Donuts, Fashion Choices, and Membership Benefits
A new donut shop recently opened up near our home. Early one Saturday, I decided to throw my shoes on, sneak out, and surprise my family with morning treats. As I was making my purchase, the man behind the counter said, “I see you’re a teacher. You get 10% off every day!” I was a bit confused, trying to decide how the man figured out my occupation, when he pointed to my t-shirt. I was wearing our IMTA t-shirt, offered at last year’s State Conference in Vincennes! I thanked him, collected our goodies, and left. On the drive back home, I smiled at my forty-nine cent savings, but I quickly began to wonder how many of us are missing out on valuable benefits from our IMTA/MTNA memberships?
The Members-Only section on the MTNA website lists a very impressive summation of corporate sponsorships secured by our organization, and these are not to be missed! However, I would also argue many of us are missing benefits that can’t be measured in dollar signs.
For example, we just wrapped up our 2016 State Conference, and it was truly an event to remember! Goshen College proved to be an incredible host, with top-notch facilities and featured presentations by incredible artists. Highlights included:
- Jorge Muniz, our 2016 Commissioned Composer, debuted an exhilarating piano trio with assistance from Goshen faculty performers Matthew Hill, Jose Rocha, and Solomia Soroka. This contemporary perspective on the Granados Goyescas was full of vivid imagery and strong emotive themes.
- Featured Speaker, Karen Zorn, delivered an inspiring keynote address (she really had me fooled with that cell phone!), as well as a Saturday morning session devoted to the El Sistema movement that moved many of us to tears.
- Of course, Christopher Taylor delivered an inspired performance on Friday evening,
along with a very informative Master Class on Saturday morning. Thanks to Goshen’s innovative broadcasting of sound/video into the lobby, I was even able to enjoy the Chopin Preludes with newborn Ava in tow!
- The variety of sessions offered each day was first rate. We were happy to host a large number of quality presentations from a diverse group of teachers. There was truly something offered for everyone!
So, what if you missed our 2016 State Conference? There are still MANY valuable opportunities to be experienced in your nearest Local Association! I am constantly impressed by the work our Local Associations do to enrich their area programs and teacher development. If you need any information on Local Associations, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Of course, as MTNA members, we also have a steady stream of current research delivered straight to our mailboxes via the American Music Teacher, as well as our inboxes with the MTNA eJournal. I am always pleased with the insights I take away from these resources, and kick myself any time I let them go unread!
As with so many things in life, I find we get the most benefit from our IMTA/MTNA memberships when we put forth some effort ourselves. I challenge you to make the time to attend conferences (the 2017 National Conference in Baltimore promises to be AMAZING!), connect with area teachers, and read your journals. I assure you, the benefits will outweigh the costs!
Musical blessings to each of you!
Christina L. Whitlock, IMTA State President