#WRAMTA11 is the Twitter hashtag for the 2011 Western Region American Music Therapy conference. If you were able to follow the excitement this past weekend on Twitter, then #WRAMTA11 was the special code that let you in on all the conference goodies, tweet by tweet!

If you didn’t follow us this year, then consider next year #WRAMTA12. Or consider following the national conference hashtag in November: #AMTA11. People are already tweeting about it.

Now for the low-down. We all stayed aboard the massive ship in Long Beach known as the Queen Mary. We were literally rocked to sleep at night, and surrounded by incredible, historical woodwork during the day. The conference rooms were gorgeous. I’ve never stayed on a boat like this – definitely an experience to remember. Oh, and the ship is haunted, but I didn’t have any “encounters” during my visit.

After a couple of incredible institutes (Strength-based improvisation and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy), we opened the conference with The WRAMTA Tonight Show! Tim Ringgold took the stage as our host for the evening. He played back and forth with the *sizzling* house band, special musical guest ( Summer Mencher), and featured guest ( Barbara Reuer). The topic of the night was building a recession-proof career.

Tim made a point to inform attendees that we were all GUESTS and to be taken care of during our stay on board! After opening night, not only were we uplifted and inspired by the recession-proof talk and house band, but also we knew that we were taken care of. I have to say, this opening show sets the bar pretty high for conferences in the future that I attend! Nice job, Tim!

Special thanks also goes to Helen Dolas, local committee chair – amazing job putting it all together!

Highlights of #WRAMTA11:

  • Yoga on the boat deck. Instructors were Ami Kunimura and Victor Lissabet.
  • Silent auction with over 100 items!
  • Stellar presentations that covered these topics: drumming, pain management, adolescent populations, reimbursement, international activity, aroma drum, neurologic music therapy, private practice, and a silent film!
  • John Fitzgerald of REMO facilitated our drum circle. Afterwards, Kalani facilitated a Spirit Drum Dance.
  • Passages conference for students and young professionals ran all day on Sunday.
  • Tons of helpful, high-quality CMTEs were offered, including my Online ZEN workshop on Sunday.

Next year #WRAMTA12 will be in Salt Lake City, UT! Come out and join the fun!

One more tidbit here: Carolyn Dobson, colleague in California somehow pulled me into Rangers opening day. All this happened before I had time to remember my beloved Padres! But I figure since the Rangers are in the American league, it’s ok. CLAWS AND ANTLERS!!

Did you go to #WRAMTA11 or any other regional music therapy conference? Tell me about it! And if you’ve written about it, then include a link to your post below….

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