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OMEA 2016 – Jennifer Blackwell

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-5-09-23-pmI have been coming to the Ontario Music Educators Conference since I was 18 years old. Over the years, I have come to realize just how special this community is. I get to see wonderful student musicians, inspiring clinics, and thoughtful keynotes, all while catching up with old friends. I feel truly privileged to reconnect with my roots in Ontario every year!

Yesterday, I presented my research, “Music program alumni‚Äôs perceptions of professional skills, abilities, and job satisfaction: A secondary analysis of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project” to a receptive and engaging audience. I also had a new researcher experience: while presenting my research, someone came up to me to tell me he’d read my work. Of course, I know people were reading my work in the abstract, but it was a really great feeling to know someone chose to read my work and found it compelling!

Today, I presented a clinic on similarities and differences in clarinet and saxophone pedagogy. In the photo here, I am describing the importance of the muscles in the cheeks to creating characteristics sounds on both instruments. This group of about 30 teachers asked thoughtful questions throughout, and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with them. This presentation was particularly special because my parents were able to participate in my session, which is the first time they’ve ever been able to see my work! I will certainly have a lot to think about on the plane back to Indiana tomorrow – I am going home renewed and inspired!

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