Overwhelmed, Humbled, and Excited

All of these words are appropriate adjectives for how I am currently feeling.

This conference experience has been an extremely rewarding one so far, and the opening ceremony finished a mere 4 hours ago.

Let me explain further.

I arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon with my meeting schedule in hand. I have the privilege of being the chairperson of the Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC) for the American Music Therapy Association, so I always get to start my conference before the conference officially starts. *CAVEAT - I am writing this entry at 1:53 am EST, so I apologize if I do not make much sense. I am not used to being up this late on a regular basis, but I really cannot get to sleep yet. I will rue this decision in 5 short hours from now...* Tuesday evening was spent in the company of my friend and long-time conference roommate, just catching up with each other after a year of emails and facebooking.

On Wednesday, I led the AIAC meeting. We met for 10 hours as a committee, talking about issues that are present in National Roster Internship programs, recognizing and celebrating our successes, and daring to dream about the future of music therapy education and clinical training. The seven women that I had the privilege (and it really is just that, a privilege) of working with were intelligent, open to new ideas, able to see the points of view of others, cognizant of the business that needed to be done, and demonstrated a level of professionalism that always manages to keep me in awe. We spent lots of time simply enjoying the work that we do for AMTA and enjoying each other as colleagues.

After another late night meeting, I spent some quiet time talking to family members before getting to sleep way past my regular bed time.

This morning started with a breakfast meeting and then preparation for a Continuing Music Therapy Education course sponsored by the AIAC. That was the end of the downtime on Thursday.

The CMTE went very well with everything just flowing the way it needed to. The meeting that I had to go to during my portion of the information ended just as I had to be back in the course to lead. Feedback from participants was very positive, especially those who had been in the course in years past. I had the opportunity to speak to several people who were willing to offer information and resources for us to use for the next year. The opening ceremony was inspiring (though I really wish we didn't have to stand up and sit down repeatedly).

During the Exhibit Spectacular, I bought 6 chance tickets and carefully placed 1 ticket in 6 different jars in an attempt to win instruments. I was just commenting to my friends that I rarely won anything while my sister always would win when my name was called. I won 5 YouRock Electric Guitars! These seem to be MIDI compatible, synthesizer, Game system guitars that allow for composition, free play, and learning. I am still in shock over actually winning something that will significantly change how I teach guitar skills to my students. Broken necked guitars NO MORE!

**NOTE: I actually started getting really cold at this point, so I caught 4 hours of sleep.** I am now continuing this later the same day. Maybe I will be more coherent!**

Today I heard Ken Bruscia talk about how music therapists have to be client-directed and willing to shift their focus from being outcome-based, evidence-based, or context-based completely dependent upon what the client needs rather than the THERAPIST'S preferred clinical viewpoint. I applauded him several times during the session. It was nice to hear a person who is revered in the field reiterate the concepts that I have discussed with others many times in different forums. Let's hope that we have finally gotten over the brou-ha-ha of the 70's and will be able to move towards our common goal of the use of music as a therapeutic modality to move clients towards their unique goals.

I am inspired. I am excited. I am ready to keep going...


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