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Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
Artist in Residence Info: 2012-2013
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The following information is selected
from Monte’s application to an Artist
on Tour Roster. It is available here
to help schools plan and prepare.
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Monte Selby Bio Info
Program Description
Educational Component
Recommendation Letters
One Week Draft Schedule
Book & CD Descriptions
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Monte Selby is an acclaimed singer and songwriter who helps people find their
song. Known as “education's songwriter,” he has written hundreds of songs with over
20,000 students, educators, authors, and Grammy-winning musicians. In 2012, Monte’s
song, “Check Your Attitude”, was included on the Grammy Winning Best Children’s
Album! Monte’s comical and insightful music—featured on network television, radio,
pod casts, and websites, and in books, stage productions, and videos—is cultivated
from an award-winning career as a teacher, middle school principal, and professor.
Internationally sought after, he is a favorite presenter for keynote addresses,
workshops, concerts, and artist residencies. Monte has co-authored eight books,
numerous articles, and a leadership column for Middle Ground magazine.
Monte loves to help students experience the power of writing lyrics and music, the joy of
performing, and the intrigue of digital recording. Teachers describe his work with
students as “awesome” and “unforgettable”. He comes from a family of hit songwriters
and outstanding musicians, so it’s no surprise young audiences applaud his school
assemblies, classroom writing sessions, and community concerts. Using contagious
humor, engaging activities, skillful talent, and enormous bounding energy, Monte
captivates pre-schoolers to grandparents with an unforgettable musical experience. Monte’s educational background includes teaching degrees in music and mathematics,
with Master’s and Doctorate degrees in school leadership. As a guitarist, singer, and
songwriter, he has released five CDs for teachers and parents through MDM Records,
Nashville. He has co-authored eight books, including a book/CD for Incentive
Publications to help students learn and practice the six traits of effective writing through
songwriting. Two dynamic books/CDs for early language learners are published with
Frog Street Press, Inc.
Page 1
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Each residency with Monte Selby is an opportunity to actively engage students,
parents, and teachers with music and songwriting. Monte will custom-design a
day or a full week for each particular group.
Possibilities include:
• Writing. Students brainstorm and develop original songs by exploring
techniques used by hit songwriters. Students develop the music, appropriate to
skill level. Composition skills are related to writing and communication
techniques that students learn in school.
• Singing and recording. Songs are intentionally written to encourage student
singing and participation. Songs are recorded and a CD is provided to the
school. When time allows, students are involved in “producing” the song
(appropriate to age level).
• Music industry. Monte can discuss aspects of the music industry with students
who are already serious about music. They explore songwriters, artists,
producers, publishers, engineers, etc. A “choose your career” game allows
students to consider job requirements, income, and the not-so-glamorous
lifestyle of living on a touring bus!
• School assemblies. Monte uses music (including new student compositions),
stories, juggling, and interactive activities to engage students. Embedded in his
message are themes of responsibility, kindness, the importance of writing, why
the brain responds to music, and the value of collaboration.
• Community concerts. Residencies typically culminate with a community
concert. Monte will showcase student writing and involve students in the
performance.
• Staff development. Monte will spend time after school with staff when possible.
He has co-authored books that help educators include music throughout the
curriculum.
• Performance. Monte will encourage young musicians through guest conducting
during music classes, meeting with “guitar 101” classes, or including
performance groups in the community concert.
Page 2
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT
Monte Selby’s residency work typically involves “songwriter workshops” (small groups of
20-50 students), all-school assemblies, and community concerts.
Objectives for each residency include:
• Promoting the arts and the value music brings to academic, physical, social, and
emotional health.
• Encouraging writing by helping young writers see that hit songwriters use many of the
same skills learned in school, and that music can lend increased significance to every
child’s important ideas.
• Reinforcing the value of creativity.
• Demonstrating the benefits of collaboration and respect for others, not only in the
music industry, but also in daily life.
Monte integrates many state and national standards for music, and incorporates
curricular standards (for example, related to writing) in his workshops and publications.
His book with CD titled, How Does It Do What It Does? (Frog Street Press) addresses
ten pre-K standards in science, incorporates literacy strategies, and integrates
numerous music skills identified in the pre-K Music Benchmarks. Monte will plan with
school leaders to integrate the objectives of the residency with ongoing goals of the
school.
Monte’s lesson plans are well grounded in educational and current brain research. He
directly involves all students, engages both reticent and gifted writers and musicians,
and strategically involves all willing participants in performances.
Monte Selby has co-authored eight books - each including a CD of high-engagement
music. Regarding student writing, That’s What I Need (Incentive Publications) outlines
clearly how Monte connects songwriting to the six traits of effective writing, a process
used in many North American schools.
During each residency Monte records the original songs (typically involving students)
and provides the school with a digital recording so that educators can forward songs to
students, place on websites, etc. All students and staff are provided Monte’s email
address and phone for ongoing conversations and support.
Page 3
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
Recommendation: Monte Selby
As principal of Williston Middle School, I have had the privilege of knowing Monte
Selby as both an educator and musician for five (5) years. As an audience
participant at the National Middle School conferences, as well as, speaking to
him after his presentations, I was determined to bring his “magic” to my staff,
students, and community. Utilizing a grant from the North Dakota Council of Arts
- Artist in Residency and school funds, I was able to host Monte Selby for an
entire week last year, November 12-17, 2007.
Monte Selby’s enthusiasm and passion is contagious. Our teachers recognized
Monte as an educator who recognized their heartfelt classroom journey. In
Monte’s presence, students quickly understood that he cared about them as
individuals and challenged them to be successful in school and life. Finally, our
community of parents and business leaders who attended our community events
were not only entertained but appreciated his mission to connect to each person
in a special way and bring about an excitement for life itself.
Our week’s theme was “Making the World a Better Place.” During this week, his
generosity to share his many talents allowed me to utilize his talents literally from
sun up until sun down. His energy and commitment allowed our school to
accomplish activities and programs that well surpassed my expectations. He
worked with teachers, conducted school assemblies, appeared on our school
and local news shows, sponsored staff professional development sessions,
“jammed” with all vocal and instrumental music students, worked individually and
with groups of students to compose, perform and record songs, organized and
performed evening concerts for the staff and community spotlighting student
talent (both in song writing and performance), and visited elementary schools to
share music, energy, and smiles. Throughout the week, our students would come
up to him in the hallway or classroom and ask for him to read their writings. He
not only accepted but would get back to them with feedback. It was amazing!
I recommend without hesitation Monte Selby for consideration by the Kansas Art
Commission for Artist in Residence. Monte’s “magic” will reach young and old
alike; I whole-heartedly believe the lives of those who share in his talents will be
touched for a life time.
Yours in Education,
Marcia L. Armogost, Principal
Willison Middle School
Willison, North Dakota
Page 4
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
Recommendation: Monte Selby
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter in recommendation of Dr. Monte Selby. I first met Dr. Selby
at the National Middle School Conference in 2006 in Nashville, TN. My coworkers and I were so impressed with not only Dr. Selby’s presentation, but also
his obvious love and dedication to youth that we immediately set about planning
for a way to have him visit our school district. Due to immense Community and
School District support, we were able to have Dr. Monte Selby visit the Walla
Walla School District for a week long presentation that has permanently impacted
our District and Community.
Dr. Selby worked with all six elementary schools, two middle schools, one
alternative education high school, lead professional development at the
elementary and middle school levels, as well as two evening events that were
open to our entire community during his stay in Walla Walla, WA. At each school
Dr. Selby visited, he worked with groups of students to write a “school song”
centered on anti-bullying and kindness. He ended each visit with an all school
assembly that included the anti-bullying message and a performance of each
school’s song. In visiting Walla Walla, Dr. Selby was faced with the new
challenge of working with entire schools at the same time to song write. I was so
impressed with his ability to work with up to 600 kids at one time while
maintaining his easy going style and sense of humor. Dr. Selby’s visit culminated
with a community concert held at Whitman College. The concert was open to the
community and each school was asked to join Dr. Selby on stage to sing their
song. I can honestly say that I have never been part of such a moving and
worthwhile experience and know that many parents, students and community
members feel the same way.
Dr. Selby has an innate ability to relate to all, regardless of age, gender, race, or
socioeconomic status. His love of music and the arts shines through in every
moment that he spends educating youth. In a time where the arts are beginning
to wane, Dr. Selby is not only a pleasure, but a necessity and I know that our
district is already planning for his return. I strongly encourage your support of Dr.
Selby and his program as he is truly dedicated to educating youth through the
use of music and the arts.
Sincerely,
Angela B. Gardea
Middle School Counselor
[email protected]
Page 5
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
DRAFT SCHEDULE: As a beginning structure, a week residency might look like:
Pre-week. Send information to teachers who want classroom prep activities. Send
songs for youngest students to learn for their “concert” assembly. Possible plans to
Video Production - where, when, why things will be happening. Prep work with design
students, dance, band, songwriters, etc. Inform all staff.
Monday: Middle or High School: Period 1 - 4, English classes each explore concepts/
techniques used by hit songwriters to make songs “unforgettable.” Brainstorming for
“main idea” will begin and a basic structure for the chorus. Each class developing song.
Period 6. Meet with tech class to begin framing digital tracks
Period 7/8. Meet with dance, art, or music performance groups (perhaps individual
students) to explore song ideas and potential involvements.
Tuesday: Meet with English classes to continue development of chorus. Explore the
specific role of verse one, verse two, and bridge (or other possible song organization
frameworks). Possible “homework” with graphic organizers to explore song idea.
Period 6. Tech class assigns roles for the four songs, lay-out of song structure, and
production ideas. Development of rhythm track will be underway
Period 7/8. Storyboard work to explore performance options
Wednesday: English classes work to clarify verses, push for descriptive writing,
potential for use of metaphor, simile, hyperbole, alliteration, voice, fluency, etc. Invite
feedback from writing teachers for students to consider. Period 6. Tech class song groups are working on instrumentation, working around/
supporting vocals. Production of no-vocal tracks that can support live performance
Period 7/8. Assign roles and plan for Thursday after school rehearsals.
Thursday: Morning classes complete the structure of the song and finish a
“performable” draft. Other classes meet to rehearse. Bus/transportation
considerations... Brew more coffee. Rehearsals. Design classes create program.
Friday: English classes return with final chances to edit. Consider how lyrics will be
displayed, with brainstorm and writing process. Writing classes prepare a 3 minute
presentation to describe their writing process (at concert). Other groups have
determined roles - who does what by when for this concert to be a powerful success.
Evening performance. World premier of the four songs, plus “monte/student written”
songs from schools around the country that compliment the content of the concert humor, messages, song styles, etc. Provide an entertaining and meaningful look at the
power of writing, and the talent and potential of students. Then, Celebrate.
Follow-up: Make connections to the “outside” world for feedback on songs, production,
writing considerations, Students involved complete short evaluation of the process and
product for future improvement of similar events. Monte completes the recording
process from home the following week. Send recordings and lyrics to the school.
Page 6
Dr. Monte Selby
email: [email protected]
cell: (620) 340-7944
Dr. Monte Selby has co-written eight books for educators. Books from Incentive
Publications include Because You Teach (book/CD of innovative staff development
activities), Middle School Matters (book/CD of engaging classroom learning activities)
and That’s What I Need! (book/CD using music and songwriting to help students
practice six trait writing). Co-writers include Rick Wormeli, Debbie Silver, Kathy HuntUllock, Jill Norris, and Randy Thompson. Bricks and Bridges is a ground-breaking
new book to guide educators who work with at-risk students.
Monte’s new books (with music CD) from Frog Street Press include co-writers Jill Norris
and Michelle Selby. Titles include Don’t Eat Cactus Cookies: Music, Movement, and
More for Early Language Learners and How Does It Do What It Does?: Music,
Movement, and Hands-on Science. Monte and Michelle Selby’s sing-along book/CD
Sounds Like the Truth is published by Street Singer Books. Wiped Out is a favorite
humorous book and CD for every parent who has heard the scream, “Wipe me!”
As a recording artist, Monte Selby has released five music CDs (MDM Records,
Nashville) for educators, including My Dad Is a Supt., Peer Pressure, To Catch Them
When They Fall, One and In the Teacher’s Lounge. His music features a long list of
Grammy Award winning and #1 hit songwriters, top studio musicians, noteworthy
producers, and inspiring young student writers!
Chat Chat Chase the Cat is
specifically for youngsters, and includes the “hits” (as selected by kindergarten kids).
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