Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 2013 music therapy conference for the Great Lakes Region (GLR) of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The GLR includes music therapists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan and is the second largest region population-wise in the US (the largest being the Mid-Atlantic region, or MAR).
This year’s conference was in the lovely city of Columbus, Ohio. We stayed in downtown Columbus at the Sheraton Capitol Square, right across the street from the state Capitol.
This conference was a fun experience for me in a number of different ways. One, it was my first non-Midwestern region conference as a professional music therapist. It was a great experience to connect with music therapists from another region and be exposed to some different ideas and approaches. Two, unlike most conferences I attend, I went with a singular focus—advocacy. Although I had to break away periodically to work on homework and my PhD research papers, it was refreshing to not have my attention too sharply divided.
What about the rest of the conference? With that in mind, here are some of the observations, learning experiences, and overall fond memories I have from GLR2013:
- I don’t think I will ever tire from viewing capitol buildings from different states. Ohio state Capitol building is the first I’ve seen that doesn’t have a dome! At least one that you see on the outside (there is a dome on the inside). It also has one of the more beautiful historical and memorial displays I have seen.
- It is so exciting to experience the excitement and feelings of empowerment professional and student music therapists feel after a successful Hill Day experience. Ohio’s Hill Day event was certainly no exception!
- In my book, Ohio’s culinary experiences have always been great! I had the most incredible—and largest!—salad at a joint right next to the conference hotel for lunch one day. Then there was German Village (hellllo German sausage!), an incredible beet salad (right from the hotel bar), and a divine homemade sweet potato gnocchi at the Italian restaurant Due Amici. My taste buds were quite content.
- It was surprisingly difficult to remove myself from conference activities to focus on my homework and writing. Here’s hoping there won’t be too many conferences where that needs to happen! As much as I like writing, I prefer the energy of conference more.
- I learned that for the past 15 years, I have been mispronouncing the word “Likert.” The gentleman who developed the scale pronounced it with a short “i.” It’s like saying “lick her” very quickly while you drop the “h” and add a “t” at the end. Makes me wonder, though, if the mispronunciation is so common that it’s considered accurate now? Hmmm…
- Live karaoke. It rocked. Enough said.