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Reflections on the Midwest Clinic

I love professional development. As a result, it is appropriate to share my past reflections on the Midwest Clinic. Some music educators may not know what the endearing term “Midwest” is all about. The Midwest Clinic, is an international band, orchestra, and overall music conference.

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Chicago, IL, U.S.A.

This conference first started on December 7, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. A group of 120 directors from the Chicago area decided to hold a six-hour clinic and sight reading session on the west side of the city in a Y.M.C.A. gymnasium.

Even more, the Midwest Clinic has extended the number of days of the event and has been hosted in a variety of locations within the city. In recent past, the event has been held in downtown Chicago, McCormick Place West, 2301 S. Indiana Ave. As a result, of its success, the event has gotten even more popular.

Event Activities

Most noteworthy, this event hosts a number of opportunities and activities for music educators. Types of events include:

  • Education-based clinics
  • Performances by the top performing groups
  • Networking activities
  • Huge assortment of music-based vendors
  • Other sub niche opportunities


Clinics are my favorite reason for attending the Midwest Clinic. First of all, these can range from very basic new teacher skills sessions to highly engaging, hands-on sessions. Almost always new educational-based technology, books and teaching strategies are presented by their original creators.

Attendees are expected to pre-register for the clinics they are interested in attending. Due to the fact that there are so many great opportunities for professional development, often it is tough to decide which clinic to attend. I love that you may be attending a sight-reading session and the individual presenting is the composer of the work being performed.


Only the top-notch groups perform at the Midwest conference. For example, these would include the top military bands, orchestras, and specialty ensembles. I happened to run into a friend of mine from high school who was part of the administrative team for the Chicago Symphony. Even more, he managed to get me free seats right behind the ensemble for a fantastic brass concert. Consequently, this was a highlight for me.


People come from around the world to attend this event. I would recommend taking this opportunity to meet the most renown composers, educators and authors in the world here. I come in contact with teachers, friends, and people that I want to be associated with. In addition to the professional benefits, there are clearly social opportunities.

Formal music associations hold meetings and go out for dinner. College mates and organizations hold social gatherings. Most noteworthy, all of these include the exchanging of ideas, recommendations and the goal to enrichment our students lives.


Music educators and vendors have an opportunity to connect. For example, if a publishing vendor would like to encourage directors to purchase a new series of method books, then they would have the author present. As a result, the author would be able to answer questions and make that powerful face-to-face connection with the educator.

Vendors include publishers, instrument companies, universities, inventors, sound production sales associates and more. It is almost like “trick-or-treating.” Even more, you have the opportunity to get something new at each booth. These would include information packets, bags, pencils, devices, and so much more. As a result, I always plan on having a budget to get the things I need and items I want to try out on my own.


To sum up, I had a blast at the Midwest Clinic, and I know you would too. Due to the fact, the event provides top-notch exposure to the latest and greatest professional developments available. Certainly, take this opportunity to sign up and attend this fantastic event. Even more, you’ll reenergize your passion for music education, never regret the time spent and make a great self-investment.

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