers this unique and exciting opportunity!

  • No fee to participate!
  • Ideal for students with the equivalent of a year or less of Chinese language background - in fact, no previous knowledge of Chinese required (students with knowledge of Chinese already are also welcome to apply)
  • Learn to read and write basic Chinese characters  
  • Converse in basic Chinese with teachers and classmates
  • Experience and learn for yourself many aspects of Beijing opera, including its style of stage combat, costumes, character types, singing, distinctive face-painting style, history and movements  
  • Make fun, Chinese-culture-themed arts and crafts  
  • Lunch is provided
  • Show off your Beijing opera skills at an exciting final performance on the last day of camp


New and returning students are all welcome! But our enrollment is limited, so please make sure to submit the application before May 31, 2017 To apply, please complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out and sign the complete application form (provided below).
  2. Students must write a personal statement of 300 words or less, explaining why they would like to participate in this camp. Please submit this with the rest of this application.
  3. Students must also submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher along with the application.
  4. Mail these documents to Confucius Institute at Binghamton University, c/o Carrie Buck, 4400 Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000.

APPLICATION FORM (.pdf, 309 KB): "Sounds of China" 2016 Application

The deadline to submit the application is May 31, 2017.


1. "Sounds of China" is a day camp, not an overnight camp. Unfortunately, we cannot provide lodging or transportation to and from Binghamton University each day for participating students.

2. For safety reasons, parents/guardians must sign in and sign out students each day. At the end of every day, they will be required come inside the building to the sign-out location to pick up their child, which may require parking in a metered or guest parking lot. "Sounds of China" is not able to pay for any resulting parking fees (either in the morning for sign-in or in the afternoon for sign-out). We apologize for the inconvenience.

3. We will notify each applicant regarding enrollment status as soon as possible. If accepted, participants and their parents/guardians must sign a 1) consent form from Binghamton University and 2) a consent form from STARTALK, which will be sent to them.


Last Updated: 4/5/17