My 1st TCDA

Currently, I am sitting with a blanket on my head, trying to shield myself from the frozen tundra blowing from my air vents while Avatar: The Last Airbender is playing on my iPad. This is my way of recovering from the amazing few days I have spent in San Antonio for TCDA.

TCDA, or the Texas Choral Directors Association, holds a convention for choral directors, like me to attend every summer. The sessions that are held are usually tailored to the specific age groups that you teach. After attending several reading sessions, going on 4 informative speed dates, becoming a little more tech savvy, listening to a wonderful honor choir, learning how to plan a spectacular pop show, and having my mind blown by a short, but sweet shape note presentation- I feel like I came away with so many tips, tricks, and tools that I am ready and willing to implement in my classroom. 

This was my first TCDA convention that I attended and I can say without a doubt, that I feel overwhelmed and also extremely excited for my second year of teaching. 

Now, if you're wondering, "Why is this only her 1st TCDA?! How has she not attended one of these conventions before?" You are asking the correct questions and believe it or not, I'm asking myself the exact same thing. 

Honestly, when I was told in college, YES- COLLEGE, that I should attend this convention, I didn't have the correct mindset or drive that quickly developed later. My summer was my summer and I didn't want to give a few days up. How selfish, right? After that year, my excuses became a little more plausible. I didn't have transportation or the funding for it, it fell on a bad week, but mostly, I didn't know what to expect. I was scared, but actually going to TCDA was the way to go. 

My TCDA faves

Reading sessions: These were probably the most beneficial for me. I always have problems programming and finding music for my ensembles. I don't know where to start and just looking at the piece of music doesn't help me much. In these sessions, we had talented clinicians and accompanists lead us through the pieces as we sight-read. It wasn't always perfect, but it was incredibly helpful!

Speed dating: Those 4 dates I mentioned earlier were with 4 incredible women who had so much knowledge to share.

Picture it- you walk into Ballroom A, you're handed a colored card, you're seated in that section, and the information starts flying! 

At first, I was a little weary. When it started there was a lot of talking simultaneously, but once I stopped and focused on what was being presented to me, I was so engaged that all of the chatter didn't matter. Each speaker only had about 10 minutes to present and after our 4 dates, we had the chance to choose our second date with the speaker of our choice for a quick Q & A. Everything from classroom management, organization, score prep/reading, recruiting, and retention was covered in an hour. It's a genius idea! The information we received was clear, concise, and can definitely be used in every classroom.

iUse Technology: Practical Solutions to Up Your Tech Savvy: So, if you're on FB and you're friends with me, you can see that I starred in a little film made by my friend, Melissa. I served as handout coordinator on a fabulous team that delivered so much to so many. I now know how to edit a song in Garageband thanks to Melissa. I also plan on using my Google drive that the school set up for me because honestly, the possibilities are endless. I am also seriously determined to put together an amazing iMovie for recruitment this coming year because I have the tools that I need...and now I know how to use them. 

Of course, there were other sessions that delivered tons of information and I attended as many as I could. I feel like I made the most of my 1st convention and no, it will not be my last.

It's a fantastic few days jam-packed with information that can only help you grow as a choral educator. So, if you happen to be a high school student, a freshman starting college, a 1st year teacher, or if you've been teaching for 20 years, I honestly believe TCDA has something to offer you! 

So, I'll see you at convention next summer! Yea? Yea!

Thanks for reading!


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT: TODA and TBA (the orchestra and band associations) hold their conventions at the exact same time and I have a friend who sang praises about the information he received! 

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