Tomorrow I am scheduled to present at 4pm on the topic of “Choral Music in the 21st Century: Integrating Technology into Choral Music” at the 2015 National ACDA Convention in Salt Lake City. At the moment, I say, “scheduled” because I do not know if I will make it.
One of my professional goals is to support other teachers. Most of my work is unpaid–this includes the blog and presenting. Not only do you have to pay your own way to and from conventions–many conventions also require you to pay to attend the convention as well. While my work does generate some income (less than $700 last year from book sales and app referrals, as well as under $3000 for individual district training/consulting sessions–and don’t forget to subtract income taxes for all of that income at filing time), my costs of traveling for this “non-job” usually absorb all that I earn and more. I am not complaining about it–I am simply stating how it is. Potentially, you could get connected with a sponsor who would pay your traveling costs–but I do not have any such arrangement.
The one saving grace is that i have a father-in-law who works for an airline, and I am able to fly standby (not free, but greatly reduced), which makes it possible for me to consider presenting in other states (I drove to Ohio, which I would not do again–I would fly next time).
This all works well…unless the plane fills up and you can’t get on. The plane I was scheduled to take tomorrow morning filled up tonight–so I am not sure if I will make it on that plane or a later plane. I get to hang out at an airport tomorrow morning and find out. As a in-law that doesn’t work at the airline, my place on the priority list is last on the standby list (and I am grateful simply to be on the list!).
With the conventions I have attended this school year (IA, MN TIES, IL, OH, TX, and now ACDA in UT), I could not plan on attending ACDA for longer than my presentation, so the plan was to fly in and try to get out late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Originally, I thought getting back would be the issue…now it appears getting there will be the challenge.
As a result, I am going to do something I usually don’t do: I am going to post the presentation and the handouts (I made the handout this evening) in advance of my presentation, in the event that I am unable to get to UT and people still want the core information and materials. The focus of this presentation is PRACTICAL applications of technology that fall in the areas of “substitution” and “modification” in the SAMR technology integration model. As a rule, choral music has been less open to technology integration than other fields in music education (the highest from of technology in many choir rooms is a CD player), so therefore it is really important to stress the very practical ways technology can be used in a choral program. You want people who attend your session to leave with a tool or set of tools they can actually apply in their rehearsal rooms.
I don’t take the honor of presenting at conferences lightly–I love doing it–so I am hoping everything will work out.