This year’s theme, “Embrace the Future”, calls to mind my first trip to Epcot Center at Disney World a “mere” 30 years ago. I was in awe of all of the amazing ideas and gadgets presented in one of the attractions – phones you could carry around in your pocket, phones with the ability to see the person you were talking to, self-driving cars, etc. Now, we are actually living what were once just dreams of the future! As I have aged, it hasn’t always been easy to adjust to the lightning fast technology that demands our participation these days. However, attempting to “Embrace the Future” has actually been quite an exciting journey for me! This old dog is learning some new tricks with positive results and having a good time doing it!
I thought “Embrace the Future” was an appropriate theme for DVMTA because a lot has changed since our organization was founded nearly forty years ago! In the last few years, we have seen a glimpse of how these changes have affected our events and operating structure. With an “Embrace the Future” attitude, our organization is empowered to meet the challenges of the times. It gives us license to make changes when the old ways of doing things just don’t work anymore.
An “Embrace the Future” attitude can do wonders for improving what you do in your studio as well! Don’t fear trying new things! Incorporate the use of a music app instead of flashcards during lessons, have your students explore the amazing array of composing experiences available on the computer or digitally record your students’ performances periodically and create a portfolio so that the students can hear how they have progressed throughout the year! Changes don’t have to be technological in nature, though, to make a difference for your students! Choose a skill that you feel you have not focused enough attention on and find a way to address it more often in lessons or choose a DVMTA event to enter your students in that you haven’t tried before! As you will see in the articles below, our events cover an exceptional variety of music opportunities – community outreach performance opportunities (Marathon), creativity (Original Composition Festival), fun and fellowship with fellow musicians (Organ Stop Pizza Night), ensemble playing (Cavalcade), competition (Awards in Excellence), celebration and recognition of progress and participation (Achievement Day and Awards Plus). Our organization was created to give teachers the ability to offer these unique and important opportunities to students. When students participate in these events, which would be nearly impossible for the average studio to pull off single-handedly, it takes their music studies to a whole new level! So, go forward with an “Embrace the Future” attitude this year and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities DVMTA has to help your students be the best they can be and have fun while they are at it!
Carolyn Rooder, DVMTA President
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