2015 Conference wrap-up (Vincennes University – September 25-26, 2015)
A note from ITMA President, Christina Whitlock:
The 2015 IMTA State Conference in Vincennes was a smashing success!
As your new State President, I want to sincerely thank you for attending. I think we can all agree the weekend was full of new ideas, gracious colleagues, and inspiring artistry. Each attendee brings original insights to the conference experience, so I appreciate your commitment to attend. It wouldn’t have been the same without you!
I’m sure you’ve been busy buying Post-It notes and washi tape like crazy (thanks to Diane Hidy), and I know Logan Skelton has us all ready to teach more Bartok. Vincennes University proved to be incredible first-time hosts (thank you, Matthew Latta, Lisa Miller, and Claudia Bossard!), and Caroline KyungA Ahn’s commissioned composition When the Ocean Speaks blew us away.
A few follow-ups:
- If you have conference photos to share, please send them to me. Members of the IMTA Board of Directors can upload them directly to our DropBox account, or you may reply to this message.
- I would love to collect a few Conference Reflections to include on the IMTA website. If you feel so moved, please reply to this message with a brief write-up of your Conference experience. You might find yourself published on the website soon!
Please spread the word of your positive conference experience to your friends and colleagues. I hope to see many of you at the MTNA National Conference in San Antonio (April 2-6)!
Visit the Photo Gallery to see more images from this year’s conference.
Reflections from attendees:
There was an obvious theme throughout every presentation and performance at the 2015 IMTA State Conference at Vincennes University. Music is powerful, music is joyful, music allows us to express ourselves – it unites us in spite of our differences. As performers and teachers, it’s our job to demonstrate this power to students by tapping into our own creativity and inspiration for life long learning.
We celebrated 90 years of life and 50 years of teaching with member Lois Clous – a perfect exemplification of life-long learning. Our piano clinician, Diane Hidy reminded us music is not taught for a “competitive advantage”, but to foster a “form of expression.” Interspersed with her brilliant, fun and creative ways to make music learning easier, Diane reminded us to take time to know our students, to meet them where they are, to be excited about what they’re excited about. Keynote speaker, Greg Gilpin urged us to spread joy, to see ourselves in our students and to “play well with others”. Our conference artist, Logan Skelton exemplified the power of expression through a stunning recital performance and instilled in us new joy for the music of Bartok. He left us with these powerful words to explain Bartok’s weaving together of folk music in his compositions – Bartok thought his job as a composer was to “bring together the brotherhood of all people in spite of war and conflicts”. Lastly we connected, not only with new ideas, but with each other – we shared stories, we shared teaching ideas, we enjoyed the incredible hospitality of Vincennes University, we laughed and most importantly, we left renewed, feeling fortunate to be part of such an incredible community of music teachers and ready to breathe new life into our teaching.
As a newly teaching piano teacher, I found IMTA to be an invaluable experience which I intend to repeat annually. Not only was the conference well-situated, well-organized and well-run, but the content was everything I had hoped it would be. The master classes of Logan Skelton, the teaching tips from Diane Hidy, the insightful exhortations from Greg Gilpin, web resources from Amy Chaplin, and the kinesthetic advice from Natalie Wood, Lori Rhoden, Kate Boyd and Vicki King were all extremely valuable. Add to that the myriad tips from fellow attendees, and you have a “must-see” event. Kudos to IMTA for a rich and productive conference.”