Are Conferences Worth It?


Q: Is it worth the money to attend conferences and workshops?

Julie Smith Phillips

Julie Smith Phillips is Principal Harpist of the San Diego Symphony, head of the harp program at Arizona State University, and a founding member of The Myriad Trio.

Education is an investment of time, money, and energy, but it’s one of the most important investments we can make in order to grow and become better at our craft. As harpists, one of our main opportunities for continuing education is through the various conferences and workshops offered around the country each year. Conferences and workshops are invaluable opportunities to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of presenting harpists. They are opportunities to hear great harpists perform and become musically inspired in your own playing. Ideas presented in a conversation may motivate you to try a new style or technique that you hadn’t thought of before. The classes offered may help rejuvenate your own teaching. They are also a place to mingle and make new friends with other harpists across the country! You never know what you’ll learn or what new ideas will strike you at gatherings like these.

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