Keynotes & Professional Training

Dr. Monte Selby’s distinctive work spans over two decades, providing dynamic keynotes and workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia. He is widely popular for his practical, humorous, and engaging presentations—the keynote speaker for dozens of state, national, and international conferences—but is perhaps best known for his music. As a critically acclaimed songwriter and recording artist, he shares comical and insightful music for children, parents, educators. and leaders. His musical endeavors (featured on network television, radio, pod casts, websites, original stage productions, and videos) are cultivated from an award-winning career as a teacher, principal, and professor.



Monte’s keynote addresses are typically utilized at conferences or special events where the goal is amotivating and inspiring message. The songs, stories and activities share common themes of optimism, courage, and the critical need for fun and laughter. He reaffirms that individuals can make a difference, and relates valuable concepts that help promote professional effectiveness.

Creating a Best Day Ever

Monte Selby will use humor, interaction, a bit of research, and critically acclaimed original music to explore the importance of creating a vision for a "Best Day Ever." Selby is an experienced teacher, principal, professor, and father of four who believes that adults having a great day can create meaningful experiences for others at work, home, or school.


The Intellect of Laughter and Optimism

The importance of laughter and optimism are sometimes dismissed by those who believe “some people are just born with it.” Monte Selby disagrees. He establishes the importance of laughter and optimism, and then offers strategies that positively impact the working and learning environment.  


Unlocking Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking

Schools and businesses continually search for new approaches to improve learning and productivity. Developing stronger human connections, unlocking creativity, and building collaborative environments become critical to lasting success. Join Monte Selby, a veteran educator and musician who is deeply immersed in the creative world of songwriting, performing, and recording with some of the best in the business. He’ll shed light on how to move “The 4 Cs” from theory into practice. 


The Power of Music in Concert: 36,000 Voices for a Better World

Music has conveyed both the beauty and challenge of human existence for countless generations. Now, students all over the globe are raising their voices through music, expressing a desire for kindness and respect in a better world. Monte Selby has the privilege of collaborating with thousands of students, creating hundreds of insightful and entertaining songs. This concert, through the words of students, is loaded with humor, insight, and inspiration.



Monte Selby has provided staff development training and conference break-out sessions throughout the United States. He will personalize every session for each particular group. All sessions are engaging, interactive, and focused on practical applications.


Using Music to Differentiate Learning in Any Subject

Inject the amazing power of music into your instruction to engage reluctant, challenged and gifted learners—even if you don’t have a musical bone in your body! Learn how to organize, transition, and end lessons with music and to differentiate content, instruction & assessment. Gain practical examples and strategies, from easy to intense, along with a personal action plan.


Developing Responsibility and Respect

We all want students to take more responsibility. When schools simply increase rules and add harsher punishments, the result is often frustrated teachers and angry students. This session is for those who want to combine proactive and reactive strategies that "teach" responsibility and reduce misbehavior. Monte will address the "first time offender", as well as the more "behaviorally challenged". 


Maintaining Morale in Tough Times

Hello Morale: Goodbye Blues? Maintaining morale in tough times is not easy!  Truly meaningful efforts to improve schools are time consuming, stress inducing, and promote conflict. In this session, participants explore options (and skills) for keeping the learning and teaching environment healthy (and fun) in ways that support school improvement and preserve teacher sanity! Bring a pencil and enthusiasm, leave with a personalized action plan. 


Welcome to an Unforgettable Classroom

Teachers love practical, ready-to-use, high-engagement strategies to impact learning, behavior, and character. Come explore powerful academic, social, and leadership activities that require deep thinking, movement, research, respect, interaction, music and laughter! Researchers declare that many students claim "boring" as their favorite adjective for describing school. More researchers shed light on why many capable students drop out of school. Educators of all subject areas and grade levels will leave this session with practical ideas to create healthy, welcoming, non-boring and "unforgettable" classrooms. 


Differentiating Parental Involvement

About 63 million American adults volunteered time to an organization last year. We can lure a few more of those volunteers to help us when we differentiate options that help adults connect with the academic lives of students, Research and common sense both support the need for a positive connection between educators and parents. This session describes powerful school-wide and classroom strategies that involve parents in meaningful and empowering ways. 


Bricks and Bridges: Engaging Secondary At-risk Students

In this session, participants will create a renewed vision of hope and receive valuable information that will transform the connection between teachers and the at-risk youth in their classrooms. Educators can expect to be challenged, interact, and laugh, while ultimately gaining practical skills to guide a school staff toward engaging their most at-risk youth.


Engaging the Young At-risk Learner

Too noisy, too wiggly, too disruptive, too angry or too disengaged? Hot off the press is a 30 year longitudinal study that supports what we all know - a young student who lacks self-control is much more likely as an adult to face health, legal, family, and job problems. Yelling and punishments seldom work. This session is full of strategies to help your off-task students engage and learn.  Help your students gain skills that improve your chances of a good day, and their chances for a good life! 


Personalization and High Engagement

Consider the implications of bringing two of your least favorite lessons and leaving with them as your own model for personalization and high engagement instruction. You bring the lessons and a pencil. Monte Selby will bring great handouts, a high energy presentation packed with strategies, and a personalized process for transforming your least favorite lessons. Coffee, music, and fun also provided!


Planning Your Back-to-School Events

Despite the legends of "those adolescent years”, we can help students and parents create some of their best school memories together. Monte Selby brings practical ideas from around North America - plus stories, songs, strategies, and a bit of research to help make this year’s kick-off events powerful and engaging. Don't miss this chance to laugh, think, and prepare a personalized action plan! 


Emotions. This crazy kid is making me crazy!

Mad. Sad. Happy. Some students have a limited emotional vocabulary - a limited understanding of expressions and a limited range of responses. They overreact (act out), thinking someone who is frustrated or serious is mad (because they’re not smiling). This causes problems for the student, classmates, and adults.  Practical strategies can help all students increase emotional perceptiveness, options for expressions, and healthy, successful behaviors for responding to a wide range of emotion.



After writing over 100 “how do we change the world” songs with middle school students, Monte Selby shares ten of the very best from around North America.  He’ll discuss strategies to promote student reflection, and how educators are reflecting on student insight to change schools. This is not about the ideal student leader. Rather, it is about finding the voice within distracted and disconnected students who can help us clarify a stronger vision for our schools.


Motivated Meetings: The End of Boring!

Wake up!  Yes, we've all been to meetings and asked, "Why did we have this meeting?" Frustration levels rise quickly when small or large group meetings become whining sessions, little is accomplished, or the same person makes the same long speech on the same topic! On the contrary, it IS possible to have staff development and meetings that target current educational issues with innovative, collaborative, engaging activities and resources. Yes, a staff meeting CAN energize educators while they learn. Team meetings, curriculum meetings, and other staff gatherings are opportunities to model best practices for classrooms. Join Monte Selby for a musical, fun, involved session and leave with ideas, skills, and a few good laughs!


Redefining Student Voice and Leadership

Some schools involve students and staff in ways that move leadership from a “position” to an “action” for everyone. In those locations, students problem solve and do a better job of improving their school. Come explore strategies that reduce apathy, disrespect, powerlessness, and annoying levels of whining!


The Beat of the Brain

No musical bones in your body? Yet, you know that music holds the power to engage reluctant, challenged, or gifted learners. Powerful research supports the notion that music is more than singing and dancing. For many students, music is the rhythmic soul of learning. Come learn how every educator can unlock the magic of music to increase learning, reduce misbehavior, motivate, and improve writing skills. Explore practical strategies from schools where students write music to promote respect and responsibility in classrooms, hallways, activities, and leadership groups. Learn why that favorite old tune from The Beatles or Hank Williams remains stuck in your head - and how to use the "Beat of the Brain" at school.


How Do You Write A Good Song?

Are you a beginning or wanna-be songwriter? Many educators would like to "record" their personal or professional experiences - or perhaps want to connect classroom content to a memorable "assessment-proof" tune. With user-friendly software available, even those without formal music training are enjoying new ways to create music. Monte Selby helps teachers improve lyrics, melody, and structure. He'll share basic songwriting tips, a few insights regarding how hit songwriters make songs desirable for radio (and our brain), and how to avoid typical mistakes that result in songs only a mother could love.


Upper Elementary Six Trait Songwriters

Most upper elementary students carry an amazing song catalog in their heads and hearts. They know kid songs, 60’s hits, pop, hip hop and more. The human brain loves the structure of a song - presenting an avenue to unlock an understanding of powerful writing for many reluctant or gifted writers. Kids “get it” when it comes to music. This session in packed full of strategies and materials, demonstrating how to develop motivated and skilled six trait songwriters!


Don’t Eat Cactus Cookies - The Rhythm of Literacy

Come have fun with Dr. Monte Selby as he shares music and activities from his high-energy book and music published by Frog Street Press. Leave with great ideas for all preK - 2nd grade early language learners. Plan to move and groove, explore hands-on learning activities, share ideas, and examine innovative ways to engage young students (including the most reluctant). Explore dynamic ways music can be used to promote word play, phonemic awareness, creative rhyme development, numbers, colors, etc. - while promoting a respectful, polite learning environment. No musical talent required! 


How Does It Do What It Does?

This session is loaded with preK - 2nd grade science activities that are ready for a fun, rockin’,  dynamic classroom! Monte and Michelle Selby joined forces with author Jill Norris to take science standards into the realm of “cool”. The songs are embedded with critical concepts, recorded with world-class musicians, and filled with humor and movement that kids love. The activities are hands-on and ready to use. Take a deep breath and get ready for an action-packed session! 


Memorable Staff Development

Is it possible to target current educational issues with innovative, collaborative, engaging activities and resources? Can a staff meeting energize educators while they learn? Monte Selby will model use of staff development activities and music using the dynamic book from Incentive Publications titled: Because You Teach. Participants can expect a musical, fun, involved session and will leave with ideas, skills, and a few good laughs!


More Monte Selby Music  

Need a chance to relax and reflect? Join Monte for some of his most introspective and revealing songs. Monte will share what inspired each song, perform “unplugged”, then entertain questions and comments.



Creating an Event Theme Song 

Conference and staff development planners often utilize Monte’s writing talents to create a dynamic and personalized closure to the day. He talks to participants about current educational issues and ideas, group nuances and themes – and then transforms those thoughts to song. Often accompanied by projected digital photos or video, this approach has turned the dreaded “closing time” into an inspiring and fun end-of-event highlight.  


Around the Campfire

When a group needs an evening to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate, plan for an informal social time with Monte and his guitar - “unplugged”. He’ll perform some of his most humorous, introspective and revealing songs. He can share the story behind the song, and entertain questions and comments.  


Songwriters on the Edge! 

Need a fun, large group social activity? Round up the staff and join Monte Selby, a top-notch educator and recording artists who has been writing and performing songs about schools for over two decades. It might start with a great story about kids, teachers, parents, or administrators. Perhaps it begins with teachers brainstorming a funny song title that needs a verse and chorus?  Be prepared to laugh till it hurts... 


Keynote Q & A

Monte Selby's keynote address holds important implications for instruction, relationship building, school morale, and daily student interactions. This Q & A session offers an open forum to participants who want to discuss issues, ask for specific practical applications, or simply request a favorite song! 




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