Professional development while drinking my tea! (Part 3)

Today was day 3 of MusicEdConnect!  This is the last instalment of a 3-part series on what the conference is & highlights from each day.

The Inspiring Histories of Masterworks for Children

George Litterst and Stella Sick gave us a wonderful storytelling hour!  It was great to sit down with my cup of tea & take some notes about the interesting (& sometimes sad) stories behind some of our favourite books written for children.

The wonderful composers & how their children’s music books came into being that were covered are:

  • J.S. Bach
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Robert & Clara Schumann
  • Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Claude Debussy
  • Marina & Edward MacDowell

To be honest, I really could not do justice to the stories they told.  Instead, I would highly recommend grabbing a cup of tea (or coffee) & spend an hour in another world!

Attending MEC 2018 with fuzzy socks & tea

Exciting and Novel Ways for Students to Engage Their Audience

Michelle Sisler & Shana Kirk gave us so many great ideas for bringing excitement to our recitals.  I know that I am already thinking about my studio’s end of year recital & how it can tweaked to bring in a new element (or two).

The benefits of more engaged audiences are:

  • Communication with families
  • Student retention increases
  • Marketing / Word of Mouth & social media advertising (your clients can’t wait to share with their friends)
  • Happy families & students
  • Less conflicts with other activities; the recital sometimes becomes a priority
  • Audience wants to stay for the entire recital

Some of the ideas I am looking at incorporating into my studio’s Spring recital are:

  • Use accompaniment tracks for many of my students, but especially the little ones (perhaps this could even be a composing project for some)
  • Record video introductions for each student to fill the “dead time” between performances
  • Have a couple audience participation sections (i.e. learn a rhythm to clap during a song, take a live poll using cell phones, etc.)
  • Have images or video playing on a projector while students are playing

Now, I will need to determine what is reasonable to accomplish.  Then, dogfood (see part 2) the process before I present it to my students & their families!

A Great End to the Week

I have been in my happy place for the last several days!  There have been so many great ideas, reminders, & encouragement from both presenters & attenders alike.  To be honest, this is why I go back to MEC year after year.

If you missed the first 2 parts of this series, I encourage you to read Part 1 & Part 2 as well.

Just a quick reminder that it is still possible to purchase the replay pass which allows you to watch the video sessions anytime before the end of 2018.  This is a collection of almost 20 videos, plus 4 showcases.  With the replay pass, you will have access to additional sessions with the flipped session presenters to discuss ideas & ask questions.  These will be taking place throughout the year.

Lastly, for another perspective on the conference be sure to check out Jennifer’s posts over at Music Educator Resources!  She has provided great points from each of the sessions as well.

If you attended the conference, what was your favourite session?

Have a great weekend!


  1. Dear Rosemarie,

    thank you so much for sharing your MEC & tea sessions! It gave a great look at the presented themes.

    This year I decided not to buy the MEC pass, I´ m a mother of a curious 9 month old and teach 30 students. So I have so many other things going on here… I really enjoyed your little series about it.

    I also love this conference, because there is no travelling and the replay pass ist very generous, nine month time to watch and rewatch!

    Greetings from Germany

    1. Hi, Carina! I am so glad that you enjoyed the series. I remember when the twins were 9 months old & how they seemed to get into (& on top of) everything! Honestly, I don’t think I could have handled a full studio at that point so kudos to you! And, can completely empathize with needing to take a year off from MEC to focus on everything you have going on right now.
      Hopefully, I will get to ‘see’ you there next year!

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