Tag Archives: national conference

Happy Birthday, Songs for Success!

16 Sep
Aren't you blown away by my amazing graphic design abilities?

Aren’t you blown away by my amazing graphic design abilities?

One year ago today, I hit submit on my first ever blog post. I was nervous, uncertain, and quite frankly, had no clue what I was doing—but I was a woman on a mission. I wanted to be a part of the amazing community of bloggers and social media advocates whose posts were a constant source of inspiration to me. 37 posts, 4 social media pages and 1 national conference later, I think I can finally stop referring to myself as a baby blogger.

Guys…I’m a big girl blogger now!

In the last year, I’ve done a lot of growing. I learned how to write like me (and not some awkward, overly professional version of myself), how to share my interventions and posts, conquered WordPress, and best of all, quadrupled my network of fabulous music therapy friends. I’ve shared my visuals and songs with music therapists and educators around the world, said goodbye to only one laminator (RIP, you pesky paper-eater, you) and even had a few posts go viral. Seriously—google “clean dance songs” right now– Songs for Success is the first search result. SHAZAM!

I also took my first leap of faith as a new professional and curated a course on Music Therapy Ed (with the support of many)—which over 350 people have signed up for so far. Every day, I am connecting with new people through the West Music Professional Success Course, social media and my blog. My “I NEED to meet for coffee with these people because they’re amazing!!!!” list is now so long, it may take me another year to tackle it.

I want to say the world’s biggest THANK YOU to the music therapy community, who has welcomed me with open arms, advice and lots of virtual hugs. Thank you to my mentors in the field, who’ve coached, motivated and challenged me. Thank you to all you blog followers, Pinterest pinners and social media friends, who remind me that people actually DO read what I write.

But now, it’s time to turn this post over to my good friend Stevie—because really, who can say it better? It’s been a great first year, so that means I’m off to shake my groove thing…oh, and maybe start working on my next project. 😉

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#AMTA13 and Beyond: 4 Ways to Make Your Mark at Your First MT Conference

25 Nov

Downtown Jacksonville, FL

All you #musictherapy ists out there: can you believe that national conference is over already?! It feels like the weekend went by in an absolute blur… but the (extremely) cold Maryland weather and my still unpacked bag filled to the brim with business cards, free goodies and music books (woo hoo!) are a reminder that I really was in sunny Florida just over a day ago. Because this was my first time experiencing a national conference, I’m really excited to share some of the things I learned to help all those other conference newbies out there feel confident and successful when navigating through the world of music therapy networking. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a national conference, regional conference, or just talking to a random person out there in the world—you can leave a positive impression in just a few short minutes  and feel empowered while doing it.

1. Make it rain with your business cards! Give everyone you meet a business card, and be sure to get theirs too. I was really nervous about this at first but once I got the hang of it, it just felt natural to trade contact info.

  • Start or end every conversation with someone new by exchanging business cards.
  • Leave a business card on your seat after you leave a session—you never know who might be the next person to sit there and take your card!
  •  Make your business card stand out with bright colors, interesting text or a unique logo.
My first official business card!

My first official business card!

2. Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and introduce yourself—especially if it’s someone you admire!

  • My favorite conversations of the weekend started simply by approaching different people and just saying, “Hi, I’m Kerry! Are you ____?!” Be genuine and I can guarantee that you’ll leave these conversations feeling on top of the world.
    • Some of my most “OH MY GOSH I CAN’T BELIEVE WHO I’M TALKING TO!” moments this weekend were with:
      • Ryan Judd (The Rhythm Tree)
      • Kat Fulton and Julie Palmieri (Music Therapy Ed)
      • Michelle Eurfurt (Music Therapy Tween)
      • Rachel See (Music Therapy Services of Austin)
      • Joann Jordan (Music Sparks)

These amazing bloggers spent so much time talking to me about my blog, networking and starting a practice. They really made me feel like a totally #awesomeMT in training and I know they’ll make you feel the same way. Shout outs to all these awesome and inspiring people! If you haven’t checked out their blogs…DO IT RIGHT NOW!

Me trying not to be TOO starstruck with Kat and Julie :)

Me trying not to be TOO starstruck with Kat and Julie 🙂

3. Attend a range of concurrent sessions—don’t just stick to one population!

  • I’m currently working with individuals with autism, so I made sure to attend some sessions that I thought would be helpful and directly applicable to my practice (like CJ Shiloh’s exciting presentation about neurodiversity and Sensory Friendly Concerts!) But I also made sure to attend some sessions about topics that were unfamiliar or new (like using rap/punk/metal in clinical settings: rock on!)
  • Plan out what sessions you want to attend in advance! This will maximize your time during the day and give you extra opportunities to network, snack and relax between sessions.

4. Social networking is really important.

  • I’m now officially a blog baby and a twitter baby. I’m learning that it’s a great way to share resources and connect with other music therapists online. Some of the sessions I attended even encouraged live tweeting!
  • I also talked a lot about the wonders of Pinterest. Every time I see a blog post or intervention idea that I like, I pin it onto my music therapy board.  It’s so nice to have all these ideas in one place when I’m looking for some session planning inspiration.
  • If you’re interested, check out my pages:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SongsForSuccess

Pinterest Music Therapy Board: http://www.pinterest.com/kcorne4/music-therapy/

Do you have any extra helpful tips for first time conference goers? Leave a comment below or tweet it at me and I’ll add your words of wisdom to my blog post! Don’t forget to sign up for e-mail updates for additional resources, songs and downloads from Songs for Success—all you have to do is enter your e-mail address on the right side bar. Thanks for stopping by!