Currently I find myself in sunny San Antonio, Texas, at the Texas Music Educator's Association (TMEA) Conference. Even though I have been a music educator in Texas for seven years, this is the first TMEA conference I have attended.
It's been overwhelming but interesting all at the same time. There are SO many vendors, and I've played some really fine instruments (including a tiny Vuillaume viola recently acquired by Robertson and Sons Violin Shop in Albuquerque) and already picked up a lot of new ideas and information from my fellow Texas music educators.
Best part is, my best friend from Denton (UNT English professor Robin Coffelt and amateur violinist) came down as well, so we are getting to catch up and hang out, while learning all kinds of interesting music things. She has been looking to upgrade her violin, so I have been playing a bunch of violins to help her hear and compare. It never ceases to amaze me how EASY violin is to play compared to viola. You put the bow on the string, and the violin responds. BUT then you have to deal with that darn high-pitched E string. :)
It's been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to two left-hand technique sessions this afternoon. More to report soon!