A Message for Students

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Show Me The Money (a.k.a. WE WANT YOU!)

The post is directed to music therapy students and interns. The organizing committee for the Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT15) is wanting you to join us on February 7, 2015.

We know that your time and money is precious. We have a way that you can retain both and learn at the same time!

This will be my 20th year as a music therapy professional. Throughout that time, some of my best memories have come from conferences that I have attended. As someone recently interested by music therapy, but not yet even a student, I fondly remember my very first MT conference, where I met individuals that remain colleagues and friends to this day. While working on my Master’s degree in the United States, I remember attending a joint conference between the CAMT and then, NAMT music therapy organizations and still being able to talk to music therapy pioneers like Clive Robbins. Finally, I remember attending, and presenting at, a recent AMTA conference in Atlanta, GA. I was absolutely blown away by the numbers of music therapists, the number of students, and the discussions that were taking place in the sessions, in the hallways, and the exhibit halls. I cannot emphasize that you should plan to, and attend, as many conferences as possible whether you are a student or music therapist!

That said, being realistic, there are many issues that arise that prevent you from attending a conference. One of those issues is: money! Being self-employed for the majority of my career, I have to balance professional costs, continuing education requirements, the need for updated or replacement of musical resources, technological upgrades, family commitments, and travel/vacation costs. As a student, you have the heavy burden of educational costs. This is where a conference, such as the Online Conference for Music Therapy, can assist you is keeping as much money as possible.

Comparison of costs between traditional conference and an online conference:

Traditional conference

  • Registration Fee: $215.00a
  • Accommodation: $175 per double X 3 days
  • Meals/Food: $30.00 per day
  • Flight/Travel: $300-500 (estimated)
  • Making contacts: In person
  • Minimum Costs: $1130.00c

OCMT/Online Conference

  • Registration Fee: $50.00b
  • Accomodation: Your own home
  • Meals/Food: Your own kitchen
  • Flight/Travel: FREE
  • Making contacts: In person/virtually
  • Total Costs: $50.00d or cheaper
a- registration fee for student registration to 2014 AMTA conference
b- registration fee for student registration to OCMT15
c- total is an estimate. Individual costs will vary depending on hotel, flight, etc. Does not include extra days for travel.
d- the individual student costs may be cheaper if the student group rate option is utilized

Clearly, there is a financial advantage to attending OCMT versus attending a traditional conference! But wait you say – a traditional AMTA conference is 3 days of educational opportunities, don’t I have more opportunities for learning at a traditional conference? Using a scenario of 3 keynotes and 3 sessions per day, a traditional conference would offer you 12 opportunities for education. OCMT offers 2 keynotes and 16 different individual sessions. Conference attendees can also review recordings of each session that they may have missed (we all need a little sleep and OCMT is a 24 hour format) for a limited time following the conference. Finally, when you become a music therapy professional, OCMT will also offer the possibility of CMTE credit in a variety of countries as a pre-approved, and accredited CMTE provider.

We also recognize that making connections and the opportunity to meet individuals, such as internship supervisors may also be a need. At this time, OCMT does not have offer an formal opportunity for students to meet with potential internship sites/supervisors such as the internship area at traditional AMTA conferences. We do, however, offer the possibility of interacting with MT professionals and students from all over the world. If you are considering an international volunteer experience or an international internship, you will have an opportunity to connect with one or more colleagues from Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, and the Middle East! Both our presenters and attendees come from a number of countries throughout the world.

Are you convinced? We hope so! But what if I am not technologically savy? We have done our absolute best to ensure that your conference experience, technologically speaking, is as simple as possible. If you want personalized or group training using the AnyMeeting videoconferencing platform, there are a number of upcoming training sessions coming up before the conference. It is browser based, therefore the type of operating system that you are using is not an issue. Finally, if you don’t have a computer, there is even a non-video opportunity to participate via phone.

We look forward to seeing you at OCMT15. Don’t wait and register now!

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