Another national music therapy conference has come and gone! I spent the majority of last week in St. Charles, Illinois with over 1,600 music therapists, and am finally getting around to writing my yearly conference recap. And what would a recap be without plenty of photos?
The photo above of Michelle, Kimberly and I — also known as the Music Therapy Round Table — is a great representation of my conference experience, because I spent most of my time with these two gal pals (and Michelle’s husband, Ed) at our Music Therapy Pro booth.
In addition to spreading the word about Music Therapy Pro, we encouraged people to sign up for our raffle and peddled the wares of our Music Therapy Pro sponsors. The exhibit hall is always the hub of activity during conference, so I was able to meet and talk to literally hundreds of music therapists over the course of a few days. But hands-down, my favorite conversations were those with students and professionals who utilize Listen & Learn resources.
It’s one thing to read a comment or get an email, but it’s another to talk face-to-face with someone who truly values your work. I NEVER get tired of hearing, “Oh my gosh, I used your song ‘Insert Title Here’ with my clients and they loved it!” My response is always the same; that’s why I write this blog and continue to post song after song.
I did actually step outside of the exhibit hall during conference though I don’t have too many photos to prove it :) My state task force, on which I serve, hosted an advocacy breakfast on Friday morning, and I also served once again as the Great Lakes region representative for the technology committee.
On Saturday morning, I presented Your Business, Your Way: Resources and Ideas for Your Music Therapy Business with two colleagues, Melaine Pohlman (our state association president) and Meryl Brown (owner of Developing Melodies).
I also attended the 4th annual tweet-up, where I got to connect with lots of my Twitter friends, which was immediately followed by my favorite social event of every conference: the annual Music Therapy Round Table fancy dinner. Speaking of, the only thing I photographed outside of the booth was food; go figure!
The exhibit hall closed on Saturday afternoon, but before it did we managed to fit in lots of activity. Kimberly, Michelle and I hosted a Music Therapy Pro power lunch for our members who were attending conference, and it was absolutely wonderful to connect in person with these women! We had a delicious meal and delightful conversation.
Another exciting moment was drawing the winner of our Music Therapy Pro raffle, which included over $250 worth of music therapy resources. We were SO thrilled to discover that our winner was none other than Stephanie, our Twitter friend and the genius behind The Rhythmic Mind.
One of the biggest highlights of conference was recording our first ever podcast singalong, thanks to the talents of our booth neighbor, Matt Logan. Matt is the creator of A Perfect Lullaby (I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t already) along with being a board-certified music therapist and amazing musician.
He just happened to have his guitar with him, so he suggested kicking off our live podcast recording with a tune. You’ll have to listen to the episode next week to find out which song we chose, but I think this photo sums up how much fun we had with it:
Thanks to everyone who made this conference so successful, including the American Music Therapy Association, local planning committee (woohoo, Illinois!), my always wonderful roomie Kimberly, and all of the presenters and exhibitors.
As always, I wish there had been more time to chat with friends, attend more sessions, and soak up more of the conference experience. But there’s always next year, right?