I was really looking forward to the Maryborough Music Conference this year and it certainly didn’t disappoint. As I suspected, it was totally different being a delegate compared to having a trade display. Driving to Maryborough in a car instead of a van or truck loaded with gear was very pleasant. I also didn’t have to go the day before and spend hours setting up. Two wins straight up!
I won’t bore you with all the details of my week, but I’d like to let you know some of the highlights. I’ve been asked what my favourite session was and I’m struggling to pin only one down. Dr Anita Collins (check out www.biggerbetterbrains.com.au) as the opening keynote speaker was amazing and her work on how music affects the brain was extremely interesting. I always knew musicians’ brains were different but to see how much – WOW! Great for music advocacy in our schools and the wider community in general.
Playing in a 120-piece concert band was pretty special too. Working with different conductors is always great fun and to have the composer working on his own music with us is certainly a treat. I’m told we had a great sound at our performance on Friday night and it’s amazing what you can achieve in only 4 hours of rehearsal.
My “Other” (did you like what I did there?) great highlight for the week was the incredible response from teachers I reconnected with, many who I haven’t seen since the conference two years ago. To feel the positivity about Other Music and my being involved in music retail again was quite humbling. Now let the real work begin! Remember, I’m here for quotes, advice, orders and anything else to assist you and your programme.
Being able to see a variety of sessions was something I’d hoped to be able to do and I wasn’t disappointed. Tips for teaching beginning woodwinds, choosing repertoire, choral workshops, learning about Pro Tools & live recording, strategies for teaching music in secondary schools… and the list goes on…… There really was something for everyone.
Here’s a few things I’ve learnt this week too (tongue in cheek!)
- Don’t talk/yell over the band at the Conference Dinner for 4 hours and expect to be able to talk properly the next day.
- Don’t leave the spare lollies you’re giving away in your hotel room at night when you’ve got the munchies.
- Don’t fill your fancy new conference water bottle (with spray function!) and put it in the bottom of your bag.
- Don’t leave visiting the trade displays until the last day. I’d seen most during the week but left a couple until Saturday morning and they’d already left.
I’d like to offer a huge congratulations to all the organisers of the conference, in particular Tracey Young & Mike Tyler. There were so many other people involved (too many to mention) and without all of you, it wouldn’t have been the same. Thank you.
Back to reality this week. Adding more products to the site, working on a special something just for teachers and catching up on paperwork….
Here’s to a great Term 3!