DeBlogs > Kayla Burke > the-midwest-clinic
By Kayla Burke /
January 25, 2016 /
Posted in: Academics, Life in Chicago, Student Life /
The Midwest Clinic is a four-day clinic that takes place at
the McCormick Place in Chicago. McCormick Place is a giant convention center with rooms that seat hundreds of people – the perfect size for the thousands of teachers, and future teachers like me, to congregate and nerd-out over instrumental music. I would normally attend all of the days of the clinic, but because of student teaching I was only able to attend one day. There are several concerts, tons of clinics and a room full of almost every music-related business you can think of - there is even a collegiate-track for pre-service teachers called, "Generation Next", which provides clinics that are more applicable for college students!The cost of the
entire clinic for a college student is only $50 dollars – and I’m telling you,
it is worth every penny.
On the day that I attended the clinic, I was able to make it
to three different clinics. There were upwards of 20 clinics and concerts occurring, but I made sure I had time to walk around
exhibits and meet and network with other people. The best clinic I went to was
about a program called United Sound, which is an organization that provides
resources for schools to include students with disabilities into their band and
orchestra programs. In my high school student teaching placement I had the
privilege of working with some diverse learners, and it really impacted my
teaching philosophy in terms of having an inclusive band program. I’m so glad I
attended the United Sound clinic because now I have a resource that I can use
in my own classroom in the future! I also attended a clinic called, “The ten things you must do now before your first job”, which was also very
informational and worth attending.
I’ve learned that as an educator, networking is one of the
most important things you can do. I was really lucky to have a cooperating
teacher, ( the person I did my student teaching with), who introduced me to some band
directors from around the state. Just after a short conversation, it was really
neat to have them say they’d keep their ears open for open teaching
positions…score! It’s inspiring to talk to educators who have built strong band
or orchestra programs – their dedication to and passion for the profession
reminded me why I decided to be a teacher in the first place.
Had I not moved to Chicago and attended DePaul, it’s
possible I wouldn’t have attended the Midwest Clinic at this point in my life.
Not many people I know can say that they experienced a North Texas Wind
Symphony concert before graduating from college! Though I haven’t taught in the
field yet, I still think it’s important to learn as much as possible before
getting on the podium for real. I always take advantage of the exhibitions and
usually walk out with several books for my continually growing resource
library. Attending the Midwest clinic, no matter where I end up after this
year, will always be at the top of my priority list as a teacher and musician.