Conference Reflections Part 2


The annual CMN International Conference was held October 18-20 – and it was truly international, as some participants came from as far as Canada and Chile. Below is a collection of memories, thoughts and reflections from members old and new. Be sure to join us next year, September 19-21, 2014 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA (45 minutes from Washington, DC).

“Thank you to all those worker bees who put together a wonderful and inspiring conference. As a “newbie” to CMN and to the conference, I am very excited to be a part of such an energetic and exuberant community in the world of children’s music. Everyone was so welcoming and encouraging. I loved the workshops I attended and the many new friends that I made. It was great fun to share songs, play along in the jam session, laugh, sing and just be completely surrounded by so many others who share my passion for music. I look forward to next year’s conference and to being a part of CMN.”

                                                                              ~ Maureen Conlin                                                                                                                     

“Each year, CMN gives out a Magic Penny Award for folks in the community who have empowered children through their music and life. Magic Penny is a Malvina Reynolds song that sings, “Love is something if you give it away … you end up having more!” This year’s recipient was Tom Hunter, who actually died in 2008 but his music & legacy are still singing strong today. Tom’s life and words have many ripple effects. Among them, a simple phrase of 2 words that remind us that everything we do counts ~ “It matters.” …….Tom Hunter is also known for leaving with this phrase, “Keep it going“. The Children’s Music Network folks are doing exactly that ~ not just at the annual conference of course, but where it counts so much ~ in classrooms & concert halls across the country! Thank you good hearted CMN folk!”

                                                                                ~ Laurie Story                                                                                                                             

1 Conference '13

“Joining CMN has been one of the best things to not only help me with resources for my music, encourage me, find people of like passion, but it has given me tons of new friends, many of whom I met this weekend. Joining CMN was an instant acceptance into a family of amazing musicians. Pam Donkin and I are now “Heart friends” as she puts it, along with numerous others.

Perhaps one of the best moments this weekend for me was sharing a song I learned from Tom Hunter and Bev Bos in the Round Robin, and having Aiden Hunter (Tom’s son) play stand up bass on my song, along with Ingrid Noyes on banjo, Pam Donkin and Sammie Haynes on harmonies and drums and cymbals and 3 lovely newbies whose names escape me right now on hand clapping! Nancy Stewart’s presentation of sharing her music in the community was amazing, as was MaryLee Sunseri’s workshop on singing and chanting with babes and moms. Many of these workshops were taped so I will get to view the ones I missed at my leisure. The weekend was inspiring all around, every workshop amazing. Hope I can make it to the next in Leesburg, Va in Sept. 2014!“

                                                                               ~ Kathleen Rushing                                                                                                                       


 “It’s so hard to put into words what the Conference was like. There are good networking opportunities – which are not only fun but good business, workshops, round robin sharing of great songs, Magic Penny. And then there is the next level, jamming and harmonies that are food for the soul, but the most important experience for me is almost above the level of word description. Kathleen, I can’t take credit for the term “heart friends”. I poached it from Tom Pease when he stood and said how good it always is to see his “heart friends.” Yup! That’s why I go almost every year no matter where in the country it may be. I need my annual dose of my heart friends. Good to see you all, old friends and new. “

                                                                                        ~ Pam Donkin                                                                                                                                

“The Round Robin is interspersed with “energizers” that get us up and moving, some of the workshops are about movement. Most conferences are about sitting. The Music EdVentures conferences I’ve gone to are even more about movement, because a center of their music-teaching method is singing games and we are up and doing them several times a day. So our whole bodies are at these conferences, not just our minds (and, at the CMN site, our taste buds).”

                                                                                    ~ Nancy Schimmel                                                                                                                        

“Had an amazing time, as usual! One of my high points was during the Round Robin, when I looked over the keyboard I was struggling with to see a little person leaping up and dancing her booties off!”

                                                                                      ~ Eve Kodiak