In a region where a child’s zip code dictates opportunity, ESYO CHIME provides free music training for children in the Capital Region’s most at risk, urban neighborhoods. The goal is to inspire the next generation of musicians regardless of background and uplift the communities where these children live through music. Through CHIME, Empire State Youth Orchestras wants to ensure ANY talented musician has the ability to excel, no matter where they were born.

Through the combination of ensemble-based instruction in the elementary grades after school and private instruction during the school day for middle school students, ESYO CHIME offers a cohesive and comprehensive program for children in challenged communities in the Capital District. 


The CHIME afterschool program is currently running at Yates Arts in Education Magnet School in Schenectady, where 98% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch. There are currently 60 students who work with CHIME teaching artist EVERY DAY after school on individual and ensemble-based instruction as well as dance and art therapy classes. The program also includes multiple public performances, side-by-side experiences with Empire State Youth Orchestras’ 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 40 underserved Capital Region children with free, weekly, private lesson to further their musical development. Lessons are provided at Hackett Middle School, Albany (strings and brass), and in Schenectady (strings only) at Central Park and Mont Pleasant middle schools. To cultivate and retain more brass students, lessons are now also given to elementary students at Albany’s Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST).

“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