Comments of Students/Peers

Comments about Dr. Zent’s Performing and Teaching Written by Students and Peers


  • “I am honored to have had the great opportunity to hear your recital.  Your musicianship, artistry, interpretation, and technique are a welcome inspiration.  Exquisite skill and emotion were revealed in your playing, and I believe my classmates were as much in awe as I was!”  Jeremie
  • “As a musician I have a certain perspective on other musicians—as a result I am mesmerized when Don plays.  Whether watching his hands or listening with closed eyes, I am in awe of the God-given, disciplined, refined talent he has.  He dedicates all of his talent to the Lord and for the development of others.”  Glen
  • “We were truly blessed by your inspiring program…the sensitivity and nuance you brought to the music…and for your dedication to the highest level of musical expression.”  Wesley
  • “I could not have been more fortunate than to have you as my accompanist…What a joy it was to be able to talk about the intricacies of the Hindemith with you, it was such a help to me in my understanding and interpretation of this piece.” Nathan
  • “I love to hear you play piano; you do it so effortlessly and everything you play sounds beautiful.” Victoria
  • “I believe that you are a performing musician of professional caliber, one to whom our students can look for a model of excellence in performance.  Your recital this fall was one of the highest musical moments for me in memory—it was simply transforming, lifting my spirits from the depths of my very being….I want to express my deepest thanks to you for the innumerable hours and great sacrifice of “a life” that I know goes into the preparation for such a performance.  I also know that for a serious musician the opportunities to experience the joy of completely bearing the soul in the “high and holy action” of sharing one of God’s sweetest gifts to us come way too seldom.”  Craig
  • “A masterful concert.  I enjoyed every minute.  No one plays Chopin like Don Zent!” Jerry
  • “We were once again completely amazed by your virtuosity.  Much more than technical skill, however, I appreciated the way you communicated with the audience.  The Liszt Sonata was particularly evocative.”  Owen


  • “He was the teacher who showed me that I don’t have to play everything loud.  He showed me how to create colors in dynamics going from pianissimo to fortissimo.”  Daniel
  • “You pushed me, like you did with all your students, but it was a joy to study under you.  I remember your attention to detail, your patience, and sweet gentle spirit.  You also had a dry sense of humor to accompany your methodical approaches.” Lisa
  • “And even if I was nervous because piano is not my instrument, you set me at ease and were always so kind and lovely.” Amanda
  • “Thank you so much for the ways that you encouraged a young farm kid…to strive for excellence.  You were a part of building a life-long love of music and beauty.  Your teaching back then still affects my teaching today.” Kurt
  • “Dr. Zent spent thousands of hours patiently, methodically, and compassionately investing in me as both a musician and person.  (He) never gave up on me and continued to push me to be the best version of myself.  My life is better because of his investment in me, and for that I am truly thankful.” Jeffrey
  • “I am so thankful that I had the honor of learning from you—in functional piano class, form and analysis and private lessons.  You were always so kind in your comments and helped guide our musicianship in such a thoughtful manner.  As any truly great teacher, you enabled us to achieve skills even when we weren’t fully aware of the depth of learning!” Crystal
  • “Your influence had a lasting effect.  Your gentle, kind heart lovingly led us into excellence in piano and Form and Analysis class.  I remember your eyes always had (an evident) compassion that I believe mirrors Jesus’ love.  Your kind, effective teaching rippled out to those I had the privilege of teaching.”  Joy
  • “I want to thank you so much for everything you have done for me while I’ve been in school.  You’ve pushed me beyond what I’ve believed was possible for myself, and you’ve believed in my abilities when I have not.  But more than that, you have been a fellow Christ-follower and a fine role-model in many areas of my own faith.” Sarah
  • “I have been incredibly encouraged by your excitement over even slight improvements, your love for your work, the richness of sound and depth you find in the music.  Your influence has inspired me to dare to do great things, and I give God the glory.” Candy
  • “It has truly been a blessing to have you for my piano teacher.  You have always been consistently kind, encouraging, and patient, and I am so appreciative!  I have certainly learned much about piano and music, but you also have taught me so much about what it means to be an excellent teacher and share the love of Christ in all we do.” Vicki
  • ”Thank you from the bottom of my heart for three and a half wonderful years of piano lessons.  I learned so much from you!  You inspired me, helped me to feel more confident, (and) pushed my limits of style and difficulty.  Thank you, also, for caring about me as a whole person-my teaching career, travels, and family.” Ramey
  • “Thank you so much for the past 5-6 years and all that you have taught me.  It was only with your teaching and guidance that I was able to come to this level of piano, and also attend the Governor’s School for the Arts…By studying music and piano under you, I have come to realize in myself the passion for piano, and the beauty of music.  Thank you for introducing me to…the great composers.” Joo Eun
  • “For all your time, for all your thoughtfulness, for all the knowledge you have shared with me, for all the love and influence you have had on me, for all your patience, for all your dedication to your craft, for all the kindness you have shown to me and (to) all of your students.” Jay
  • “I came to Asbury as a freshman, unsure how anything I could do could ever be of any importance and already weary of study and practice.  Almost immediately, my lessons with you began to challenge me to look deeper into my music, work harder, and opened my eyes to the beauty that can be found in every note.”  Heidi
  • “I greatly appreciate your willingness to help me in my audition and application to grad school.  I felt more confident in my audition.  And I’m certain your comments will help as I revise my paper and pursue publication.  I’m grateful that the Lord turned one of my favorite teachers into one of my favorite colleagues.” Mary Ann
  • “Merriam-Webster defines considerate as ‘marked by or given to careful and continuous thought and thoughtful of the feelings of others’.  Dr. Zent displays both definitions in his interactions with students and colleagues alike.  Within the music department, he is known to be someone who does not speak glibly or off-handedly; he considers his words carefully and therefore his words are usually timely and wise.  He treats his students with care and respect, finding ways to make corrections with gentleness, and always giving encouragement.” Mary Ann
  • “I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have been able to study piano with you.  Every semester was a delight.  I appreciate your patience with me for seven semesters.  I have learned about technique, style, and rhythm.  I appreciate what you taught me about teaching piano.”  Mary
  • “I just wanted to let you know how much of a blessing you are to my life.  Thank you for being the best teacher I have ever had.  You do such a great job of caring for your students!  Thank you for being a role model that I can look up to and a role model that sees the best in your students. Thank you so much for four wonderful years. Thank you for always believing in me-even when I did not believe in myself, you were always there pushing me on!  Thank you for helping me (to) develop my skills as a pianist and as a piano teacher.  You have inspired me to always “reach for the goal” and to never give up along the way.” Samantha
  • “Four years ago I could never see myself as the kind of musician that I am today.  Thank you for nudging me towards perfection in my musicianship and for a passion for playing again.  Who would have thought that I was the same person who wanted to quit playing only a year before coming to college?  To put it lightly, you have made a difference, and I am incredibly grateful for you.”  Elizabeth
  • “I thank God again and again for (the) opportunity to learn piano from you.  Thank you so much for being…such a wonderful teacher.”  Chan Mi
  • “I am so grateful that I have gotten to continue piano studies underneath your instruction over the last four years.  You have been the most consistent, supportive, and adaptable piano instructor that I have had thus far.” Lauren