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Welcome to the home of Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music in higher education!


Daniel Boner

Founded 30 years ago in 1982 by Jack Tottle, Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University is the oldest established program of its kind at any four-year institution. This unique program has thrived on the philosophies of preserving the musical traditions rooted in Appalachian culture while at the same time encouraging creativity and development of prevailing styles. Students from around the globe come to ETSU exclusively to study the music of the mountains in the rich cultural hearth of Northeast Tennessee.

If you are serious about pursuing a full-time career in music we suggest you look closely at our new Bachelor of Arts degree in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies – the only degree of its kind in the world. If you are interested in working toward a degree in another profession, perhaps our minor in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies will be a more suitable option. Non-degree students also are welcome to register for any courses that might be of personal interest.

Whether you will be learning a complicated instrumental in private lessons, arranging an original song to perform onstage with your band, studying the history of your favorite styles of music, or mastering technologies of the recording studio to achieve your own unique sound, ETSU is a place where you will work closely with qualified teachers who are eager to help guide you toward success. We welcome you to pursue your interests at the home of Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies in higher education – East Tennessee State University.

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Daniel Boner, Director



Watch this video to see why students and professional artists choose ETSU.


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Bluegrass, Old Time, Country, and Celtic Band auditions: August 21, 12:30 P.M. Brown Hall Auditorium