Summit for MTNA Leadership: A Class Act

A couple of weekends ago, I made quite a loop-de-loo around Indiana and Ohio. It started out with a 2-hour drive up to Bowling Green Ohio to present with Joy Morin to her local MTA chapter. It was our first time out (and our first session together!), Teaching the Way We Learn: First Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. We will be presenting the same session for Indiana and Kentucky MTA conferences this Fall. For details visit my speaking page.

After enjoying lunch with several Ohio teachers and one of Joy’s adult students who came to the session, I made the 3-hour trek down I-75 to Cincinnati where I attended my first Summit for MTNA Leadership.

If you’re unfamiliar with MTNA, it stands for “Music Teacher’s National Association,” a not-for-profit organization who:

Supports the careers of studio music teachers by offering continuing education, small business resources, peer to peer networking, student performance opportunities and much more.

The association is comprised mostly of collegiate members, independent music teachers, and university faculty.

I had a great time. It was so informational, eye-opening, and empowering to be with others from all over the country who are working to provide value and opportunity to our students and profession.

We arrived around 6:45 Friday evening, and just had a relaxed time to chat with other attendees and enjoy a beautiful array of hors-d’oeuvres.

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President Scott McBride Smith gave a brief welcome.

Gary Ingle, Executive Director, and CEO helped us get to know the MTNA staff who work for us every day.


And We’re Off

Our Saturday morning included topics on global initiatives, financial talk, and highlights of the four newest programs MTNA has launched including the new and much-improved website which includes member profiles and more, the eFestival, webinars, and the Stecher and Horowitz Two Piano Competition.

We were lucky this year to have the whole event hosted in what they call the “Hall of Mirrors.”

On our way to lunch we saw this awesome mural!


National Headquarters Tour

After enjoying lunch at the famous Taste of Belgium with colleagues from New York, Ohio, and Colorado, we visited MTNA headquarters.

When you walk off the elevators, this is what you see.

It feels so good being able to picture where it all happens!

One of the staff had this cute little fella in their office. I totally want a bonsai tree now!

One cool thing is that every state donated some piece of artwork that represented their state to help decorate the walls of the new headquarters.

The Northeast part of Indiana hosts a fair bit of Amish population as well as a famous fleamarket called Shipshewana (also the name of the town). Thus, our art donation was a lovely wall-hanging quilt.

Melissa Curtis (Membership Processing, and Certification Manager), is lucky to have a great view of the river from her office. I took a photo with her, but you were unable to see the city behind with the lighting – sorry Melissa!

The old building the office is located in is SO beautiful. Check out this room, especially the floor and ceiling.

This is where Peter Mack practiced before his Saturday evening performance at the banquet.


Breakin’ it Down

On Saturday afternoon we meet in smaller group settings with leaders from other states. First was a states-by-size meeting. Indiana – with around 300 members – was paired with New York, Alabama, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana.

I think everyone found this meeting to be incredibly helpful as states with smaller membership numbers don’t deal with the same types of issues states with larger membership numbers do and vice versa. There was so much to learn from each other.

Next, we met in states-by-division, which is how they arrange the competitions (for proximity). We are in the East Central Division (ECD) along with our neighbors Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Meet Gail (middle); she’s a Past President of Michigan MTA and super fun!

On the right is my roommate Beverly from New York. She was the most lovely roommate who was also President-Elect of her state like me.  I couldn’t have asked for a better roomie! Sorry for the fuzzy photo ladies. 🙁

We were all dressed up for the Saturday evening banquet and recital.

Dessert. Oh, my.


Wrap-Up and Kuddos

After all this, one thing I can tell you for sure is that the MTNA staff and your state association leaders are working hard (especially with so many as volunteers) to be the best organization we can for our members.

MTNA won more points from me when they made the classy move of leaving a special gift in our room for us to find after the banquet.

Thank you MTNA for recognizing all the work your leaders do and for all you do to support us!


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