Professional Development

In the blog post, The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, involving family, band directors and other musicians has been key to Vizzutti's career and success. His experience has shown that making connections are crucial for musical success. Here are some of Vizzutti's top tips for educators:
As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols. Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and bandleader for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," gave a guest performance at Vizzutti's high school. With the encouragement of his band director, Vizzutti played a solo for Severinsen, who eventually became one of his most important mentors.
Like most secondary music educators, your teaching credential probably allows you to teach K-12 music — anything from elementary classroom music to high school band. We each have our specialties, but many secondary instrumental educators have found success and great personal satisfaction by learning about and providing more comprehensive and inclusive music-making opportunities. 
Any elementary-level science class teaches students that sound and light travel at different speeds; in the context of marching band, this abstract concept becomes a real challenge. Directors may be faced with a frustrating mystery when the ensemble seems to be doing everything perfectly in the band room, yet it sounds so off on the field. The problem simply boils down to that science lesson.
When I began teaching in 1994 at Tarpon Springs (Florida) High School, seven students attended rehearsal. The school had one performance ensemble, and the band room only opened for one period during the curriculum day. Since then, we have grown to nearly 300 students and have 10 separate performance ensembles.
Kevin Sedatole: Only You Can Do the Music  Early on in my college teaching career, when I was trying to prioritize what about my job was the most important aspect to focus on, I remember [Professor] John Whitwell preaching to our music education students, "Only do the things that only you can do." 
Remembering the Enthusiasm and Passion of a Beginner After three weeks of beginning band, an aspiring fifth grade trombone student in my class attended an after-school band time. Ben's song choices utilized the playing of mostly 1st, 3rd and 4th position notes; I helped with the slide position when he performed long 6th position notes.
Technique is Secondary to the Music In the spring of 1973, I had the opportunity to take my high school band — the John Marshall Junior-Senior High School Symphonic Band — to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a clinic session with H. Robert Reynolds, then Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin. 
Say Something When I was 15, my high school band director, Don Lawrence, told me to "say something" when I was playing a trombone solo with the jazz band. That simple comment has remained at the foundation of my career in music as a conductor, performer and educator.
Watch How Successful Musicians Conduct Themselves In my 52 years as a music educator, I have had many wonderful opportunities to grow and learn about music and life. One of the key factors I can attribute my profession and personal growth is by being around good people who are also good musicians.

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