I flew into Houston yesterday to meet up with a dear friend, so today has been a travel day of sorts. We rode a coach bus with directors and students who are involved in the Texas All-State programs this week. I experiences Bucee’s. I’m not sure how to describe it other than it is part convenience store, part Walmart, part country store. Their mascot is a beaver. I now own a stuffed beaver keychain, and I think it might be the mascot for the rest of my trip down here.
After we got settled in at our hotel, we went over to the conference and I dipped in for the tail end of the TI:ME pre-conference sessions. This is really the stuff I came to experience. I caught the last few minutes of Catie Dwinal and Amy Burns’ session on using technology to enrich the elementary music classroom. I wish I could have seen the whole thing, because it sounded absolutely amazing. The upside was that I finally got to meet Catie in person after knowing her for 2 years only through social media. I think we both had a surreal moment, and I can’t wait to talk to her more and meet some other Tweeps!
Next up was a fabulous session by Barbara Freedman, the GarageBand guru. Music technology meets stand-up comedy. I got so much good advice in little tidbits, and I can’t wait to get home and start playing with GB on my MacBook. I feel much more confident about the new music tech class.
Last on the agenda was a session that really wasn’t on my agenda originally. Anne Fennell presented a session about her composition classes as the first contact with music for her high school students. It was incredibly impressive and inspiring. I don’t think that my music tech class will initially take the direction of her music comp. classes, but I was in awe of the creativity of her students and the depth of knowledge they gained in music without learning to play a traditional instrument. That kind of creativity in the “non-traditional” music student, or the other 80% as some call them, is what I hope to pull out of my students next year. I will have to get in contact with her for ideas.
So tonight I could be at a reception with people I would like to meet and brain-pick, but I’m doing a little something for myself. I’m sitting on the patio of my hotel room, enjoying the weather, blogging, taking in the quiet hum of the city, and having a glass or two of wine. Alone. Susan Cain would be proud.
See you back here tomorrow!