Comments from school personnel about Songs of the Pioneers presentation with Les Gustafson-Zook.

What school personnel are saying...

Songs of the Pioneers - presenting folk music and folk instruments to elementary school children
Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook perform folk songs on autoharp and guitar
Les Gustafson-Zook - National Championship Autoharp performer
Folk music for autoharp and guitar on cassette and CD recordings
Les Gustafson-Zook - performer, instructor, entertainer

What school personnel are saying about the Songs of the Pioneers presentation.

2012-2013 Schedule
Where Songs of the Pioneers is being presented this year.

Previous Years Schedules
Where Songs of the Pioneers was presented last year.

Let me recommend that you set a date to have Les Gustafson-Zook present his assembly, Songs of the Pioneers for your elementary students. He is a gifted entertainer; he is able to relate very well to elementary students. Les has an outstanding presentation singing folk songs and playing folk instruments.

Les' assembly has two outstanding characteristics. It is very entertaining and it is an outstanding educational experience. If you are looking for a unique musical experience, or perhaps a cultural and historical emphasis, I would recommend Les Gustafson-Zook and his assembly Songs of the Pioneers. You will not be disappointed. Guaranteed!
- Jim Van Zyl, Principal, Highland Christian School, Highland, IN

Just a note to let you know I've received many, many positive comments about your assembly here. Among them are "it was the best assembly we've ever had", "there's nothing I didn't like", "I want to play a Woody". Thanks so much for fitting us into your schedule. It certainly was great fun and very informative..... Students are still singing some of your songs.
- Karen Barnes, Music, Newcomerstown Middle School., Newcomerstown, OH

You gave a rich gift of music, history and entertainment to our students today. I have never witnessed this level of enthusiasm in our students after any assembly. You have a terrific ability to engage people in your craft. Thanks for engaging young and old alike here at Mountain View. We loved your presentation.
- Janet Hostetter, Music, Mountain View Elem., Harrisonburg, VA

Your visit to Westview was one of the highlights of my teaching career! You truely understand children, and they gained so much from your performance. I was amazed that even the kindergarteners had intellegent things to say when we discussed your performance in class. Thank you for developing a show that is such a perfect balance of entertainment and education, and thank you for providing us with such a rich cultural experience.
- Angi Bak, Music, Westview Elem., Avon Lake, OH

Just wanted to say thank you once more and let you know how much we thoroughly enjoyed your large group assembly and the small group workshops. Your presentation added a special element to our American History unit and to Pioneer reading theme. Thank you for spending the day with us!
- Chris Kolarik, Principal, Lincoln Elem., Iowa City, IA

Thanks so much for our assembly at Berlin. Feedback from our students and staff was so positive that I'll probably have you return at some point.
- Joe Wengerd, Principal, Berlin Elem., Berlin, OH

Seeing and hearing the variety of instruments was impressive. Manner was engaging, respectful and kid paced... like a storyteller going back in time, interweaving stories and showing off instruments and songs. Appreciated the well loved classic folksongs with characteristic instruments.
- Pat Nuyken, Music, Orchard View Elem., Middlebury, IN

The students and I have had some very good discussions regarding the presentation...........they really enjoyed it, and so did the teachers. Many of the teachers have told me what a good program it was, and they hope we will have Mr. Zook return in the future! Thanks again!
- Lisa McMillen, Music, Riddle Elem., Rochester, IN

I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful music program you presented for our third grade. I was impressed with the way you could control your audience. The children certainly enjoyed and appreciated the program.... The children talked about the program for days and days. They were quite impressed and so were other adults in the school. Keep making that wonderful music!
- 3rd Grade Teacher, Chesterton, IN

My fifth graders really enjoyed your program---they liked the variety and were thoroughly thrilled with your ability to play the variety of instruments.
- Lisa Moore, Riddle Elem., Rochester, IN

Your performance last night was simply terrific. Both kids and grown-ups thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I'm still hearing positive feedback from the community. I was tremendously impressed by your musical and performing talents.
- Valerie Gross, Executive Director, Goshen Public Library

I just wanted to thank you for coming to Akron Elementary on April 5th and putting on such a fantastic show. Although I was only able to see the end of your presentation, I enjoyed it greatly. More importantly, I received great reviews from students and staff alike. I would like to share a note of thanks the PTA received from our Music teacher:

"Dear PTA,
Thank you so very much for sponsoring the Songs of the Pioneers assembly. It was terrific! The instruments shown to the students (most of them) are the ones we see (in books)/hear in class, but to see them played in person, WOW! Most of the songs are the ones we sing from 3rd to 5th grade and the kids were delighted to sing along. Thanks again!
- Deborah S. Hoover, Music, Akron (PA) Elementary"

So once again, thanks for a super assembly! Best to you,
- Melanie Brubaker, Akron Elementary PTA Co-President

"What fun! From pre-K to fifth grade -- and teachers too! -- toes were tapping, hands were clapping, and fingers were snapping as the tempo and variety of the program kept the students on the edges of their seats. The experience of storytelling and hilarity using simple instruments and songs connected textbook learning to the realities of life in another era. At times we could almost hear the crackle of the campfire on the Oregon Trail as we sang along. And following the program, more than a few parents reported their families' attempts to create music at home with spoons!
- Kathy Felty, New Covenant Christian School, Lebanon, PA

We truly enjoyed having you here. I have gotten positive feedback from all. One teacher said she wishes all our assemblies could be of this high quality. You are welcome back anytime. Teachers, parents and students really appreciated your wisdom, talent and energy! Thanks!
- Elizabeth Kleinmann, Principal, Akron Elementary School, Akron, PA

"Your program was just wonderful!!! You are bringing back the folk music all children should know and love, and do it in such a fun way that the children can't help but love it!!"
- Kathleen Bassett, Goldwood Primary School, Rocky River, OH

Les has a wonderful rapport with students
- 4th Grade Teacher, Elkhart, IN

Informative and enjoyable supplement to the pioneer curriculum. We'd love to have Les back!
- Patsy Sherer, Madison Elem., Wakarusa, IN

It's definitely related to our Indiana History Cards & pioneer chapter in our text. However, it's just as important for students to know about the entertainment & other activities that pioneers experienced.
- 4th Grade Teacher, Elkhart, IN

Not only did Mr. Zook play the instruments well, he spoke about where & how each originated. Mr. Zook definately had all of the student's attention during the performance -- the students were also allowed to participate during the performances.
- 4th Grade Teacher, Elkhart, IN

It created a different learning environment for the kids. They really enjoyed it!
- 4th Grade Teacher, Elkhart, IN

The teachers and students of Bristol Elementary School really enjoyed your presentation. We are very honored to have had you and are looking forward to your coming to Bristol School again next year.
- 2nd Grade Teacher, Bristol, IN

I like the music that you played. I think that the coolest instrument was the banjo and Woody was neat. The Jew's harp was nice. Thank you for coming. That was a really neat concert.
- 4th Grade Student, Bristol, IN

I think that you are very talented. and I liked your intruments and I liked your songs. Don't you get tired of playing them. Well I have to go!
- 4th Grade Student, Goshen, IN

Thank you for coming to our school to help celebrate Indiana's birthday. I enjoyed singing songs and watching you play different instruments. How can you play so many instruments? I can't even play a recorder. I hope you come back soon.
- 4th Grade Student, Goshen, IN

The children, teachers and staff at West Goshen thank you very much for coming to our school on Mar. 1. We all enjoyed the variety of songs and the many instruments you played. Alot of children said they tried playing the spoons at home, but they thought the cheater spoons we used in the music class were alot easier. Thanks again for entertaining and educating us!
- Rosemary Rupp, West Goshen Elementary

Thanks for the great assembly. I bought your tape for my own children. We've been dancing and enjoying it as a family!
- Leah Korth, Sutton Elem., Adrian, MI

Thank you for coming. We really enjoyed your performances. The kids were really into it! Thanks again.
- Susan Stouffer, Cherry Creek Elem., Lowell, MI

We wanted to let you know again how much we appreciated your program at our school. The children are still talking about it.
- Kathy Bauman, New Covenant Christian School, Lebanon, PA