Pro Canto Press offers expert services for music education consulting, workshops and seminars.  Please call, write, or email for pricing specific projects.  Jonathan Rappaport, Managing Editor, offers a wealth of experience based on over 40 years in the field of music and arts education, administration, teacher training, and assessment. Don’t see a topic you would like? We have a large group of professional colleagues who can offer additional topics and courses, just inquire! Here is a partial list of workshop and course titles with descriptions:

Creating a Standards-Based Music Classroom (1 – 3 hours)

This workshop examines the “backward planning” model (also known as Understanding by Design), with a focus on student learning outcomes based on Framework learning standards, examples of appropriate assessments, lesson and unit planning, and teaching models suitable for arts classes.

Designing a Standards-Based Arts Curriculum (1 – 3 hours)

Participants examine how to develop and write an arts curriculum based on learning standards.  The session includes a wide variety of curriculum examples, and includes all steps in designing a curriculum, from philosophy, guiding principles, mission and vision, measurable learning outcomes, scope a sequence charts, and benchmarks.  (Standards-based instruction is also known as “Understanding by Design” or “Backwards Planning”)

De-mystifying Authentic Assessment in the Arts (1 – 3 hours)

Examine a wide variety of authentic (or performance-based) assessment strategies that hold both students and teachers accountable for substantive learning in and around the arts.

Implementing the MA Arts Curriculum Framework (2 hours)

Learn how to consciously incorporate the 10 learning standards of the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework in your daily planning and teaching.

Learning Through Music—Interdisciplinary Music Across the Curriculum (1 – 3 hours)

Based upon the model of “Learning Through Music” used in various public and charter schools, this session focuses upon strategies for using music as (1) a domain subject, and as (2) a means for rich cross-disciplinary learning of music and all other academic subjects.  Examples will include interdisciplinary lessons incorporating music, other arts domains, social studies, reading, writing, math, and science.

Introduction to the Kodály Concept (1.5 hours up to one full week)

Learn about this internationally-renowned approach to teaching students of all ages in a child-developmental approach of learning music through the human voice, movement, sight-reading, and comprehensive musical understanding.  The process of learning is key, with careful preparation, presentation, and practice of all elements, concepts and skills.  Covered will be choice of musical materials, sequencing, tools of Kodály teaching (hand signs, solfa, rhythm syllables, letter names), and learning a wide variety of classroom tested, successful song material from multicultural folk music, to jazz, to Western classical tradition.

Choral Methods and Development (2 hours to one full week)

Planning, auditioning/voice placements, and implementing a quality choral program for children in schools from grades 2 through 12.  Longer coursework can include choral reading sessions and sequential development of part work.  Other topics include proper voice building and placement, range expansion, developing head voice, warm-up techniques, teaching musical reading skills, rehearsal techniques, and vowel blend and unification.

Choral Reading Session (1 – 2 hours)

(May be combined with the Sequential Development of Part Work).  Read through a wide variety of choral music suitable for young voices, including rounds, canons, partner songs, part songs, folk song arrangements, classical, and jazz.

The Sequential Development of Part Work (1 – 2 hours)

Developing part-singing skills takes time and careful sequencing for children to gain confidence, ability, and proficiency.  This workshop examines part-work development in a successful sequence of learning.

Creating Folk Song Arrangements and Original Compositions For the Student Singer (2 – 4 hours)

American music educators often have difficulty finding quality choral arrangements that are simple, effective, artistic, and employ developmentally-appropriate voice leading techniques.  There is a need to find and develop material that has a close relationship to the American “musical mother tongue” of our children.  This workshop will be in two sections.  First, we will examine sequential steps needed to develop part-singing skills in children.  Secondly, knowledge of these steps can lead good musician/educators to create their own arrangements of folk songs or settings of poetry into singable, quality compositions for singers.

Twelve Skill Areas in Music Teaching (1.5 – 2 hours)

Critical skills that are important for every child to develop in general music classes include Singing, Rhythm, Melody, Form, Inner Hearing, Memory, Part Work, Reading Notation, Writing Notation, Playing Instruments,  Improvisation, and Composition.  These skills will be examined from the context of the Kodály approach of participatory music making.  The workshop will examine and create lessons that incorporate these skill areas.

The Kodály Concept of Music Education and Multiple Intelligences Theory (2 hours)

Howard Gardner’s ground-breaking multiple intelligences theory suggests that each child learns via different “entry points,” including music.  The Kodály approach is examined through the lens of the 8 different intelligences, and it becomes clear how learning music can assist in developing all 8 of theses intelligence areas.

Development of Art Music Listening (1.5 to 10 hours)

Based on Jonathan Rappaport’s best-selling book, New Pathways to Art Music Listening, this workshop will present several units of how to successfully incorporate music listening into a participatory music classroom, and show how these listening units may be tied into the day-to-day curriculum and student learning activities.

Improvisation Through the Kodály Concept (1 – 2 hours)

The Kodály approach presents a unique perspective on ways of introducing vocal and instrumental improvisation to children that is manageable, structured, successful, and musical.  Improvisations will include rhythmic, melodic, modal, and harmonic.

A Baker¹s Dozen–13 Ways to Teach a New Song (1.5 – 2 hours)

Successful learning of a wide variety of song material is critical for the success of the general music classroom at all grade levels.  Learn 13 ways of teaching songs that intrigue students, keep them focused, and offer variety to the routines of teaching songs.

Classroom Management Techniques (2 – 5 hours)

A wide variety of successful classroom management ideas, discipline techniques, and organizational procedures are presented that offer humane, dignified ways of creating a safe atmosphere for learning.  Participants will examine the fundamental causes of negative behavior in children and learn a wide repertoire of different approaches for dealing with such problems.

Deep-Dive Interdisciplinary Units

Not So Simple: The Life and History of “Simple Gifts”

When Johnny Comes Marching Home: A Story of Six Centuries of Musical Evolution

Comprehensive examination of the historical roots and impact of one song on American culture, history, literature. Each song is traced back several centuries to its earliest roots, and then brought to the present day to explore several compositions based on that song and its variants. 2-8 hours each.


One of America’s early highly regarded composers who also was a woman of color. Her work is of lasting importance to American culture, and relatively unknown.

Curricular Consulting Services

Consulting is available for schools and school systems wishing to develop comprehensive, sequential curricula in the arts.  With nearly 40 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in public, charter, and private schools and universities, and as a member of the panel which developed the MA Arts Curriculum Framework, Jonathan Rappaport brings a wealth of skill and know-how in curriculum and assessment design and implementation.

Mentoring Programs

Observation of teachers in their schools, followed by lesson critique and feedback to the teachers is available.  Focus for such mentoring visits can be focused upon specific methodologies or issues of the teacher’s choice, or deal with any of the above topics or workshops.