TMTA Convention 2019: Expand Your Horizons Part 2


View from my room (24th floor)

Aside from an airport layover years ago, this was my first time in Texas. On the way to hotel, I learned that Houston has a downtown, uptown and midtown. Who knew? Not me!

In my short time at TMTA I knew I couldn’t miss spending some time at the exhibit hall. I always look forward to seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new ones. And of course, catching up with teacher friends! Here are just a few pictures I remembered to grab. There were too many I still missed!

Stephanie Smith and her husband, Kaleb with the Dynamic Doodle shop
James King with Alijam Music
Becki Laurent with JoyTunes
Asaf Ben Yehuda and Lou Ann Pope with Tonara
With Stephen Hughes (Virtual Piano Studio)
With Valerie McInroy
With Stephanie Smith
With Kristin Yost (Musical Minds)

Saturday night I was invited to join a group for dinner at Le Bistro which ended up being at the Culinary Institute in Houston. It was a lovely surprise and such a wonderful experience! I ordered the ribs, and they were the most tender ribs I have ever eaten! Yum! Houston teachers, you must check this place out. Great food at great prices and it’s not well-known! (You can reserve on OpenTable too and earn points!)

Our yummy dessert!
The awesome chefs!

I kept hearing how cool the digital keyboard orchestra sessions were, so I just had to check it out. Beth is so funny, and I was happy she was leading our session. She invited me to fill in as a “student” and I was happy to do so. Imagine my excitement when I saw that the first book we would be using was Paula Manwaring’s, Musical Discoveries! (affiliate link) I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while. Now that I have experienced it, I can highly recommend it! Written for multi-track sequencing, it also makes creating digital ensembles a breeze!!! She also has a 2nd book here.

Participating in one of the digital keyboard orchestra sessions.
A must-have for digital ensembles, by Paula Manwaring.

I was scheduled to present on Sunday morning. I was all ready to go, the moderator was just turning the time over to me and…

Yep! The fire alarm went off. I will admit… I stood there in disbelieve for a little bit hoping the alarm would go away as they told us on the intercom to evacuate. After a few minutes, I gave in and unplugged my computer and packed up my bag and headed out the door, praying that this wouldn’t eat up most of my presentation time. While I was waiting, my mind went back to a MTNA conference a couple of years back or so when the same thing happened. Except back then, I was attending the presentation, not presenting. I was worried that what happened back then would also happen this time and I would lose my entire hour. Thankfully, prayers were answered and the setback was only 10–15 minutes. And yes, it turned out to be just a false alarm.

With a little bit of adjustments, I was able to give my presentation to all who were in attendance. Yay! Thanks for having me, TMTA!

This presentation is now available online mini-course!

Missed TMTA Convention Part 1? Read it here.


  1. Amy Chaplin

    The dessert trays at that restaurant – amazing, oh my!! Looks like you had a great time. TMTA is on my bucket list!

    • Jennifer Foxx

      Oh my goodness, Amy! I totally thought of you when we were there. You would have LOVED this restaurant. Everything looked and tasted amazing!! If you ever go to TMTA when it’s in Houston, definitely put this on your list! 🙂

  2. Paula

    Jennifer, I so badly wish I could have attended the TMTA Convention this year. I would have loved attending your presentation as I can always use tips in any area you present! But alas, we had an important family event that very weekend and I needed to be here with my family.
    Thank you for mentioning the new Digital Ensemble books that are out! I’m so glad (and somewhat jealous) that you got to take part! I think TMTA’s DKO sessions are amazing!!

    • Jennifer Foxx

      I would have loved to see you, Paula! Your book is SO awesome! I am excited to start using it with my students! I hope to see you soon at NCKP! 🙂


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