Top 7 Reasons to Attend Conference

by Kimberly on April 1, 2010 · 3 comments

So, did you see all the chatter on Facebook and Twitter last week about #seramta and #swamta? It’s conference time!

Every fall, the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) hosts our national music therapy conference. Then, in the spring, the 7 regions of AMTA host their smaller regional conference. (I’m in the Midwestern region and am SO excited that our conference is here in Fort Collins next week!)

I’ve only missed 2 national conferences since 2000 (only because it’s hard to travel with week-old infants!) and have attended most of the regional conferences, too. I strongly believe in investing my money towards attended professional conferences.

Why? Here’s my top 7 reasons:

  1. You have the chance to learn. That itself is reason enough to attend a conference. Concurrent session, CMTE sessions, and pre-conference trainings–there’s a lot of information to soak in!
  2. You have the chance to share. Everyone has something to share–I really believe that. Even if you don’t give a presentation, you have the opportunity in every day small talk to share your knowledge and expertise.
  3. Keynote presentations. Last fall, the AMTA Keynote was given by Dr. Patel, a music neuroscientist. It was FABULOUS and people were talking about it for days. Aren’t you ready to listen to some of the leaders in the field?
  4. Ever feel like you’re alone and isolated at work? That no one else really understands what you do? Not at conference! This is one of the few opportunities to be around people who genuinely understand what you do. It’s inspiring!
  5. You will be open to new possibilities, new ideas, new projects. Who knows how that will impact your next year of work?
  6. Abundant networking opportunities. Even if you don’t attend a single session, just staying connected to colleagues and meeting new colleagues is invaluable. Meeting people at conference expands your network and your circle of influence.
  7. You will be challenged to consider new ideas, new interventions, and new theories. That’s an invaluable investment towards your growth as a therapist.
  8. You will leave feeling energized, invigorated, and inspired. You’ll be jumping at the bit to see your clients again. Ever heard of filling your emotional cup? Your cup will overfloweth at conference.

If you’re active on Twitter, be sure to follow the #mwamta hashtag next week, where several of us will be sharing our conference updates! And thanks to all the wonderful music therapists who used the #swamta and #seramta hashtags last week. I felt like I was practically at your conferences!

P.S. I recently published my second article for Psychology Today. You can read it here: What is a Music Therapist? Consider Us Your Personal Trainer!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Erfurt April 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Great post Kimberly! #6- Networking Opportunities are my favorite thing about conferences. Please view my latest blog post to see what I learned at the recent music therapy conference in my region – the South Eastern Region (@

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