Five years ago, I had never presented at a conference before. I had led staff development sessions and training in my own school, but never on a bigger stage. But some music teacher friends of mine were hosting the regional conference for MKMEA ( in Columbus, Ohio, and they encouraged me to submit a session proposal. I put together a session about using technology to enhance music advocacy in the classroom and community. I was excited, but really nervous as I had never done anything like this before.

The first session went well. The feedback I got from participants was generally positive. They were excited to have someone who knew both music content and technology skills who could blend the two seamlessly. If I had to pinpoint any negatives about the first experience, it was that my session was scheduled at the same time as a couple of my friends, which meant we couldn’t be there to support each other.

Fast forward to 2016. I’ve presented at a few different conferences and I’m now working in technology full time. I don’t really get too nervous before sessions if I’ve had time to prepare ahead of time. I’ve even been thrown in as a presenter the day before a workshop and made it work. I often propose multiple sessions to present when I’m planning to attend a conference.

But yesterday, I had another first. I received an email from a music group inviting me to be a clinician in their 2016-2017 workshop series. I’ve never been asked to do this before, and I’m extremely excited. I feel honored and validated that someone values my work enough to invite me to come share my ideas with other people. I can’t wait to work out all of the details and start to plan the session that I will share with the excited music educators in their group.

And in true karmic fashion, the workshop will be in Columbus.