Posts Tagged ‘50 Directors Who Make a Difference’

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Congratulations Music Educators

January 13, 2019

Two music teachers recognized

Dean Neal

For 20 years band directors from across the country have been nominated to the School Band and Orchestra Magazine for the award titled “50 Directors Who Make a Difference”. Representing Maine this year is Dean Neal, music educator who has taught for 29 years at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. Congratulations Dean! Below you can read his story published with the other 49 recipients at THIS LINK.

What is your proudest moment as an educator?

There is no singular moment which compares to the great sense of pride I have in being a part in helping music education become an integral part of the school community at Maine Central Institute. When I first began teaching at M.C.I. in 1990, music classes and ensembles were present, but they had not yet realized their great potential to influence the lives of each person in our school community. Through the joint efforts of K-12 Music Educators, parents and students, music now enjoys being a part of a vibrant arts community which impacts our school and local community in significant ways.

How do you hope to make a difference in your students’ lives?

I hope to give them a voice to express their thoughts, emotions, and creativity through music. Regardless of their chosen instrument be it wind, percussion, voice, piano, string or digital music creation; each student has something to say and something to share through music which is programmed for them or music which they select or create. Effective art has the ability to communicate with people in powerful ways and I am thankful to be a part of bringing that out of our students.

I have a zippered vest which I wear to school most days. On this vest is embroidered a simple three-word phrase “Work in Progress.” I want my students to know that I am a “work in progress,” they are a “work in progress,” the music we study is a “work in progress,” each class is a “work in progress,” and likewise each performance is a “work in progress.” This is not meant to convey a sense of never-ending work but rather the reality that each day brings with it new challenges and new accomplishments. It is exciting to be on the “construction team” of their “work in progress!”

Tom Lizotte

Congratulations Tom Lizotte, music educator from Cape Elizabeth High School! Tom was recently named the 2019 John LaPorta Music Educator of the Year by the Berklee College of Music and the Jazz Educators Network (JEN). Tom will receive his award at the JEN conference in Reno, NV, and at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival.

Thomas Lizotte is an accomplished music educator who has influenced the artistic lives of thousands of students. He is a teacher at Cape Elizabeth High School in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Thomas Lizotte has been in public education for the past 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, with degrees in music education and wind conducting. He has taught high school in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and Maine. His primary jazz influences have been Dave Sporny, Dave Demsey Paul Alberta, Don Doane and Steve Massey. He is a regular contributor to The Instrumentalist magazine. Long active as a teacher and judge in the marching arts, he is a member of three teaching halls of fame – Massachusetts Drum Corps, Boston Crusaders and Maine Music Educators.

Read more about Tom and his award at THIS LINK!

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