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Perc Ensemble Syllabus - Spring 2022

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble Syllabus Glenn Schaft, DMA Spring 2022

Published 1/10/22

This is a document of understanding between you and Dr. Schaft. Please discuss any concerns you have with him during the first week of classes. Your enrollment signifies your understanding of its policies.

Catalog Number: MUEN 0009, CRN 40369, Bliss Hall 2326


Glenn Schaft, DMA – Professor of Music, Percussion Coordinator
email: phone: 330.518.4812 studio: Bliss Hall 2234

Email communication with your instructor: should be treated as professional correspondence. Use a proper salutation, full words, complete sentences, correct spelling and grammar, and electronic signature including your mobile phone number. Texting or voicemail is not acceptable except in an emergency.

Office hours: Dr. Schaft provides five office hours per week posted on his personal schedule available on the YSU percussion website "Media" pull-down tab. Face-to-face walk-ins are welcome on a first-come first-served basis, but an appointment is recommended to guarantee a time.

Required supplies:

  1. PE Folder. A folder labeled PE will be given you. You are responsible for it and its contents. Bring it to all PE rehearsals and private lessons.
  2. Pencil with eraser – bring to all rehearsals
  3. Drum key
  4. Ear Plugs Earasers, or other options Hearos High Fidelity, Vic Firth High Fidelity, or Eargazm ear plugs. These

brands are similar products, ca. $15-20, purchase no more than 20-25 dB sound attenuation (reduction). Cheap

foam plugs are not acceptable.

Metronome Either a stand-alone electronic metronome such as Tama Rhythm Watch or Dr. Beat or a mobile

phone met app; I recommend "Tempo", with sound attenuating headphones or form-fit ear buds that provide hearing protection. Labeled with your name.

Ensemble admittance and enrollment: Admittance is granted via an audition and permission of the Percussion Coordinator and is typically limited to percussion majors. Majors are typically advised to register for PE concurrent with each semester of applied percussion lessons unless otherwise advised by Dr. Schaft.

Ensemble objectives–learning outcomes:

  • Develop effective teamwork skills.
  • Develop chamber music skills including: pre-rehearsal preparation, positive attitude in all situations, reading and

memorization, group breathing and conducting skills, stage presence and concert etiquette.

Foster an understanding of diverse percussion ensemble literature through listening and research, individual

practice, group rehearsals, performances, and recording sessions.

Experience improvisation, arranging, and composition individually and as a group.

Select upper division undergraduate and graduate students are expected to serve as musical directors.

Part assignments: are made in consideration of:

  • Results of ensemble auditions, juries, and applied percussion course achievement.
  • Effective artistic programming.
  • Student aptitude and experience - every effort is made to effectively match part assignments with your ability,



Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble Syllabus Glenn Schaft, DMA Spring 2022

i.e. challenging yet attainable.
• Previous achievement in this course.


  • Tue &Thur 3:30-5p.m.
  • Gear set-up 3-3:30pm.
  • Weekly Schedule of rehearsal repertoire and times are published (typically Friday) under the website Media pull-

down tab.

Percussion Seminar (Friday 12-12:50pm) may be used for PE preview performances.

Performances include two feature-length evening concerts at the Dana School of Music and one or two Butler Institute of American Art "Music At Noon" performances each academic year. Off-campus performances typically include the Ohio Music Educators Association Professional Conference, Percussive Arts Society Ohio Day of Percussion, concerts at universities and various arts organizations, studio commissioning and recording projects, and K-12 school assemblies. Performance dates are published on our homepage at and are listed no later than the first day of each semester.

Performances/Dress Rehearsal Dates: see calendar

Final Exam Period: Will be used for studio related activities and attendance is required. Generally, Thursday of Finals Week, 3:15-5:15PM.

Repertoire: includes classic 20th century works, contemporary music, composer commissions, student compositions, marimba ensemble, group improvisation, Drum Circle, and various Latin/world folkloric percussion styles such as West African, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian. PE often includes collaborative repertoire with other instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, theater, electronics, multi-cultural folkloric traditions, and so on, in short, a prime laboratory for collaborative learning across the university.

Music: You are responsible for the music lent you. Be sure your name appears, in pencil, on each piece. Bring the music to all private lessons. Return music as requested after concerts. You must buy any music (entire score and parts) you lose or damage.

Instrument set-up and transport: Everyone must assist with rehearsal and concert gear set-up and transport. No one is excused from a service until we have returned everything to its proper location. Call times will be posted on the studio website weekly schedule

Grading policy: The process of assessing an individual’s work in a musical ensemble (i.e. team) is partly determined by the achievement of other ensemble (team) members. I grade according to my expectation of appropriate repertoire for your applied course level, your potential, and your realization of it. I expect a positive attitude, ability to establish clear and realistic goals, self-motivation, consistency of effort, punctuality, reliability, attention to detail, receptiveness to coaching and criticism, and the inevitable growth and accomplishment that comes from nurturing these traits.

A professional attitude consists of arriving with a specific purpose in mind, quiet attention to rehearsal instructions, enthusiasm for the task at hand, always having a pencil, and a courteous teamwork orientated demeanor. These qualities– the desire to raise the achievement of your colleagues–determine your value as an ensemble member.



Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble Syllabus Glenn Schaft, DMA Spring 2022

Master your parts through individual practice prior to rehearsals. Failure to adequately prepare instruments, setups, or music will result in a grade reduction for that rehearsal. If you must be replaced on a piece due to a lack of preparation, your grade will be reduced by a minimum of 20%. If a work must be canceled from a performance due to your lack of preparation, you will receive an “F” in the course.

Musical expression. Since effective musical expression has to do with one’s personality and ability to express emotion, I have included descriptions of some of the attitudes and behaviors that typically correlate with each letter grade. Clearly, assigning letter grades to emotions and behaviors is subjective business, so either the teacher and student avoid such subject matter and merely address technical mechanics–course content that is more easily “objectively letter graded”–or they embrace this subjectivity that is a central element of all music making. Interestingly, it is not the content of musical expression that is difficult or subjective to assess, rather it is made more subjective and difficult to assess within the confines of the letter grade system. When one minimizes letter grading, musical expression can then be effectively assessed.

Grading Scale – The Dana School of Music grading policy states you must receive a “C” or higher in each course for it to count toward your degree program.

  • Grade A, 90-100% – includes: superior attendance, superior achievement of weekly and semester goals, consistent

positive attitude, and a complete commitment to attaining your potential. You love what you do and it shows

through your passion, dedication, and achievement.

Grade B, 80-89% – Slightly less than letter grade “A” above.

Grade C, 70-79% – May include flawed attendance, partial achievement of weekly or semester goals, inconsistent

attitude or progress, and/or a partial commitment to attaining your potential. Your passion, dedication, and

achievement are questionable or inconsistent, and it shows.

Grade D, 60-69% – May include flawed attendance, partial achievement of weekly or semester goals, inconsistent

attitude, or a partial commitment to attaining your potential. Your passion, dedication, and achievement are often

questionable and it shows.


Gradesof“incomplete”or“PR”:SeetheYSUBulletin“GradingSystem”.Theonlyvalidreasonforanincomplete,or PR grade, is for a medical or other reason so extreme as to cause you to be unable to complete the course. You must be passing the course at the time of your request and demonstrate that the circumstances requiring the “PR” are beyond your control.

Attendance is required at all PE classes and events, unless otherwise indicated by your director. Your presence is necessary to realize the community of learners and collaborative nature of the ensemble. When you miss a rehearsal two things happen, first you miss the experience unique to that particular rehearsal and it cannot be recreated, and second, your absence reduces the learning of your colleagues.

  • First semester PE members are required to attend all rehearsals until notified otherwise, in order to learn rehearsal protocol, ensemble techniques, and chamber music repertoire.
  • Percussion ensemble concerts and events are posted on our website homepage no later than week one of fall semester.
  • If you notice a schedule conflict with any Percussion Ensemble related event or portion thereof, regardless of how far in advance, immediately notify Dr. Schaft. Use standard memo format: to, from, date, description of the event, and explain why you were absent or anticipate being absent. Dr. Schaft will reply, usually within a week, to indicate if your request is excused or unexcused. You may be responsible for securing a qualified substitute and providing them your music and instruments necessary.



Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble Syllabus Glenn Schaft, DMA Spring 2022

  • Excused absences will be granted for:
    • Death in the immediate family.
    • Special event (tour, field trip, conference, etc.) related to academic work required as part of a YSU academic department course in which you are enrolled. Submit a memo from the sponsoring professor.
    • Documented court summons. Submit a copy of the summons.
    • Absences due to serious illness and documented by a letter from a certified medical practitioner will be

considered in light of your attendance history. In many cases, an excused absence is granted. A minor cold or accepting a gig is not justification for an excused absence.

Unexcused absence will reduce your final course grade. The penalty will be determined in consideration of the significance of the event missed and your attendance history. Each unexcused absence shall equal a 10% grade deduction. One tardy equals 1⁄2 absence or 5%.

Course Etiquette:

All students shall share in our gear related logistical duties of transporting, setting-up, and tearing-down for each

PE event including rehearsals, student recitals, percussion ensemble concerts, percussion seminar class, group

lessons, convocations, etc.

If you fall asleep in a rehearsal you will be dismissed and an unexcused absence recorded.

Cell phones and other electronic distractions must be turned-off. Each interruption will count as a one-half

absence. Bluetooth earpieces are not permitted. Nevertheless, bring your phone to every rehearsal as I may ask

you to look-up information, photograph an instrument or setup, or video record.

Hats, lewd or questionable attire, or other inappropriate or impractical (to play the instruments) attire are not

appropriate. Violations will result in dismissal and that period counted as an absence. I recommend slacks and

a loose-fitting shirt and no skirts, dresses, high-heel shoes, or tight clothing.

Avoid jewelry that makes noise or may damage the instruments, especially rings, bracelets, and metal or bulky


Food and beverages (other than bottled or closed-container) are not permitted in percussion facilities, so please

use the tables in the main Bliss hallway or the Student Lounge for your dining nutrition and hydration festivities.

Concert Attire: Generally, we wear dress quality garments–black slacks, dress shoes, dress socks, belt, and black dress shirt with a collar. No suits, vests, ties, tennis shoes, ball caps, jeans, t-shirts, athletic wear, or logos.

Concert Call Times: You must be available for the entire call period as posted on the percussion website weekly schedule. Generally, our call for an 7:30 p.m. concert will be 6:30p.m. – for set-up and sound check. The call for a noon Butler Concert is 11a.m. and load-out will be completed by approximately 1:30pm. Please notify your professors of any classes affected by these call times no later than the end of week-one.

Class Cancellation: If this class is being cancelled for any single day due to instructor illness, or other reasons, an e-mail will be sent to your YSU e-mail account as soon as possible, and a cancelled class notice will be posted on the classroom door. University-wide class cancellation is a decision made by the President’s Office, and officially announced via the YSU homepage and on WYSU (88.5 FM) radio. Students should register at the YSU Portal to receive a text message about University-Wide closures via the Emergency Alert Notification System.

University policies can be found online and provide you guidance on your rights as a student in this course.

  • Statement of Non-Discrimination from the University
  • Academic Integrity/Honesty
  • Student Accessibility
  • Incomplete Grade Policy



Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble Syllabus Glenn Schaft, DMA Spring 2022

Classroom Safety and Health Protocols

Coronavirus considerations:

As a consequence of the current coronavirus pandemic, students are expected to abide by all safety and health policies implemented by the University’s Office of Environmental Occupational Health and Safety as well as all applicable local, state, and federal mandates. If you are not fully vaccinated, I request you notify me via email before arriving on campus and that you wear a mask whenever in our percussion facilities. Covid protocols are frequently changing at the Federal, State, and Local levels and within the University, yet we need to constantly assure a safe environment in which to work together.


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