Chester Englander is deeply committed to the education of today’s student percussionists, and is Head of Percussion Studies at Cleveland State University.  He has over 15 years of experience teaching students from early elementary school beginners to young professionals.  He has helped students successfully prepare for youth orchestra, college, and professional orchestra auditions.  Former students have gone on to study at the Conservatoire de Lyon, The Colburn School, Indiana University, the San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of Southern California in addition to several high-profile music festivals.

Cleveland State University has terrific practice facilities paired with a world class instrument collection, and details can be found here. At his private studio, he has a large world-class orchestral instrument collection, including an antique Deagan xylophone and glockenspiel, a five-octave Marimba One, and an antique Musser vibraphone.  In addition, he has a drum set and a wide selection of Afro-Cuban percussion instruments.

Chester was invited by the Creative Kids Education Foundation to make some instructional demonstration videos for their website, He was also interviewed about a variety of topics related to becoming a professional percussionist. is a terrific resource for young musicians to get tips and advice from a variety of musical mentors.


“Mr. Englander is a first class teacher, educator, and person. His vast knowledge of percussion, extraordinary technical prowess, and undying encouragement make him a seasoned performer and educator. He showed me the definition of what a true professional is, not by talking about it but by doing it. He taught me a work ethic that has brought much success and showed me a standard of excellence to only accept the absolute best from myself. I can undoubtedly say that he is one of the reasons for my success today.”

Chris Tarka, Director of Percussion, Midlothian ISD (Dallas, Texas)

“When I was preparing for auditions I would play for as many people as possible.  When I played for Chester he immediately pointed out several things that were lacking in my playing,  things that nobody had pointed out to me before. After playing for Chester I was able to bring my playing to the next level, and I proceeded to win my next audition for the United States Coast Guard Band.”

Chris Smith, Percussionist/USCG Band 2005-present

“I began studying with Chester when I was 14.  At the time I was a really serious harpist and was playing percussion so I could be a part of the high school band.  Chester opened my eyes to the beauty and versatility of percussion and made me believe that I could make a career out of it.  Not only was he encouraging, he was very proactive and prepared me to take my first steps in the percussion world, such as joining the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.  It is no exaggeration to claim that Chester has had a profound influence on my life, not only in the past, but also in the present.  A truly dedicated teacher, Chester still encourages and supports me almost ten years since I began studying with him.  He has attended every single one of my recitals and offers really wise advice.  I am so glad that I can not only claim Chester as a previous teacher of mine, but to also be fortunate enough to call him my friend.”

Katy LaFavre, Percussionist at The Conservatoire de Lyon, and a recent Fulbright scholar