Well, my second national conference of the American Music Therapy Association is officially in the books.  And what an experience it was!  If you follow me on Twitter, you probably feel like you were right there with me in Cleveland — especially if you were actually there.

I used the hashtag #AMTA10 throughout conference to send updates to my Twitter friends, as did many other music therapists in attendance.  But 140-character tweets just can’t do #AMTA10 justice, so read on for the entire play-by-play.


The Erfurt Music Resource Booth in the Exhibit Hall, manned by Michelle & Ed Erfurt.

I arrived in Cleveland early, so I had a chance to relax and unpack before meeting up with the rest of the Music Therapy Round Table (Michelle & Kimberly) later that evening.  We had a little bit of business to take care of before our CMTE the next day, but mostly we were just ready to catch up in person again for the first time in an entire year.

On Thursday morning, I met Michelle and her husband, Ed, in the exhibit hall to help set up the Erfurt Music Resource booth (see the pictures above).  Not only did I have my products on display, but so did a few of my awesome music therapist friends, like Kat Fulton and Wade Richards.

That afternoon, Michelle, Kimberly & I presented our very first CMTE (continuing music therapy education) course, which was all about using the web for music therapy advocacy and marketing.  5 hours of Facebook, Twitter, and blog talk — my idea of a good time!  Luckily, the participants agreed; they asked tons of questions and left excited to build and grow their own online presences.

Thursday evening was spent socializing with other conference-goers in the exhibit hall and giving the lowdown on my songbook and CD.  I must say, the EMR booth was one of the most hoppin’ in the whole hall!

Friday was a bit more relaxed now that our CMTE was over.  The keynote, presented by Alan Solomon and Ken Medema, was absolutely amazing.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire ballroom by the time it was finished.  The rest of the morning was spent at the exhibit hall, in an excellent session by Tim Ringgold, and having lunch with Michelle and Kat.  Later than evening, I joined Illinois State University students, alumni, and faculty for our annual conference dinner.  That was followed by the 2nd-ever Tweet-Up, which boasted over 20 participants.  Yay, music therapists on Twitter!


The Music Therapy Round Table, hard at work recording and promoting our podcast.

A big part of Saturday was spent, once again, at the EMR booth in the exhibit hall.  The MTRT recorded episode 10 right there at the “round table” where I’m sitting in the picture above, and we had the opportunity to interview quite a few fellow music therapists (both professionals and students).  In fact, we had so much great material that we ended up splitting the episode into two parts — the first of which will be up on our website and on iTunes soon!


The Tweet-Up gang, Kat & Kimberly, and the State Task Force Reception.

Saturday evening, Michelle and I took a break to blog in the hotel lobby, after which we headed to the State Task Force reception to socialize with other music therapists who, like us, are advocating for recognition in their states.  As much fun as we were having at the reception, we had to jet out of there at 8:30 in order to make it to our final dinner of the week…


Delicious food, wine, and wonderful company at Crop, an amazing Cleveland eatery.

Ed, Michelle’s husband, has officially gained the title of honorary 4th member of the Music Therapy Round Table, because not only did he do an amazing job representing us at the booth all week, but he also organized our farewell dinner on Saturday evening.

The four of us sat at the chef’s table at Crop, where we were treated to an 8-course feast complete with wine pairings at each course.  We had heard good things about it, but we were not at all prepared for the deliciousness we experienced that night.  Kimberly and I were guilty of tweeting our plates and making the rest of our Twitter friends jealous :)

I was a little sad to say goodbye to Cleveland early Sunday morning, but I left with plenty of new friends, memories, and photos.  Michelle Erfurt started a Flickr group for pictures taken at the AMTA conference, which you can view here.  Better yet, if you were there and took pictures, you can add them!

I’d love to hear about your own #AMTA10 experiences and highlights, so leave them in the comments.  Or if you weren’t there this year, let me know that you WILL be in Atlanta for #AMTA11!