Colloquium, Anyone?

My wife had a church music colloquium to attend in Washington D.C. a few days ago, and needing a driver, I had the pleasure of driving her there and back.

On the drive, she and her friend studied their homework --a difficult paper on the thinking of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope) about the role and importance of music in liturgy, potentially a game-changing point-of-view for Directors of Music-- and we had a rollicking conversation about some of the words, such as musification, habilitation, and...colloquium.

Colloquium = a conference at which scholars or other experts present papers on, analyze, and discuss a specific topic. (From Latin: to speak together)

In this case, it was for the most experienced church music directors, and it was by-invitation only. A team selected the focal topic, and a moderator sent out the pre-work and facilitated the discussions. They gathered at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, where they met, ate meals, and stayed overnight.

My wife enjoyed the meeting very much. And on our ride back to NJ, we debriefed it in detail.

I started to think that every experienced professional should attend a colloquium in their field at least once per year. But how many fields have them? In thinking about my own, I realized we don't have them!

So here is a thought for experienced Training & Organization Development folk in the greater New Jersey, New York & Philadelphia area: Let's start an annual colloquium.

What makes a colloquium work?
- a challenging, specific, and timely topic, relevant to experienced practitioners
- a moderator to orchestrate and facilitate the conversations
- a venue where the attendees can meet, stay, and eat

Anybody interested in forming a team?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Feb 7, 2010


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