Monday, November 10, 2014

Nashville! My Experience at the NAfME National In-Service Conference #NaBloPoMo

Happy Monday everyone!!

Today I am writing about my exciting trip to Nashville, TN for the NAfME National In-service Conference! It has taken me a couple weeks to get to this because I've been crazy busy, but I decided today was the day for this post!

I never would have been able to afford this conference if it wasn't for my very generous supervisor and my principal, who split my registration fee and provided subs for me on the two school days I was gone. I also would not have been able to afford the (beautiful and over the top) Gaylord Opryland Resort, where the conference was held, so I was lucky enough to connect with another Sigma Alpha Iota sister and her family, who so graciously hosted me during the 4 days I was in Nashville. Thank you to all of you for your help!!

I am very happy that I decided to go to the conference. It is so rare that I'm surrounded by so many innovative and excited music teachers, and it got me really excited to try some things in my classroom!

Here are the sessions I attended over the course of 3 days:

Technology-Infused General Music- learned about some great new apps for the classroom!

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed= Something You!- learned a lot of techniques for encouraging improvisation in the classroom

Ben Folds Keynote Address and General Session!

Creative Thinking Across the General Music Curriculum- was able to experience some familiar songs done in different ways

Dance Around the World- learned some awesome new dances for my classes!

Dinosaur Rap and Rondo- Jim Tinter shared his Dinosaur Rap and Rondo book with us, and, though it was a big marketing ploy, the session was fun, interactive, and fantastic to be in!

Was able to watch University of South Florida's iPad Quintet- so fun!

Elementary iPads, Bottles, Cups, and Bucket Drumming- fun times with so much rhythm and I loved the Garageband involvement!

Jam Session and Happy Hour- was able to chat with other music educators and make some plans **you'll read about that more later**

Teach Me To Sing- Alfred sponsored this session and it provided some nice samples from some of their books, however I decided halfway through to switch to...

Blast Into the Elements with Children's Literature and Orff Schulwerk- SO glad I switched- this one gave me a lot of interesting new books to incorporate into my music classroom

Fun with a purpose!- Autism and music socialization workshop by Alice Hammel, who is incredible and gave us some great activities to do with any students, not just with those who have autism

What's Rock Got to Do With It? The Power of Rock and Roll in the K-12 Music Classroom- was able to find out about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's educational programs and resources

Musical and Cultural Explorations from America to East Asia- a husband/wife duo went back and forth showing us songs from America and Asia and how to use them in our classrooms

Everyday Uses and Projects for Garageband- Unfortunately this session did not give me any new ideas, as I already use Garageband in my classroom on a pretty regular basis when I can.

I was also able to do some sight-seeing. First up- Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B Tour!

Here is a picture of me sitting at the piano used by Elvis to record some of his most famous records:

I also had some awesome BBQ and was able to visit the beautiful and historic Ryman Auditorium:

Now I left the conference with so many ideas, especially about using technology in the classroom, but the best part of it for me was the connections I made with other music teachers. As a result of meetings with teachers at the conference, I am working to create a Skype connection between my 1st grade classes here at Hoffman Boston Elementary in Arlington, VA and 1st grade classes in two other parts of the country.

  • Kelly Hanson in Delaware would like to do video rehearsals and a somewhat joint performance (with my classes videotaped and the her classes singing at a concert) for a concert that is coming up in December. We are in the process of working on that right now. We are also working with our 1st grade teachers to start some sort of pen pal writing activity with our students!
  • Katie Krueger in Minnesota would like to work on practicing rhythms via Skype. We are still working to figure out what time this may work best for us.
I am very excited to keep these connections and cultivate them (hopefully) for years to come!

Can't wait for Nafville in October 2015!! Who's going to join me??
~Ms. Patrician

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