Last weekend I attended the Music Teachers Association annual conference and I had a great time. As a member of the MTA I look forward to this event and I always leave feeling so glad I went.
What is the Music Teachers Association?
I guess the title says it all really! MTA is a membership association that brings together music teachers, visiting music staff and music administration staff. It is really for anyone who works in music education and there are also corporate members. Check out the website for more information – www.musicteachers.org
Why be a member?
Being part of a larger body of people is so important, particularly in our sector when most music teachers work on their own in small departments. Having links to other schools and teacher is invaluable and can also be hugely supportive. I love the regular magazines, the CPD oppporuntitses and the thought that I have always got people I can call upon. It is also an association that is growing, evolving and developing – exciting times are ahead and I am glad I am part of it.
Why do I love the conference?
I first attended the conference three years ago and it was one of the best things I have done in my career. Here is a list of reasons why I love it
- Great CPD from members
- A chance to do some real networking that lasts – I have made friends for life.
- A chance to visit another school and see how they make music.
- An opportunity to hear young people making music.
- Every conference includes high profile keynote speakers.
- A wonderful trade fair is part of the weekend and it is great to get to speak to companies about what they can offer my school.
- At the conference you get the chance to feed into discussion about the sector and engage in positive debates about the future of music education.
- There is a wonderful Black Tie conference dinner – who doesn’t love getting dressed up to enjoy an evening.
Overall I love the conference because I always leave happy, leave inspired and leave with ideas for the future. On Monday morning, fresh from the conference, I took some of the ideas I had learnt and immediately applied them to my teaching. I have also come away this year with fresh inspiration, new friends and some great links with local colleagues.
So you actually think this is for me?
In short, YES! I think the MTA is something that all teachers should be part of. It is very different to what most people expect and also it is changing and evolving every year. Formally the MMA, it is now an association with a new name and a fresh vision to change music education. It is no secret that there are more Independent School teachers involved, but that is changing and I am thrilled to be a State School member. The conference is for music teachers and led by music teachers. We are all the same at the end of the day, and we do all have the same vision for our students.
And if you know me well then you would know that I am not part of something for the sake of it and I am not being paid to write this blog! I share this all with you because joining the MTA was one of the best things I have done and the conference is a real highlight of my working year. If more music teaches join, then the impact of the organisation will be even greater. It is such an exciting thought to think of more music teachers at the conference because then more students will be positively affected. I can guarantee you will leave with new ideas, new friends and a greater sense of partnership across our sector.
If we can join together through organisations such as the MTA then I believe that we can make some really positive changes. You might think it is not for you, but I think you should give it a try. I would love to tell you more about it, so please do get in touch. I will give you my honest views, but hopefully this blog sums up what I think.
Maybe I will see you at the conference next year! I hope so!