Wow, what a week! It started last Monday and Tuesday with my school’s two-day music retreat. Then on Wednesday, Halloween night, exhausted from teaching and from the retreat, I was offered a last-minute table for Friday and Saturday at the Ontario Music Educators Association‘s Counterpoint 2018 Conference in Hamilton. Of course, I said YES! But that left me with just one day to get my act together. I can’t believe I pulled it off. All in a week’s work, I guess, for a music teacher!
This was the big leagues!
This was definitely not like the OSA Conference I attended earlier this year in April which consisted of 20-30 attendees. This was big, with over 800 participants. I had no idea what to expect, or how many of those attending consisted of string teachers, seeing as most of my materials are currently directed towards teaching strings. In the end, I was able to collect three pages of new emails, woohoo!
Sharing my ideas….
More importantly, it was such a great opportunity to share with other teachers the ease of teaching by finger pattern. It was fun to see how teachers would just light up when they realized how my ideas would make it so simple to teach fingering, which is crucial to string-playing. Teachers were also excited about how my scale books, fingering charts, and Smart Bowing Exercises could be of immense support and benefit to their students. I was excited for them!
I also met many teachers who were non-strings majors struggling to teach strings classes. Those teachers were especially attracted to my resources. They could easily see how the scale books and fingering charts could be of huge benefit to both them and their students in navigating fingering. They were also surprised and impressed with how Smart Bowing Exercises could provide a one-stop comprehensive reference for many aspects of bowing technique that they would otherwise be unfamiliar with teaching.
Many passers-by also noticed my fun (and might I say, brilliant) mnemonic for the major key signatures and signed up for a free copy, as well as other freebies.
Last but not least, it was great getting to know other string teachers from across Ontario, being able to provide support to them, and finding out that there are many areas of the province with great string programmes in the schools.
Basically, the conference was a great success, I made a lot of connections, and I can’t wait to take my wares on the road to other conferences in the near future!
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