ESYO Roots Music

Traditional Music in America forms the heartbeat of many communities, mountain ranges, urban centers, states and cultures all the while capturing the imaginations of young musicians all over the world. The Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) would like to strengthen that heartbeat by creating a new program called ESYO Roots Music. 

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced musician, there is a place for you in ESYO's flagship music program. 

ESYO Roots Music is a pilot program for students who aspire to immerse themselves in Folk, Old-Time, or Bluegrass genres through playing, singing, jamming, taking the lead, and backing others up while making connections and memories that can last a lifetime.

To enroll in an ESYO Roots Music you need to submit a placement video. 

ESYO Roots Music is structured to support a range of playing levels.  ESYO challenges you to excel, grow, and perform in a weekly large group jam.  Advanced musicians are placed into smaller breakout bands while emerging musicians participate in group lessons.

Common Bluegrass, Old-Time, & Folk Instruments

Young musicians are placed by ability, instrument, and style preference, not by an ensemble. Click below for a complete list of available bluegrass, old-time, and folk instruments.

  • Fiddle
  • Mandolin
  • Acoustic/Electric Bass
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Banjo (3-finger syle or claw hammer)
  • Ukulele
  • Dobro
  • Piano
  • Harmonica
  • Accordion
  • Lap Dulcimer
  • Hammer Dulcimer
  • Tin Whistle

There is a place for you!

Send your placement video today

Sign up today and submit your placement video online. Simply complete the ESYO Roots Music Placement Form and submit your video online using Google Classroom. Questions?  Contact Sue Lascoe, Director of Operations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..