So What’s a Conference like? with Susan Salidor

 The annual conference, this year in Mt. Zion, Illinois, grows nearer. With such a robust roster of veteran conference-goers, we decided to get their take on the event. Today we continue our series,” So, what’s a conference like?”  with Susan Salidor.

Children's Music Network Conference in Leesburg, VA Sept 20, 2014
CMN Conference 2014 photo by Kayte Deioma

How did you come to join CMN?

I don’t remember how I first found out about CMN, and at first I was a just a member in name only.  I DO remember how I got to my first conference, however, and it was because of the not-so-gentle-but-very-effective prodding of Carole Stephens (then Carole Peterson).  We were both presenting at a conference somewhere in Illinois, and she came over to introduce herself and to convince me to attend the upcoming conference.  Luckily, the conference happened to be in the Midwest, so I was able to attend and fell in love with all of it.

How have the conferences changed over the years?

I have found each conference to be more welcoming to newcomers than the last.  There are more workshops offered and, subsequently, a wider variety of topics covered.  I’m a big supporter of having a keynote speaker, and it has turned into one of my favorite parts of the weekend.  I’m also delighted (and relieved) to see so many younger participants!!!

What has been dropped that you miss about them and want back? 

Can’t think of anything.

What has been added that you really love?

 GLAD RAGS RACK!  I also love the live auctions — they are silly, exuberant and raise a lot of needed funds for CMN!

What leadership roles have you played, or workshops have you lead? 

I’ve lead a variety of workshops over the years, from songwriting to producing a first CD to sharing my musical secrets and strategies for the early childhood classroom.  I’ve served on the BOD for the last four years, run the Silent Auction tables, been a buddy, run a Song Swap, and I’ve helped run the the Newcomers’ Circle a few times.

What were the fundraisers you felt have really worked well? 

I love the live auctions best.

What was your favorite location and why?

 I live in Chicago now, but I love Los Gatos.  Also, I was raised on the east coast and welcome the chance to go back there whenever I can.

See you there in October!


  1. Since no one else was covering their eyes in the photo I’m guessing that we were just off a beat… or a bit off-beat! That photo makes me excited to see Susan and all my CMN friends who bring me such joy at the conference AND all year long! Nothing compares to the sort of camaraderie, support and purpose-refreshing that happens at the conference each year. The wonderful thing about CMN membership is that the Forum helps us keep it all alive long after the songs and laughter have faded!

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