Endangered Instruments


Hilary Lewis

Cathleen Torres

Atiba Starr

Endangered Instruments Program

The GSYO Endangered Instruments Program (EIP) encourages young musicians to learn to play these instruments that are highly sought after by orchestras:

  • Double Bass
  • French Horn
  • Viola

If you're a young musician who is interested in learning to play, and/or switching to an endangered instrument, join this unique program!

Students enrolled in EIP receive:

  • Subsidized group lessons (4-10 students per class)
  • An instrument at no additional cost
  • Placement in a GSYO orchestra or ensemble once their skills have reached a sufficient level

The EIP Program is an outstanding opportunity for students to learn new instruments, play in a GSYO ensemble, and develop a lifelong appreciation of music! We look forward to having you be part of it!

Fill out the program application below. You will be contacted about an audition date and supplied with additional details. Please note, proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required.

Who should apply?

Musicians ages 8-13. Older students may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Motivated musicians. Students should have good practice habits, and be willing to dedicate regular practice time to learning a new instrument.

Musicians should have at least one-year experience on any instrument, be able to read music and pass an audition with EIP faculty.

Downloadable Brochure

Which instrument is right for you?

It is relatively easy for Violinists to switch to Viola. Young players can take up viola as it comes in many sizes!

Double Bass 

Cellists are great candidates to take up the double bass; they have experience on a string instrument and know how to read bass clef. Young players can take up string bass as it does come in many sizes!

French Horn 

Middle school wind and brass students should make quick progress on horn; this program is great for horn students who are in band but don’t receive individual lessons.


EIP scholarships, which are need-based, are available. Ask us about our scholarship program.

Time Commitment

EIP runs October to April, and is split into two sessions. The Fall and Spring sessions are 10 and 12 weeks long, respectively, with a one hour lesson each week. After each session, the musicians are evaluated for orchestra. Most students will participate in two sessions before moving into a GSYO ensemble, though individual progress varies. Students are expected to start private instruction on their endangered instrument once they have received orchestra placement. GSYO can recommend teachers.

Class Schedule

Location: Union Presbyterian Church, 858 University Ave, Los Altos


Schedule: 4:30-5:30pm
Coach: Hilary Lewis

Double Bass

Schedule: 4-5pm
Coach: Atiba Starr

French Horn (FULL)

Schedule: 4:45-5:45pm
Coach: Cathleen Torres

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