For trumpet artist Allen Vizzutti, music has always involved the help of family, band directors and other musicians. His experience has shown that making connections are crucial for musical success. Here are some of Vizzutti’s top tips for educators:
1. Build A Strong Network. As Vizzutti was getting his foot in the door as a musician, the majority of his early jobs came through word-of-mouth recommendations from his teachers, professors and classmates. Band directors can help students build their own networks by connecting them with music opportunities outside of the school, whether at camps, community ensembles or on tours.
2. Find A Balance. From his experiences teaching clinics and master classes, Vizzutti has found that the best way to engage students is by introducing them to classical and jazz, in addition to popular music. Vizzutti also recommends that ensembles practice sight-reading skills.
3. Seize Opportunities. When Vizzutti was in high school, his band director encouraged him to connect with Doc Severinsen, who was an invaluable mentor throughout his entire career. Seek out opportunities to have professional musicians perform or conduct a master class for your students.
4. Encourage Music In The Family. Vizzutti’s father was his biggest influence growing up. Similarly, Vizzutti’s encouragement helped his daughter pursue music professionally. As an educator, you can advise parents to be involved in their children’s musical development.
This article was originally published on the Yamaha Educator Suite blog.