Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Children's Music Network

Last weekend I attended the Children's Music Network conference.  It was my first time attending so wasn't sure what to expect.  I must say, I was pleasantly surprised!  It was very well organized and attended...people from all over the U.S., and the workshops I attended were very informative and worthwhile.
The first workshop I chose was with Debbie Block.  She is the wife of Children's Musician and keynote speaker, Bill Harley, and gave insight and tips for booking gigs in schools, libraries, and other venues.
The next workshop I chose to attend was with Children's Musician, Stuart Stotts.  He is an amazing guy.  He is very knowledgeable about  integrating the arts into the classroom, state standards, etc.  If anyone is looking for a workshop for their school district, this is the guy.  He lives near Madison, Wisconsin and his website is Stuartstotts.com.  I purchased two of his kid's CDs and they are great!
Stuart's wife, Heather, is the Creative Arts Facilitator for a school district in SW Wisconsin.  She is graciously allowing me to 'shadow' her next month as she goes about her day being the creative wizard that she is!  I can't wait!  I will, of course, post my experiences here after our meeting.
Lastly, Bill Harley was the keynote speaker.  I have known Bill's music for years. (I still have some of his ALBUMS).  If he weren't a musician, he could very easily be a stand up comedian and/or have his own sitcom!  Yes, he is that good.  If you don't have any of his CDs in your collection, you need to remedy that.  I don't know Bill's website, but I'm sure if you google him you will find his info.
Perhaps one of the most fun things for me that day was when I was walking in I literally bumped into my friend, Diana Laffey.  I've haven't seen this wonderful gal and fabulous musician/singer in seven years...almost since we recorded a CD together with Kathy O'Hara.  The CD is called "Old Shoes" and I have to admit (with a bit of prejudice) that there are some very nice things on the recording, some songs are funny, some are pretty, powerhouse trios and mostly original material.
Come to think of it, I will put a few cuts on my website...
The next CMN conference will be in November 2009 in North Carolina.  I am hoping to be there!

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