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"Singing Rounds 'Round Town" post-conference reflection 

March 4th through March 8, the Hyatt Regency of Schaumburg hosted the largest Great Lakes Region of Music Therapy in the history of the region. Students, professionals, and allies gathered to skill share, network, promote programs, rejuvenate.

This year, my personal project, the world-folk trio The Herbal Remedies, were able to both share our experience of organizing community rounds and provide an experiential workshop in the afternoon, before performing a set of music as part of closing ceremony to the event.

I write with complete gratitude for the opportunity to do so, and with the invitation for continued dialogue regarding the use of song, and movement and story, to bring about desired change.

In this record-breaking and dynamic conference, personal gratification and reward may be best captured in this exchange I had with my father regarding The Herbal Remedies performance:

"Dad, it was awesome. After our set, there was a line of music therapy students who wanted me/us to know that their experience in our workshop and in our performance, boosted their assurance that music therapy is the field for them, and that they were so moved and reminded why they were interested in the field in the first place. My colleague's 8 year old daughter bought a postcard and wanted an autograph. Two coworkers waltzed together on 'Apples'. Two of my professors and approx. 20 professionals and 25 students lingered in the enormous conference hall, to be soothed and sing together and restore after a LONG and DYNAMIC conference. I am fulfilled. Thanks for caring."

* In music therapy, clinicians are often tasked with quantifying and tracking outcomes from the interventions and experiences supplied.

In the practice of sharing music, I find that rewards are bountiful and varied, and the craft of offering it can be honed to bring about optimal engagement and connection.

I am inspired to take moment and soak it in - pleased to get to know our project's growth, as evidenced by aforementioned validation.

Thank you to the friends, family, fans and friends-to-be who've all made possible the chance to share our songs, stories, and dreams.

For a link to the lyrics of some of the rounds shared during our workshop, please contact me at ms.bender.k@gmail.com

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