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Conference Recap: #AMTA12

Posted Oct 17 2012 10:00am

Last week, I gave you a conference preview. Conference has come and gone, bags are unpacked, and laundry is almost caught up on. So, how was conference? Let me give you the run down.

It was awesome.

There is nothing like spending time with 1600 of your closest friends- old ones, new ones, internet ones, and real life ones. Conference sessions and meetings are a big part of the schedule, but I really look forward to quick meals and hallway chats with folks that I rarely get to see. When else do you have complete access to the who’s who in music therapy?

I also loved getting to meet (and see again) my colleagues that also serve as student affairs advisors in their respective regions. I am so passionate about students and preparing them to be successful, that this is the perfect job for me. Since this is my first year in the job, I loved getting the chance to ask their advice, and really get a feel for what was needed by the student members in my region.

I gave my first national conference presentation! I played it safe by teaming up with seasoned national presenter, Kat Fulton, and I think it went very well! I just wish we had more time! Meaty topic + hour of presentation time= lots of unanswered questions. The audience was absolutely wonderful and knowledgeable and had some excellent questions!

Kat also helped make me feel like a rock star. As a part of Music Therapy Ed, she ran a scavenger hunt contest where contestants had to get the autographs of course instructors. I never thought that I would have so many people come up to me and ask for my autograph! Hanging out at the booth was super fun, as well.

Kudos to forward thinking friends, CJ Shiloh and Maria Hancock for bringing ESPRESSO!

There were so many excellent presentations this year, that it was hard to choose just one per session! Some friends session hopped, but I have to commit. I had the pleasure of attending sessions covering a variety of topics like social stories, song writing, music therapy and eating disorders, and tax law (exciting stuff, I know!).

And last but not least, there was the O’Hare adventure. My father in law has traveled through O’Hare quite a bit, and it always in a foul mood about it one way or the other. I definitely minimized his sentiments until I found myself trapped on an airplane during an active tornado watch! They weren’t going to deplane us (we never even left the gate) until the watch was already 20 minutes old and my friends who were still inside the airport were in the basement. Yikes. Maybe I’ll try midway next time I am heading to Chicago.

So that was conference for me. If you are a music therapist, what was your favorite part? If you are one of my awesome readers in Columbia, what is your favorite part about attending a conference, or any type of large gathering?

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