The Midwest Clinic

December is here and we all know what that means… bright lights, cheerful spirits, fresh pine and THE MIDWEST CLINIC!  Ok.  Most of us probably have a different association with the month of December.  However, those who work with band, orchestra or music programs know that attending this prestigious conference IS like Christmas morning for musicians.

What is The Midwest Clinic?

The Midwest Clinic is the largest instrumental music education conference in the world.  For more than 70 years, it’s been a forum for the finest ensemble performances, expert presentations and the most current trends in the industry.  It’s packed with more than 50 clinics, 90 concerts, new music reading sessions and noted experts for more than 17,000 attendees from around the globe.

When and Where is it?

The Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference started in Chicago more than 70 years ago and is still held there today.  This year’s conference will run from December 19-22, 2018 at McCormick Place.

Who Should Attend?

ANYONE with an interest in music will benefit from attending.  Grade school and high school music students, directors, instrumental teachers, composers and arrangers, music industry representatives, college program participants and instructors and administrators are just a handful of recommended participants.

Kaleidoscope Adventures Will Be There!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, your trusted student travel partner and leader in performance travel, will be at Midwest Clinic again this year.  Stop by our booth (1030) and say hello!

If you are considering applying to have your ensemble perform at the Midwest Clinic in the future, Kaleidoscope can help you get there.  Details for the application process can be found on the clinic’s performance FAQs page.

If you are interested or involved in music, don’t miss the experience of The Midwest Clinic.  It may be the best holiday gift you’ll ever receive!

A Symphony of Resources for Music Educators

Doesnt it always seem that the very best moments in life are accompanied by music? Making that life-altering trip down the aisle to Jeremiah Clarkes Trumpet Voluntary, listening to the crowd roar to life as the marching band plays the Friday night football game or holding your sweet baby in your arms as you hum a soft lullaby?

Music plays a paramount role in our daily lives. I reflected on this recently as my daughter nervously performed for the first time with 300 other 5th grade band members (thats more than half of the 5th grade class!) and my son rocked the audience with his 8th grade saxophone solo. Music has been an outlet for them, a place to shine, a way to build confidence. It is a critical part of our collective human experience and I am grateful that our district continues to value music education as a key part of the curriculum.

Music educators are pivotal to developing well-rounded, successful students. However, they are often overlooked when it comes to professional development opportunities or have limited educational materials available specifically to them. Take heart, though (insert cheerful trumpeting here!), weve pulled together some great resources unique to this audience!

One of the best ways to stay current with the pedagogy of music education is membership in a professional organization like the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). NAfME provides research and support to its members, offers professional development and acts as an advocate for music education. NAfME also holds a biennial conference, an exceptional forum for music teachers, researchers, administrators, program leaders and others to share the latest innovations in music. This years event will be held March 22-24 in Atlanta, GA- time to get registered!

Marching Band Trips by Kaleidoscope Adventures

Another great way to stay informed is networking with those who share a passion for music at events like The Midwest Clinic, an annual four-day music, band and orchestra conference. This premier gathering in Chicago, IL is the largest of its kind and more than 70 years in the making. All instructional and skill levels are encouraged to attend!

MEAs (Music Educators Associations) are available in most states and exist solely for the benefit of music educators. Many boast resources, curriculum, conferences, webinars, festivals, scholarships and a plethora of helpful information.

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel


Websites like Group Travel Odyssey and Kaleidoscope Adventures are chock full of travel ideas geared directly to music educators who travel with students for workshops, performances, parades, festivals or shows. Travel is an outstanding way to explore music in all its forms.

Finally, dont discount the power of social media! Sites like smartmusic, Music Educator Resources, and Mrs. Miracles Music Room have superb blogs packed with ideas and information for music educators.

Music provides the soundtrack to our lives, and music educators are the artistic engineers. Just as our 5th grade band director has inspired hundreds of young people to explore an interest in music, there is a symphony of ways to inspire and support the efforts of these key players in our childrens education.