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Advisement & Registration


Advisement for percussion majors: Dr. Schaft serves as the primary academic advisor for all percussion majors. See him for advice on any music classes you intend to take. 

                A. Please follow the course recommendations herein to assure a successful first semester.

                B. Review your particular chosen degree program “Curriculum Sheet” from the YSU website, and bring it to advisement meetings with Dr. Schaft.  

                C. Before scheduling, block-out the following times before registering for any non-percussion courses: 

                             Tues/Thurs 3-5pm, Percussion Ensemble 

                             Fridays 12-1pm, Percussion Seminar

                             Fridays 11-12pm, Dana Convocation (necessary until 36 attendance credits are earned)

                D. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Schaft before registering. Dr. Schaft posts communications via our website, e-mail, and his bulletin board outside Bliss Hall room 2234. Make sure he has your current email & mobile number via a text sent him with your name, email, and phone #. You are responsible for reading postings and attending all indicated events. Please manage your voicemail box, so it is not full, in case we need to contact you.

Degree components: 

Core classes - As a percussion major (instrumental music degree programs) your core courses include Applied Percussion (your major instrument lessons), Music Theory, Music History and Literature, Keyboard Musicianship, Conducting, Large and Chamber Ensembles, music electives, and degree program specific classes (music ed, jazz, recording, etc.). Depending on the particular degree program emphasis, these core classes total anywhere from 74 credits in the music education degree to 96 credit hours in the BM Performance degree. They comprise a majority of your total degree requirements, which typically range from 125-134 credits.

General Education Requirements (GER) courses  typically referred to as liberal arts requirements at most schools, GER's total 33 credits for virtually any music degree program. First semester students should typically only enroll in one 3 credit GER class, unless otherwise advised by Dr. Schaft. 

Registration: After you have discussed exactly what courses you should register for with Dr. Schaft, see our academic advisors for the College of Creative Arts and Communication (located in the CCAC Dean’s Office, Bliss Hall 2nd floor) and they will assist you with online registration logistics. 

Undergraduate registration: A full-time undergraduate load is 12-18 credits and I recommend 12-15 cr. hr. your first semester. I typically recommend a conservative load until you get a feel for the schedule and workload (practice, rehearsal, and music course homework) that comprise the core of your daily schedule. Further I want you to prove you can earn good grades at this workload level before we increase it.


Typical first semester full-time (12 credit hour minimum) registration: 

         • Applied Percussion (2cr) MUAC 1501 

         • one chamber ensemble –  (1cr) Percussion Ensemble MUEN 0009

         • one large ensemble (1cr) Marching Band MUEN 0006

         • theory (2-components: musicianship 2cr. & musicianship lab 2cr) total (4cr)

          •keyboard musicianship (1cr) MUAC 1581

          •one GER course (3cr)

             Once we determine if this load is feasible for excellent achievement, we may add additional ensembles or GER courses.

Register for undergraduate courses in the following order to avoid conflicts with percussion classes: 

1. Percussion Ensemble – course code 6220, catalog number MUEN 0009. Meets Tues/Thurs 3:30-5pm, setup at 3pm. This percussion chamber music experience is recommended for all percussion majors concurrent with each semester of applied percussion, unless otherwise advised by Dr. Schaft.


2. Applied Percussion – course code - 89xx. See Syllabus Article 1.5 "Applied Lesson Course Numbers” for more info. Freshmen should register for catalog number 1501 their first semester. Although there are three separate components to the Applied Percussion Course, the only part that appears on your YSU Banner Class Schedule is the Percussion Seminar which meets at noon on Fridays. Nevertheless, you must attend all three components. After you provide Dr. Schaft a copy of your schedule, he will post a schedule of private and group lesson times during week one.

       A. Private lessons — one hour weekly lesson, time TBA pending Dr. Schaft’s receipt of your schedule on the first class day. 

       B. Group lessons – 1 or 2 hours weekly, times TBA pending Dr. Schaft’s receipt of your schedule on the first class day. Freshmen Group Lesson typically meets Friday’s from 4-4:50pm. Other group lessons typically meet on Wed and Thurs at 4PM, or Friday at 2pm.

       C. Percussion Seminar Class – Required for all majors. Meets Friday, 12-12:50p.m.

       D. Avoid scheduling classes on Wednesday evenings (5-10 pm) as these evenings typically include Percussion Ensemble Concerts, Percussion Studio Recitals, and Percussion Student Degree Recitals. There will typically be at least two such events each semester.

3. Dana Convocation - weekly School of Music meeting for all music majors; host guest artists, student recitals, faculty presentations, etc. All music majors are required to earn 36 Convocation attendance credits; these should be completed during freshmen and sophomore years. Meets Friday 11-11:50 a.m. in Bliss Recital Hall, so reserve this hour until you complete the attendance requirement. Failure to do so may delay course scheduling and graduation dates. In addition, each student is required to attend 30 recitals and documents such attendances. These attendance requirements will be explained in the Dana Student Handbook and in Convocation.

4. Music Theory see for all theory department information. Freshmen – pending your theory placement test score and faculty recommendations, you should enroll in either MUTC 1531 (Theory 1) or 1531N (Theory 1 Intensive) your first semester. All freshmen should also concurrently enroll in MUTC 1541 (Aural Theory 1). If you have not taken the placement test during the entrance audition, it is also given the Monday before fall classes begin. The theory sequence should be completed during your first five semesters. Contact Dr. Jena Root at  (330) 941-3371 with any questions.


5. Keyboard Musicianship – piano class. If you are admitted to Dana as a music (percussion) major, piano is considered your minor instrument. If you possess piano experience and wish to proficiency-out of any of the four required courses, take the placement exam. If not, enroll in the first course, MUAC 1581, your first semester. Schedule your exam through the Dana Office. Exams are usually held several days before fall classes begin. The keyboard sequence should be completed during your first four semesters. Most YSU degrees allow you to take two semesters of classical piano and two semesters of jazz piano and I typically recommend this option. 

6. Large Ensemble requirements:

•The Dana School of Music requires you to enroll in at least one ensemble concurrent with each semester of applied major level lessons. 

•Music Scholarship recipients must enroll in one large ensemble each semester in order to fulfill your scholarship requirements. In addition, I expect all music scholarship recipients to enroll in Percussion Ensemble each semester concurrently with your applied percussion studies.

•All ensemble assignments are ultimately determined via auditions the first week of Fall Semester. Initially, enroll in courses you hope to audition into. After the ensemble auditions are completed the first week, ensemble assignments will be posted and you should adjust your registration accordingly. 

•Obviously the above ensemble requirements are degree minimums and my recommendations for each student vary depending on their degree, educational needs, and career goals. Generally, I recommend performance majors register for 4-5 ensembles each semester; usually a balance of large and chamber ensembles. If you do not participate in this much music making every semester, there is significantly reduced chance we will be able to adequately prepare you for a successful performance career. Music education majors however, because they have many other degree course requirements in music education and the College of Education, must typically take fewer ensembles, if they wish to maintain a reasonable credit load and graduate in a timely manner. Nevertheless, I recommend that music education majors be in at least two ensembles each semester of applied instruction – percussion ensemble and one other ensemble. 

•Many students take GER classes during the summer to free-up time for more ensemble experience during the fall and spring semesters. Many of the finest performers to graduate from our studio over the years were education majors, yet were able to play in numerous ensembles each semester, attain high GPA's, and graduate in a timely manner. Evidence that this advisement has proven successful for nearly a quarter-century here.

•Since rudimental drumming is the core of Western percussion, be it military drumming, rudimental snare drum, marching band, drum corps, indoor drumline, orchestral percussion, drumset, etc. I believe that several semesters of marching band experience are beneficial to most any bachelor of music or bachelor of arts degree candidates, be they education, performance, jazz, recording, or otherwise, unless I personally advise you otherwise. Since many education majors will likely coach drumlines, compose/arrange for drumlines, and direct marching bands in high school teaching, I believe you should register for a minimum of two years of marching band, preferably your freshmen and sophomore year. It is wise to gain adequate playing experience before teaching high school drumlines yourself. Entering freshmen jazz majors should enroll in Jazz 3 and marching band. Fortunately, the YSU marching band does not incur an excessive time commitment and is based on a ideal synthesis of drum corps and show styles, thus providing our students varied, valuable, and marketable experiences.

7. General Education Requirements (GER). You are required to earn credits as indicated on your degree curriculum guide. I recommend freshmen enroll in only one GER or GenEd course their first semester — perhaps from the Basic Skills section. A full load is 12-18 credits; 12-14 is ideal your first semester.  


Graduate Studies Registration Advisement:

Schedule an appointment with the Coordinator of Graduate Music Studies to discuss your registration. A full-time graduate level load must include 9 or more semester hours.

   1.   Register for 6900 level applied percussion 6901 or 6903 your first semester.

   2.   Register for Percussion Ensemble (MUEN 0009)

   3.   Register for MUHL 6942, Introduction To Bibliography, your first semester.


Additional Advisement Info

Secure all Required Supplies before classes begin.

Fall Semester Percussion Auditions: Two auditions occur the first week of fall semester.

   1. Symphonic Percussion Auditions – consideration for Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Dana Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, University Band, Brass Ensemble, Opera, Musical, etc. Auditions are held the first class day in Bliss 2234. A sign-up list and instructions are posted on my bulletin board one week beforehand. Auditions consist of sight-reading and/or prepared excerpts and are heard by the percussion/band/orchestra faculty. The faculty determine ensemble assignments, placement, and part assignments. All percussion majors must take the Symphonic Percussion Audition unless otherwise advised by Dr. Schaft. Any YSU student wishing to be considered for the above ensembles must take this audition. Percussion Ensemble is only open to percussion majors, unless otherwise approved by Dr. Schaft.

   2. Drumset Auditions – for jazz big bands and combos occur the Friday of the first week of classes in room 2222 at 3PM. The audition sign-up list will be posted in the Bliss 2nd floor hallway by the Jazz Coordinator’s office. Drumset audition repertoire includes: 1. Sight-read a chart with an ensemble and these charts are made available electronically in-advance. Call-backs may occur, so please stay until you are excused. Instruments are provided; bring sticks and brushes. Audition results will be posted immediately following the auditions. Vibraphonists should sign-up for a separate audition time as indicated by the Jazz Coordinator. 

PASIC. Percussive Arts Society International Convention occurs, typically the second week of November, and I encourage you to attend. See <> for schedule and membership info. No YSU percussion classes or events are scheduled during PASIC to facilitate your attendance. Notify your professors no later than the first week or two of fall semester, via an excused absence request memo, of your proposed absences from their courses. This provides them ample time to consider your request and inform you of whether or not they will grant you an excused absence and how work must be made-up, or substitute players secured. I can only excuse you from my percussion courses. I can, however, provide you a memo to share with your professors explaining the studio-wide benefit of attending PASIC.

Percussion Keys. Each percussion major should sign-out two keys (one for the 6 third-floor practice rooms and one for the second-floor percussion rooms 2232 and 2240) in the Music Office after you have registered for applied percussion. Returning majors may keep keys during the summer pending Dr. Schaft’s permission. Percussion minors may be issued a 3rd floor practice room key pending Dr. Schaft's approval.

Lockers. Rent a Bliss Hall second floor locker at the Kilcawley Center for your backpack, books, stickbags as we cannot provide percussion facilities for these personal items. We will provide percussion storage space for your practice (Remo Silent Stroke) snare drum, concert snare drum and stand, and drumset.

Drumline Camp for schedule, Drumline Handbook, and audition music.

Recital Advisement - see Applied Percussion Syllabus


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