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Testimonials

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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, Assistant 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. My time spent in the Youngstown 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 Air Force 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


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, Music Resources Assistant, 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 that 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) observation of freshmen percussion lesson, 2005.


During my observation of Dr. Schaft's lesson, the most profound thing that 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 class 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, Stuebenville Central Catholic High School, OH


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

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