This year I won’t be going to the MTNA National Conference and here are the top 10 reasons WHY:
10. Time for Three is performing. Saturday night. Have you heard this amazing group perform? I have not had the chance to only hear them play, I’ve been in the backup band (I’m also a violinist in the Wichita Symphony www.wso.org) and have had the opportunity to play and learn from these amazing geniuses many times. They captivate audiences with their unique take on every genre of music from classical favorites to the latest pop music…I have many of their CD’s so I can just listen to them at home anytime. Of course, I’ve never had the chance to sit and listen and see their faces. Wait, I changed my mind. I love Tf3. I would love to see them live, I would be getting there early to get a good seat. If you’re going, and remember I’m not, you HAVE to see them perform, and you can thank me later!
9. San Antonio: Ew! Okay, I don’t know WHO picks these destinations, but, San Antonio, really? There is practically nothing there except some tumbleweeds blowing by in the hot wind. Of course, I guess the temperatures must be pretty nice in spring. I have a friend who was talking about doing a riverboat cruise and that sounds like a potential for me drowning for sure! Oh, and there is that mission that I really know nothing about, but I can google it and find out everything I need to know. Here is the link so you can read up too: http://www.nps.gov/saan/planyourvisit/sanjose.htm . Actually, now that I’ve looked at it, that looks really interesting, and just the sort of thing I’d enjoy visiting. I love being able to step back in time, and seeing how people lived over 250 years ago sounds pretty cool. Going for a Hike on one of the trails would be a great way to get a feel for the area while getting in some more steps and sun. Well, scratch this reason for NOT going, because I definitely want to visit the Mission San Jose sometime in the future!
8. I AM AN INTROVERT. There is nothing worse than being around people all day long and I’ve heard about 2,000 are expected at this convention! 2,000 Strangers is pretty overwhelming! Of course, these wouldn’t be exactly strangers since many of my friends I would consider to be my greatest friends are facebook friends who are going to this convention, and it would be nice and interesting to meet them in person…..and I’m sure a lot of my old college chums will be attending too; people I haven’t seen in a decade. Also, I’d probably make a bunch of NEW friends since this convention is full of people who have almost the exact same likes and interests as me… and we all know how exhausting it can be to keep up with old friends AND new develop relationships with new friends. I guess I could have some quiet time to myself each day during the seminars……maybe being introverted isn’t a good enough excuse. I’ll have to move on to number…
7. I’ve already been to plenty of conventions. I went to some in college and learned a ton, I’m a great teacher with a full studio and I bet there’s nothing new or fun. All the sessions are probably so boring I’d fall asleep. Except for the Intermediate Piano Master Class presented by Barabara Fast on Tuesday, April 5 from 11:00 A.M.–12:00 NOON. The last time I saw Barbara Fast speak about practice techniques I had enough ideas to keep me and my students busy for the next two years. I would actually enjoy hearing what she has to offer…but….
6. I’m a picky eater. I cannot stand to eat one single bite of fish, seafood or shrimp. No dark meat chicken… I avoid lots of Asian food because I’m convinced there is fish or dark meat chicken in it. The only kind of food I really love is spicy Mexican food and all I read that San Antonio has to offer is this Tex-Mex stuff, like this place http://www.mitierracafe.com/ or this one, http://www.boudros.com/ Hey, you know what? Tex-Mex must stand for Texan Mexican because this looks like really yummy Mexican food. Well, forget number 6. My mouth is watering after looking at all that great food so I better get serious again.
5. I already have enough sheet music! Every time I go to a convention I come home with an extra suitcase stuffed full of teaching aides and sheet music. It’s ridiculous to want to hear my students play new things, because the songs I’ve heard for the last 20 years are fine and….well…actually sometimes variety isn’t a bad thing. And the kids get so excited when there are new pieces to play and games to play. And I do love being the first one of my teacher friends to discover the next great method books…scratch this idea as well…
4. I just can’t afford it. Airfare, food, lodging, registration fees. Those all add up! I mean, it’s actually looking like it might be fun and educational to go, but the cost is ridiculous, especially when none of it is tax deductible. Ut oh, I just found something out….https://www.ucmo.edu/music/profiles/gai/Secrets%20of%20a%20Music%20Teacher-%20%20Looking%20for%20Tax%20Deductions.3.pdf I think it’s ALL tax deductible. I’m just not coming up with any good reasons.
3. Dealing with pesky sales people at the exhibit hall: Just say NO! I do not need to meet new vendors because I will spend money on silly things I don’t need. Just look what happened with those Piano Maestro people…they kept showing up at every piano teacher workshop I attended and the next thing you know I bought an expensive Ipad and became a certified Joytunes teacher and loved giving my students free access to the amazing app and helping other teachers so much that I was even Joytunes teacher of the month in December.
Actually, maybe that wasn’t so bad. Being the coolest teacher in town with excited and practicing students is pretty great, and having a totally full studio and a juicy waiting list is a perk as well…actually, I suppose that discovering innovative products and services for any business is necessary to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world. Plus, these vendors seem to be working for me. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have some really good friends on that side of things I could pitch MY ideas to! Grr…I’ve been typing for hours and still no good reasons for skipping this convention…..except…
2. I’m already an expert…can’t you tell? I’ve been teaching for 20 years. I love my job and I’m great at it! I even started consulting other teachers in the last year to help them learn tech, fill up their studio and really find joy in teaching. If I went to this convention I would only be positioning myself to be viewed as an expert by an even larger group of people I want to reach and might be asked to speak at the events and to write articles for magazines and journals, or be a guest blogger like I was here for Melody Payne’s blog….http://thepluckypianista.blogspot.com/2015/08/guest-post-communicating-with.html. I know that teachers like to associate with the experts and feel good about hiring a consultant that is celebrated by her peers. Actually, I don’t want to be a best-kept-secret anymore…oh dear….
1. I’ll skip and attend an online convention….like The Upbeat Piano Teacher’s Webinar that Tracy Selle was nice enough to include me in last fall http://tracyselle.com/?affcode=16250_1443796113f04f These online Webinars are really the wave of the future…all the learning and motivation with the flexibility to watch when it fits into your busy schedule, and the presenters give freebies or coupons…really a great deal without expense or time away from home…..
OH RATS. Who am I kidding?!? I would REALLY love to go to this year’s convention…and the REAL reason I can’t attend is because I am playing with the Wichita Symphony www.wso.org that week as well as managing my wonderful string quartet www.WichitaWeddingMusic.com and teaching my full studio and consulting all the wonderful students that I work with www.ViolinJudy.com This whole blog post was SUPPOSED to make me feel better…but what WILL cheer me up is if all of you who CAN go immediately register for this year’s MTNA convention here https://members.mtna.org/conference2016/registration.html and tell me all the wonderful things you learned! You can find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/violinjudystudio/?fref=ts&hc_location=ufi