If you have been a follower of Color In My Piano for a while now, you probably know that I absolutely love attending conferences. :) Conferences held me feel connected with other teachers, prevent burnout, and continue professional development so I can become a better teacher for my students. I always leave conferences equipped with new teaching ideas and feeling inspired about piano teaching all over again.
In 2013, there are two great opportunities to attend national conferences in the U.S. The first is the 2013 MTNA conference. MTNA conferences are held in the Spring in a different location each year. In 2013, it will be held March 9-13 in Anaheim, California. Even if you are not a member of MTNA, you can still attend this conference. I have attended the MTNA conferences for the past two years, and loved them both.
The deadline for early registration date for the 2013 MTNA Conference is nearing! Register by December 3 to get the early registration rate — the same rate as last year.
The other conference opportunity is the NCKP. The NCKP is held every-other year during the summer in Lombard, IL (Chicago area). While the MTNA conference is for private music teachers of all instruments/voice, the NCKP is a conference specifically focused on keyboard pedagogy. I attended the NCKP last year for the first time, and I absolutely loved it! In 2013, the NCKP will be July 24-28.
While I would love to attend both of these conferences, my budget probably will not allow for that! :) I have decided to attend the NCKP because it is closer and easier for me to travel to.
Attending national conferences is admittedly expensive — but there are a number of ways you do it on a budget. Finding a roommate is a big help. Last year when I attended MTNA in NYC, I emailed MTNA to ask if anyone had contacted them in need of a roommate, and I was connected with a wonderful veteran teacher from Colorado. It was so fun to get to know her. She had attended 22 MTNA conferences! For travel, I opted to take a greyhound bus instead of an airplane. Natalie Wickham from the Music Matters Blog has a great post with some other tips about attending conferences on a budget.
I guess I just really want to encourage anyone who hasn’t considered attending conferences before to definitely consider it for the future! It is not easy to put yourself out there and do something you’ve never done before, but it will be worth it. :)