If you are a serious musician, there are a host of reasons for attending music conventions—with networking benefits being only the most obvious. Who isn't interested in meeting people from all over the world? One of them may be just the person you are looking for to fill a staff position, or who can consider you for your next teaching post or band director position.
Whether it's in your nearby geographical region or farther afield, attending a music conference can be just the thing to get you out of a rut, or to energize you with new–found enthusiasm for your day-to-day work.
Most music conferences are attended by world-renowned presenters whose ideas can flex your thoughts and vision in new directions, spurring professional and personal growth. You'll have access to lectures, workshops, auditions, live performances, round tables, symposia, instrument and technology demonstrations, and a chance to meet with people who are eager to share ideas and to communicate teaching and performance tips.
Support is another important benefit of music conference attendance. Talking informally with like-minded people in the music profession who can empathize with your challenges—and who you don't have to see every day at work—frees you up to speak about your thoughts and feelings on topics you might not feel comfortable broaching with work colleagues. You can also offer support to others—a great way to end up feeling better about yourself without even intending to.
Have you been doing academic research? Conferences are a great place to deliver your findings or express your successes with the teaching techniques that you've been exploring. There are plenty of fellow attendees you can call on to help you polish your presentations before you present them.
Concerts are another important part of most music conferences, and the level of musicianship you will be treated to can be exceptional and stirring. Academics can earn credits toward certification or a degree, and musicians have numerous opportunities to be heard and to have their work critiqued and to receive an honest appraisal.
Usually there will be an exhibition or trade show associated with a music conference, so you can catch up on the latest new products and actually get your hands on them for testing, or at least be treated to a demonstration. Some vendors, such as The Woodwind & Brasswind, make it easy for you to get the information you need to place an order for musical instruments or music instruction materials.
An opportunity to travel and see sites you've been wanting to view is yet another reason for conference attendance and a great way to combine your interest in music education with others of your interests. Most conferences include at least one banquet, and opportunities for good eating abound.
You may find yourself leaving the next music association conference that you attend with a new sense of confidence and direction in your work having sampled learning opportunities, shared with like-minded colleagues, and attended stirring performances and intriguing lectures. And that's what music conferences are all about.