Having been a keynote speaker for the online ICDS5 and never having had the opportunity to attend a conference in person, I was especially keen to attend this year’s in Pittsburgh, and I am very glad I did.

It was a fruitful meeting of minds, bodies and musicalities. Carnegie Mellon University has excellent facilities, and we were warmly hosted by Stephen Neely and his colleagues and students. Pittsburgh itself is an interesting city and boasts more bridges than Venice!

95 conference events happened over 3.5 days, including workshops (including an inspiring class by Ruth Alperson on Beethoven chord sequences), paper workshops, research papers, practice papers (including two of mine), performances and four wonderful keynote speakers.

Highlights were the keynote given by Meredith Monk, who spoke candidly about her life’s work, her memories of doing Dalcroze classes when a child, and included a group movement and singing activity for us all – joyful!

Kathryn Kay and Helen Gould Photo – Kaye Barker

The presenter’s wall!

Another highlight was a joint class given by Dawn Pratson and Michael Joviala on improvisation, and exploring the permissions of being still against music, different against the music, as well as to be in flow with the music – there are always choices.

The respect, awareness, sense of fun between the speakers as well as within the whole group was palpable and there were many giggles.

It is an experience I shall never forget.

Photo - Kaye Barker, Helen Gould and Kathryn Kay, three Dalcroze UK members, with Selma Odom on her birthday.