In a conversation with some music teachers from my district this year, I shared how I really enjoy going to my local Orff and Kodaly workshops, and all of the great things I learn there. In response, one answered "Oh, that's great, but I just can't give up my Saturdays."
I was dumbfounded.
I don't get it. I am constantly trying to improve my teaching. I reflect about myself, but it is at conferences, workshops, and training where I can focus my energy on developing myself as a teacher. I may not use every single little thing the presenter has to offer, but I always walk out of a workshop with a renewed energy and loads of new ideas. It might not even have been what the presenter said, but how they presented it. I think my kids can tell when I have been to workshops as well. Class always goes better. There are fewer behavior problems. My kids seem to learn more and have more excitement.
Some great clinicians I've had the privilege of learning from recently at my workshops have been:
- Thom Borden
- Amy Abbott
- Gloria Fuoco-Lawson
- Julie Scott
- Lynn Kleiner
- Linda McPherson
- Dr. Leigh Ann Garner
I am fortunate in that my local Orff chapter is only a 30 minute drive for me. My Kodaly chapter is harder to get to, because it is always based in Wichita - a city 3 hours from where I live. Yet, I go to every workshop I can, because they are that valuable.
You may recall the story of Bach. He traveled almost 300 miles (the way I heard it was that he did it on foot) just to learn from master organist Dietrich Buxtehude.