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Auditions

We encourage interested candidates to schedule an audition/interview, as we pride ourselves on providing a personalized, flexible, and excellent percussive arts education to highly motivated individuals regardless of your particular musical interests.


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Mission We foster a vibrant community of musicians and facilitate their learning via critical thinking, knowledge, and practical skills across broad yet interrelated areas of inquiry including performance, recording, improvisation, composition, pedagogy, theory, history, technology, mind/body research, and the music industry.


Curriculum is renowned for its personalized and flexible approach that interweaves universal musical skills, percussion instrument techniques and repertoire, and each student’s unique career interests. Students may build a broad multi-instrument “total percussion” experience or more specialized tracks such as drum set, keyboard, orchestral percussion, contemporary solo and chamber music, or world percussion. Studio enrollment averages about 15 majors. Courses include Applied Percussion (private lessons, group lessons, Seminar Class) and Percussion Ensemble. Guest artists present clinics, master classes, lectures, recitals, and private lessons.


Faculty-Staff Glenn Schaft, DMA GlennSchaft.com is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies. He directs the Percussion Ensemble, teaches private and group lessons, Studio Seminar class, Percussion Methods, and is co-founder / faculty advisor of the Youngstown Percussion Collective. Glenn's performance and teaching credits span  classical, contemporary, world, jazz, improvised, and popular music. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and is an educational artist endorser with Avedis Zildjian Co., Vic Firth,  Remo Inc., and an educational consultant with Black Swamp Percussion. The percussion faculty also includes Ed Davis, Adjunct Instructor; Dylan Kollat, Adjunct Dance Department Accompanist and Drumline Instructor, a Percussion Graduate Assistant, and Undergraduate Work-Study Assistant.

    Full-time percussion faculty have included Myron James Wisler 1962-1972, Joseph Parlink 1972-1996, and Glenn Schaft 1996-present. Previous adjunct faculty include Feza Zweifel, Janet Pemberton, Ron Coulter, Nathan Douds, Dustin May, Craig Hill, Rob Ferguson, and Dr. Elizabeth DeLamater.


Opportunities Campus-based professional gigs include: Youngstown Percussion Collective Touring Ensemble, Basketball Pep Band, Commencement Band, and accompanists for the Dance Department. Off-campus professional gigs include the Youngstown Scoring Stage, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic, Packard Band, Youngstown Playhouse, Opera Western Reserve, and myriad drumset gigs in Cleveland, Akron, Kent, Youngstown, Warren, and Pittsburgh. Our students are employed as instructors and composer/arrangers for the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra Percussion Section, high school drumlines, area Broadway musicals, and myriad private teaching opportunities such as Music & Arts and Hubbard Music.


Note from Dr. Glenn Schaft  After 25 years at YSU, I continue to be impressed with the quality and diversity of our students and their many accomplishments: freelance performers and recording artists in Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Shanghai, Honolulu, public school music educators around the country including a six-time "Top 100 Music Community in the Unites States, touring and recording with rock bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Red Wanting Blue, J.D. Eicher, Trevor Hall, the Vindys, teaching at universities in China, Brazil, and the United States (Cleveland Institute of Music, Kent State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M Commerce, Casper College, Capital University, Denison University, Wright State University, Ball State University, Otterbein University, Clarion University, West Liberty State College, Southern Illinois University), instructing the DCI Phantom Regiment Front Ensemble and WGI Matrix Front Ensemble, touring on top world cruise lines, drum techs with Rascal Flats and Old Dominion, jazz drummers in New York City, director of the Troopers DCI Drum and Bugle Corps, performers in the United States Army Band, composers, artist endorsers with percussion companies such as Pearl/Adams, Zildjian, Evans, Innovative Percussion, ProMark, Black Swamp, and many others, world percussion dance accompanists, drum circle facilitators, featured appearance on the cover of Modern Drummer Magazine, YSU percussion alums earning masters and doctoral degrees at top graduate schools throughout the United States, television appearances on major network late shows and American's Got Talent, recordings for major films, musicals, writing/arranging music for the Super Bowl, music manufacturing and retail industry, music director, arranger, and producer with with major popular music artists. For detailed information, please visit the Alumni tab. 


Sponsors Glenn and the YSU Percussion Studio are proud to be sponsored by Avedis Zildjian Co., Vic Firth, Remo Inc., and Black Swamp Percussion.

 

Why YSU? The Dana School of Music provides an outstanding value — a high quality education at one of the lowest costs of any comprehensive university in the United States. Founded in 1869, Dana, one of the oldest music schools in the United States, celebrated its 150 anniversary in 2019, and is part of a thriving urban university of about 12,000 students. Dana includes 200 music majors, 24 full-time faculty, and 31 adjunct faculty. 


Location YSU is a beautiful urban campus located in downtown Youngstown and is part of the culturally vibrant northeast Ohio region with Cleveland 70 miles to the Northwest,  Akron 50 miles to the West,  and Pittsburgh 67 miles to the Southeast  The Youngstown metropolitan area has a population of over 760,000 and offers myriad cultural amenities.


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Testimonials

WOW! I was knocked out by your [guest artist] work with our students--excellent ideas, encouragement, straight talk, and help. BRAVO! Doug Walter, Director of Percussion Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, 2018

 

While providing a broad and comprehensive foundational education, the YSU Percussion Department also provided an inclusive and flexible approach to the individual. Creative limitations were never imposed and individual interests were encouraged, supported, and often integrated into the course of study. The department and its curriculum directly reflect the ideals of its director, Glenn Schaft: individuality, professionalism, adaptability, progressiveness, hard-work, rigorous self-assessment, and reinvention. Ron Coulter, Associate Professor, Casper College, Wyoming - BM 2001, MM 2003

 

Dr. Schaft fosters a learning environment that pushes you to perform to your maximum potential, in effect allowing you to experience music making at a high level. The idea of the total percussion program is invaluable as it helped me become a well-rounded percussionist and no doubt prepared me for graduate studies at one of the top music schools in the world (Indiana University). My time spent in the YSU percussion studio was both a challenging and rewarding experience that created some of my fondest memories and friendships. Making music with such a close-knit group of people was truly something special. Kevin Rabold, BM 2010, United States Army Band

 

I am truly grateful each and every day for the education that I received from Dr. Glenn Schaft during my time at Youngstown State. As an active music educator, I would not be able to do what I do today had it not been for Glenn pushing me to test my boundaries as a musician time and time again. Hosting Percussive Arts Society events, bringing in guest artists and clinicians, and commissioning pieces are just a few examples to show that Dr. Schaft goes out of his way to make sure his students are afforded the best opportunities possible. The camaraderie and support from fellow studio members sticks with me even to this day. The diversity of Dr. Schaft’s total percussion program gave me the skills to handle most any real-world situation. Thanks to Dr. Glenn Schaft, Youngstown State University has a percussion program that is paralleled by none.  Mario Butera, BM 2009, BME 2015, Music Director Geneva High School, Geneva, OH

 

My graduate school experience at Youngstown State University was extremely positive and rewarding. It placed me in situations (teaching courses, conducting ensembles, etc.) that helped me grow immensely as a musician and a person. Dr. Schaft is a great teacher who stresses fundamentals in all areas of percussion while also allowing his students to gradually find their own niche. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend YSU to any prospective undergraduate or graduate student. Justin Watt - MM 2005, Freelance Artist Asheville, NC

 

The YSU applied percussion program under the direction of Glenn Schaft can be described in two concise statements:  1. A percussionist will receive well-rounded instruction across all realms of percussion (performance, academic, and professional). 2. The creative student will find an open environment to incorporate any enrichment or focus into the aforementioned standard. I searched the country for an institution that would provide a comprehensive curriculum alongside the freedom of personal expression. While I could have traveled hours for an education, I found the most inspiring program in my hometown. Craig Hill - MM 2005, BME 2003, International Touring Artist based in Minneapolis, MN

 

At Youngstown, Glenn Schaft runs one of the most comprehensive, yet personalized percussion programs in the country.  He believes truly in the idea of the complete percussionist, yet guides his students in maximizing their strongest areas. My time spent there as a graduate student helped me to further cultivate my strengths while locating weaknesses; allowing me to identify ways in which I would later be able to succeed professionally in the field. Greatly based on this advanced training and shortly after completion of my studies, I was able to secure a collegiate percussion position and have worked in the field since. Seth Rogers – MM 2009, Director of Percussion Studies, Denison University

 

After teaching my first [graduate level] class this past semester on modernism, I realized what a phenomenal education I received at YSU...Thank you for being an amazing teacher and pushing me. Joanna Fuchs - BM 2006, Associate Professor, Music Resources, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 

 

By all measures my experience with the YSU percussion department was excellent. During my stay at YSU I rubbed elbows with excellent musicians where I could learn from their expertise, as well as impart my knowledge to younger students. The level of instruction from Dr. Glenn Schaft was unparalleled. He is a fine teacher and performer who has a plethora of knowledge in many diverse areas of the percussion world. I would recommend YSU to any student interested in a well-rounded educational experience. Dr. Schaft has succeeded at establishing a percussion learning environment rather than a typical percussion studio. David Hepler - MM 2003, Music Educator, PA

 

As an undergrad at YSU I learned the importance of playing musically. Glenn's emphasis on phrasing and dynamics have stayed with me in every project I have been a part of since. Thru his strong work ethic and flawless technique, he demonstrated what it takes to be a true professional percussionist. There are some who teach by example and some who can just teach from the books. Glenn does both very effectively! I'm grateful for my time as a percussion major at YSU! Chris Steele, BM 1999, Freelance Artist, Los Angeles, CA 

 

My experience in the YSU percussion studio was a positive one. During my time there, I grew not only as a percussionist, but as a total musician. Dr. Schaft offered a supportive and creative, yet challenging environment. I was encouraged to pursue the musical avenues I wanted, yet also pushed to explore and expand into realms I was unfamiliar with. I would recommend Youngstown State to any percussionist seeking freedom of artistic expression and a well-rounded, comprehensive percussion education. Michael Anderson, BME 2008, Freelance Artist, Hartford, CT

 

Studying at Youngstown State University was a pleasure. As a percussion student, I looked into this particular percussion studio because of the diverse percussion education I would be involved in. The “total percussion” attitude was totally fulfilled in my tenure at YSU. I believe Glenn Schaft has the tools and knowledge for any student looking to excel in a personalized and “total percussion” music degree. During my tenure I also auditioned into The Ohio Light Opera and played with other students from Juilliard, Eastman, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Duquesne University. I feel that YSU is a place where I was never limited by the atmosphere and was given the same opportunities as other well-known schools without the well-known cost. Dean Anshutz, BM 2008, Touring Artist with Red Wanting Blue, Columbus, OH

 

One thing I liked about Dr. Schaft's teaching style was that he doesn't necessarily show the student what to do at first, but gives them prompts to figure it out for themselves. If the student doesn't get it, then he will demonstrate. In addition, Dr. Schaft taught things not just about playing percussion instruments, but how to present yourself as a professional percussionist. He teaches the student how to teach. He frequently asked "why do I have you learning this?" so the student understands what he is supposed to gain from the exercise and why he should teach it to his students. Ashley Glenn, percussion methods class student lesson observation, 2005.

 

During my observation of Dr. Schaft's lesson, the most profound thing I found in the way he teaches is that he ties everything together. He used pedagogy techniques, music theory, and music history points in his lessons. Percussion methods student, lesson observation, 2005.

 

With the education I received from Dr. Glenn Schaft at YSU, I am confident in my own abilities when I teach my students. The environment Glenn creates is an atmosphere that allows all students to grow in some aspect. Instruction not only comes from Glenn, but he encourages fellow studio members to instruct on performances and give viable feedback for and opportunity of growth. Being a member of the Youngstown Percussion Collective, as well as the Treasurer, has given skills I never thought I would have. To organize and complete a project to the scale of Forms of Things Unknown is incredible. Being a part of it from its conception, to recording sessions, to the mixing and mastering sessions, and to the distribution of the CDs gave me incredible insight into what is entailed in a project of that magnitude. I am proud to call myself an alumnus of the YSU Percussion Studio and a former student of Glenn Schaft’s. Eric Zalenski, BME 2013, Music Director, Cadiz High School, OH

 

A hearty congratulations to you and your students for presenting a terrific day of percussion. [re: Percussive Arts Society Ohio Chapter, Day of Percussion, 2006 hosted at YSU]. Susan Powell, Director of Percussion, Ohio State University

 



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