Posted by dougbutchy on 21st April 2012
Another PMEA Annual Conference is coming to a close, and as I sit in the lobby of the beautiful Lancaster County Convention Center, I am reflecting on all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had in the last few days.
First of all, Lancaster is a beautiful city! Being a naive westerner in this state, I assumed that this convention center would be in the middle of farmland somewhere. I couldn’t have been more wrong…it is a beatifully historic city that predates the revolution by at least 40 years. My colleagues and I had a wonderful time spending our first evening here walking around and exploring (and even getting in a photo walk – pictures here soon).
One of the things I love about coming to conferences like this is that I get re-energized to teach. It is such a great opportunity to see great educators and outstanding students at work. It is wonderful to sit in a session and hear great teachers sharing great ideas. While listening to some truly outstanding high school and middle school ensembles over the last few days I thought, “I am so lucky to have a job where I get to do something I love every day – make music with students!” It was so exciting for me to watch these young people perform music at such a high level and to realize the time and effort that they and their teachers and families have put in to get them to that point. All of these things motivate me to want to do better in my own position back at my school.
Reconnecting with old friends and meeting some new people has also been tremendous. It is great to meet up with them and share stories and laughs. It is also very comforting to know that we all face the same type of challenges in our programs It is great to get input from other perspectives and to have fresh ideas to approach these challenges.
Admittedly, I haven’t been to a music educators conference for a few years, due to a number of factors. This year, I had a student make it into one of the ensembles (which I am very proud of) and so I was able to go. I am so happy that I had the opportunity, and I feel like I don’t ever want to miss another one!
The conference has been tremendous – a truly exciting and reaffirming experience! If you were able to make it to your local state conference this year, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections as well!