This past weekend, 35 music therapists and I attended the first ever Online Conference for Music Therapy. What an experience! We made history with this event. I’d like to first acknowledge the organizing committee: John Lawrence, Mary Jane Landaker, Demian Kogutek, and Aksana Kavaliova. We had presentations by Petra Kern, Anita Gadberry, and several other amazingly talented music therapists from all over the globe. Huge thanks to the organizers that made this possible!

If you’d like to be part of the second annual Online Conference for Music Therapy, please join the facebook group for updates. (Please let me know if the link does not work!)

Graffiti Wall Masterpiece At The Online Conference For Music Therapy | Click for larger image

The presentations all day Saturday and Sunday were given in webinar-style. The presenter was shown via video and audio alongside a powerpoint, while participants were able to enter text into a chat bar, raise a hand, laugh, applaud, and answer yes/no to questions via buttons.

I was honored to have been accepted for a presentation on my Drumify DVD. At the last minute however, I decided that since the attendees were quite tech-savvy (online conference = tech-savvy, in my opinion), I completely switched gears and facilitated a chat regarding the use of Skype in music therapy and drum circle facilitation.

The reason I decided to switch gears is because my presentation was at the very end of a long day, and I felt that our group was craving some creative interaction. I couldn’t figure out how to get us all drumming together. But fortunately, in lieu of a powerpoint, the conference software offered a whiteboard where all participants were able to doodle, draw pictures, write in text, and insert images. That’s when the lightbulb went off: Let’s create an ONLINE GRAFFITI WALL together!

Here is our first Online Graffiti Wall all about the benefits of Skype for music therapy and drum circles. This is an actual screen shot from my computer. You can see the Graffiti Wall to the right, the chat bar to the left-center, and my head in the top left corner. Click the image to expand the view.

Benefits of Skype

Benefits of Skype | Click for larger image.

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s our wall about the concerns of using Skype for music therapy and drum circles:

 

Concerns of Skype

Concerns of Skype | Click for larger image.

I’ve Skyped two drumming experiences in the past 6 months or so. I have another Skyped drum circle coming up! There certainly are benefits and challenges with all kinds of online interaction. What do you think about Skyping music therapy and drumming experiences?

 

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