Former, current Utah State students share stories of abuse in piano department

Monday , April 02, 2018 - 8:49 PM

LOGAN — A number of former students have spoken out against what they call a selective, discriminatory environment at Utah State University’s piano department. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reported numerous accounts from current and former students outlining the abuse, with eight saying they complained to university administrators about the piano faculty. 

One current student told the Tribune that an instructor frequently said “girls didn’t make as good of pianists.” Another student said a professor screamed at her and would ignore her “as a method of punishment.” 

A student from Armenia said faculty threatened to revoke his scholarship and deport him if he didn’t break up with his then-girlfriend. 

Earlier in the year, a former piano student said in a Facebook post she was assaulted by a USU teacher and her case was not taken seriously by the university. This prompted an investigation into the claim by the university, the Tribune reported.

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced in September 2017 that it will conduct an investigation into how the university handles sexual assault complaints, according to the Utah Statesman

Social media responses to the Tribune’s most recent story have expressed anger and disappointment toward the school and administrators.  

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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