Discover Bluegrass

Exploring American Roots Music

Discover Bluegrass introduces young (and young at heart) viewers to an original, joyful and uniquely American genre of acoustic roots music. Six instructional units, each roughly 10 minutes in length, explore the history and evolution of bluegrass music, starting with its old-time music roots and continuing through contemporary styles. Demonstrations include a look at the unique vocal harmony structure used in bluegrass music, along with info on the instruments used and their roles within a band. Individual lesson plans for each unit are included, designed to address educational performance standards. Hosted by rising bluegrass stars Sierra Hull and Ryan Holladay, Discover Bluegrass presents the genre from a youthful perspective, complete with live interviews, performance footage, historic photos and songs from bluegrass music’s biggest stars—past, current and future!

Featuring interviews & performance footage from The Andals; Sam Bush; The Chapmans; J.D. Crowe & the New South; Jerry Douglas; Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys; Bela Fleck; The Del McCoury Band with Vince Gill; The Grascals; The David Grisman Quintet; Hot Rize; Alison Krauss + Union Station; The Malpass Family; Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys; Jim & Jesse McReynolds; Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys; Muleskinner; Nickel Creek; Old & In the Gray; The Osborne Brothers; The Peasall Sisters; The Reeltime Travelers; Don Reno; Peter Rowan; The Seldom Scene; The Shankman Twins; Ricky Skaggs; The Special Consensus; Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys; Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and more!

Film Length: 67 minutes

Target Audience: Ages 8-13 (Grades 3-8)

For educational use in schools, associations, libraries and with home schooling families. Please contact the IBMA Foundation for more information.

The Discover Bluegrass educational DVD chapters on this website are sponsored in part by Pete Wernick,


Hosted By: Sierra Hull & Ryan Holladay; Chapter I by A.J. Lee & Max Schwartz

Produced By: Greg Cahill & Nancy Cardwell; Chapter 1 by Phil Bankester & Nancy Cardwell

Written & Directed By: Steve Parry & Eric Farnaus, Image Base, Chicago, Ill.; Chapter I Phil Bankester

Original Script By: Jack Tottle

Lesson Plans: Tom Kopp, PhD

Major funding is provided by the membership of IBMA, Bluegrass Unlimited, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the California Bluegrass Association, the Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association and the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association.


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The IBMA Foundation
1183 University Drive #105-215
Burlington, NC 27215