Elaine Ramos has served as Associate Director of the Independent Music Conference. As an instructor and organizational superstar, Elaine is one of the biggest reasons why the IMC has been able to survive. Her hard work, refusal to quit, and dedication to the conference helped it flourish in its early stages and grow to the recognized powerhouse it is today. At the IMC she taught hearing protection for musicians, acknowledging the quiet fear many musicians harbor about hearing loss.
You have been involved with the IMC since its inception. What changes have you noticed over the years and how has the conference had to adapt to the ever-changing climate of the music business? This question would be a difficult one for me to answer, as I'm not involved in the music industry, other than having helped with the IMC. My background as an audiologist and speech-language pathologist has allowed me to present at the conference on topics related to music-induced hearing loss and its prevention, as well as serve on a panel as a speech pathologist discussing vocal disorders related to singing.
How can a participant get the most out of the conference? Are there certain things that you feel are critical to the experience?
By attending as many of the workshops and panels as possible, and taking full advantage of the networking opportunities with the incredible variety of music-related industry people who are there to offer one-on-one mentoring to the attendees. Continuing those relationships well after the conference has definitely set the IMC apart from other events.
The panels and professional participants have always come from a broad range of fields. How has this separated the IMC from other conferences?
The instructors that have continually supported the IMC understand the meaning of education. Education is the primary focus of the conference. At the IMC, in addition to days filled with workshops and panels, performance opportunities for the artists become educational opportunities. Professionals as well as peers offering constructive criticism to the artists has become an integral part of the conference. The IMC truly provides a comprehensive educational opportunity for the indie musician.
If there was one comment that you have heard time and time again from participants, what would that be?
"The IMC is the BEST conference I have ever attended" is heard over and over again. Because the instructors make themselves available for mentoring and continue to stay in touch after the event, the attendees have often said that they feel the conference is "personalized to their needs."
Anything else you would like to add?
For me personally, looking from the outside in, I have never met so many impassioned and talented individuals in my life. Each relationship that has developed has been true and has given me a new respect for those who pursue music as a career.