For the 4th summer in a row, my Music Therapy Round Table colleagues and I devoted a few days to what has come to be called the “MTRT Summit” — where we focus on brainstorming and planning for the following year.
This year we convened in northern California, where our newest colleague Matt Logan lives. While we spend a good majority of the long weekend sitting around his table with our laptops open, we did find time to enjoy some delicious food and wine (in Napa Valley, no less!).
I arrived early Friday evening, so Matt and I went out to dinner and started doing a little preliminary planning for the weekend. Michelle and Kimberly’s flight had been delayed, so they didn’t end up getting in until 11 pm. I was already asleep by the time they got to the hotel! We had a super early morning on Saturday, which began with coffee and breakfast at a yummy diner in Berkeley.
Next we met up with Matt’s friend and photographer Tara, who took photos for our website and promotional materials. She was great to work with, and it was a bonus that we got to hang out on the water at the same time. I can’t wait to see the photos after she edits and sends them next week.
After the photo shoot, we headed to Matt’s house for a long day of work. And by “work” I mean bouncing ideas off of each other, setting goals for the year, coming up with new projects, and enjoying the awesome company. We only see each other in person twice a year, so it hardly feels like work even though we are super productive and our brains hurt afterwards.
It’s really amazing how much we can accomplish when we are all together in the same room! One of the very best parts of our yearly summit is recording the podcast, since we’re used to doing it via Skype. Being able to read each other’s cues, make eye contact, and really just chat without having to worry about any potential technical difficulties is a breath of fresh air. This month’s episode is one of my favorites.
The best way to avoid the afternoon slump? A delicious lunch followed by a quick wine tasting. When in Rome, right? We were all ready to get back to work following our excursion, and ended up ordering pizza later that night because we were on such a roll and didn’t want to stop working. That’s when you know you love what you do :)
Our last full day together! Matt made us a delicious breakfast on Sunday morning, and then we picked up right where we had left off the night before. We finished recording both podcasts, mapped out our new content, did quite a bit of writing, and came up with topics for the entire next year. Whew! We more than earned an afternoon in Napa Valley, which is where we headed as soon as our work was done.
Matt took us to his favorite winery, Judd’s Hill, where we learned all about lots of different kinds of wine (and of course, tasted them too). The weather was gorgeous and it felt so wonderful to sit in the sun. The view wasn’t so bad either — miles and miles of vineyards with mountains in the distance. Next we had lunch and then enjoyed another tasting at a different spot before heading home.
All good things must come to an end, and for us, that was the next morning. Michelle, Kimberly and I headed to the airport at 5 am to catch our flights, but not before taking one last photo. I had a looooong day of flying, followed by a two hour drive home. After being away from my son Parker for the first time since he was born, it was pretty sweet to see him when I walked through the door.
I can’t wait to share with you everything we have planned for Music Therapy Round Table and Music Therapy Pro this year. Not only that, but our summit inspired me to make some big plans for my own personal businesses (Listen & Learn and Music Therapy Connections) as well. Now I just need a few more hours in each day to carry them all out! ;)