Professor Profile: Jeffrey Zook

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By John Doe

Jeffrey Zook, instructor of flute at Oakland University and principle piccolo player in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is a library nerd.

While studying flute performance at the University of Michigan, he took full advantage of the resources available to him.

“If I had a Messiaen piece about birds, I was able to go to the Ornithological library and research birds,” Zook said.

In fact, if he could give one piece of advice to students it would be to “seek out and utilize the resources you have on campus.”

The desire for his students to research their music, in addition to practicing it, is evident through his teachings.

“He always encourages us to listen, whether it is going to the library and listening to CDs or going on Naxos,” Melanie Boose, a senior double majoring in English and flute performance, said.  “He also encourages us to read books about or by famous flutists.  He always encourages us to go online and become familiar with other teachers’ websites and what they have to offer.”

As a student at U-M, Zook focused mainly on his studies.  After being discovered while practicing during his sophomore year, Zook was hired to teach flute for a high school in the Ypsilanti area.  It was his first paid musician job.

In 1992, before he graduated from U-M, Zook earned a full-time position in the DSO as the principal piccolo player.

Zook’s position in the DSO has brought students to OU and enhanced their learning experience.  In addition to teaching flute lessons, he helps run weekly flute master classes, where students come together to play and draw from the performances of others.

“My favorite part of master class was the wide range of experiences that Mr. Zook was able to draw from and talk about to enhance my performance,” Boose said.

In his free time, Zook enjoys going to the gym and working out, taking Zumba classes and spending time on Facebook.

He currently resides in Pleasant Ridge with his partner David, orange tabby cat Basil and miniature pinscher Dexter.