ESYO CHIME seeks to break down the barriers that exist for many children to achieve musical excellence. Through intense music instruction and mentorship, ESYO CHIME provides youth musicians from economically disadvantaged communities comprehensive support at both the elementary and middle school levels. The program not only allows them to excel musically, it builds the skills needed to succeed in all areas of their lives including collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

Launched in 2015, ESYO CHIME currently offers both daily, ensemble-based instruction to students in Schenectady as well as one-on-one private instruction to middle school students in Schenectady and Albany to support continued growth.

The goal is to continue to expand the program to impact children in communities throughout the Capital Region, and we are well on our way—CHIME has already doubled in size!


Central to ESYO CHIME is the conviction that pursuing musical excellence is transformational, and that such an endeavor should be available to all.

The barriers to music facing youth from economically disadvantaged communities are complex. In addition to costly instruments and private lesson fees, many are stymied by a lack of transportation, the absence of a safe and quiet place to practice, limited access to audition opportunities and musical mentors, and a lack of career guidance.

CHIME seeks to the fill these gaps, providing free, daily ensemble and private instruction, practice space, instruments, transportation, guidance and mentorship. With this level of support, CHIME musicians can have an equal opportunity to successfully audition into one of ESYO’s performing ensembles where they will be able to pursue excellence within an environment that defies any one economic label.


ESYO CHIME’s afterschool program currently provides comprehensive support to children in the Schenectady City School District in grades 1-8. The program provides three hours of intensive music instruction five days per week after school. During this time, participants engage in small group lessons, full ensemble rehearsals, choir, general music, and theory classes along with supervised practice. Weekly “casual concerts” take place on site for friends and family, and public performances are held at a variety of venues throughout the season. The program also includes side-by-side experiences with Empire State Youth Orchestra’s most advanced performing ensembles, and peer mentorship from older ESYO Youth Orchestra members.

The goal is to continue to expand CHIME offerings to more schools in Schenectady, Albany, and Troy. 


The CHIME in-school program provides children from underserved communities with free, weekly, private lessons to further their musical development. Lessons are currently provided at Hackett Middle School and the Thomas O’Brien Academy of Arts and Sciences in Albany (strings and brass), and in Schenectady (strings only) at Central Park and Mont Pleasant middle schools.

“I have seen a remarkable improvement in him since CHIME.  He has more confidence and discipline.  His self-esteem has improved and he is just a happier kid.  He carries himself in a different way now. “

 -CHIME Musician’s Teacher


“He is smiling more and isn’t as sensitive to let small things bother him.  He is standing a little taller now.  It is great to see a sense of accomplishment in him.”  

 -CHIME Musician’s Teacher


“It is really inspiring to see how much you can change their lives just by showing them a few notes. It is really incredible to see them aspiring to be better musicians. “

 -ESYO Musician Mentor

Instruments for CHIME™ are provided through the generous support of John Keal Music Ad