Observations from TMEA

Attending the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention each year is the apex of music conventions. The annual convention is the largest meeting that San Antonio, TX, hosts each year. And San Antonio is a convention capital. Combine all the choral, band and orchestra teachers in the state, add in the all-state singers and instrumentalists and throw in the multiple organizations who have been chosen to perform and you have thousands upon thousands of musicians descending upon this great city. As an attender of this convention for many years, I am always a little amused at what happens in these four days of extreme musical concentration. So here are a few observations from this convention.

1. Where, except here in San Antonio, would you be able to walk down the street anywhere downtown and hear about the solfeg methods available for elementary classrooms.
2. It is the place for instruments. And you can try them out! You’ve never seen so many brass, woodwinds and string instruments in one location to try out and hear.
3. All these instruments create the largest cacophony of all time. It’s enough to give you a headache if you stay too long in the exhibit hall.
4. Musicians are loud. They’re just plain loud.
5. Musicians are performers and that makes them show offs. That means that there are thousands of show offs all in location. And this could present a problem.
6. If you ever doubted that the charter bus industry was in trouble, worry no longer. I think every charter bus available in the state shows up at some point within the four days of this convention.
7. Parents of kids who are performing are the greatest. Dads, and Moms, will carry instruments and equipment for city blocks at a time just to see their kid perform for 20 minutes. Way to go Dads and Moms!
8. The convention for TMEA is the greatest. That’s why people come from Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and many other states for that matter, to come and learn and check out the new musical stuff. Welcome to Texas, ladies and gentlemen!
9. It serves as the place to network and make connections once again. Because it is so well attended, just by walking around you see friends and former colleagues and can renew those relationships. It’s the best thing around.
10. You can’t get much better music than here for these three days. It is the very best in the state. And Texas knows how to do it. From elementary schools all the way through colleges and universities, the very best music can be heard. It is inspiring. It is excellence at the highest level. It is the demonstration of passion and emotion and the heart and music performance all rolled into four days of a musical feast. it is the culmination of everything music is supposed to be.

There’s nothing like TMEA. It is why so many thousands of people keep coming back. As crazy as it gets, it’s still what makes those of us who have music in our soul crave it all the more. Thanks, Texas, for the experience. May you continue for many years to come!

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