Continuing the Presentation Idea Thought Process

I spent my commutes (2 hours yesterday) thinking about presentation ideas for the AMTA National Conference in November. I have some CMTE ideas and some concurrent presentation ideas, but nothing has really grabbed me all that much...yet. I hope that there are others out there who are considering submitting presentation proposals - we all have something important to share with other music therapists.

My first presentation at National Conference was a co-presentation. I was asked to join a former classmate in talking about the people that we worked with in our current jobs - we were both working in large institutions in different places of the same state. Now, I enjoy public speaking - I always have for some reason - so I agreed to be her co-presenter. After that presentation, I was hooked. I have submitted proposals almost every year since that time.

My favorite presentations to attend are the ones that share clinical techniques. I enjoy going to presentations where I get to learn new therapeutic music experiences, where I get to be surrounded by others who are interested in music therapy, and where I hear something new. I am not as thrilled with research-based presentations. I want to enrich my therapeutic skills. I already know how to interpret research into my practice, and I choose to do so when I want to do so.

The presentations that I tend to offer are attempts to get that therapeutic skill enrichment. I write a wish list after every conference - things I wish I had heard about - and I then start to brainstorm how I can find out that information. That's where my presentation ideas come from - past conferences.

A music therapy friend of mine has caught the presentation bug. He started out thinking that nobody would be interested in what he had to say. He was wrong. People attended his first presentation, and now he seems to enjoy the process and feels that he does have something interesting to say to others. You do, too!

Some of my favorite music therapy articles are from the very first journal, Music Therapy. When we were working on developing the profession (with the use of this word, "we," I do not mean that I was there, but more of an inclusive "we" as a profession - you know?), music therapists submitted articles that gave us a glimpse into their clinical day and setting. I love those articles. I love hearing about what people do in their day-to-day routines. I want to know if what I do is anything like what you do in your music therapy life.

I'm going to submit several proposals this weekend. I will try to come up with a couple of practical, creative, and clinical topics. I will try to come up with at least one professional skill topic. I will revisit some of my old presentations that have been popular in the past and then revamp them for this time around. I will think about what I have to offer and how I can share it with others.

I had a person contact me through my website about a presentation I did last November. She was looking for access to a part of that presentation that I recorded and posted on my website. That email came in earlier this week and reinforced the idea that I need to be thinking about these presentations.

What can you share? Please share it!! I want to know what you think is important!


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