NAfMe member

Opportunities for PreK-12 Teachers

Learn about opportunities for PreK-12 teachers to apply (starting September 1, 2023) to participate in national professional learning communities.

NAfME is recruiting 150 PreK-12 music educators throughout the United States to take part in 15+ virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) through the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) project.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the Connected Arts Network (CAN) Call for Applications. Apply now! Applications are due no later than October 16, 2023. Register for the September 26 Town Hall.

Connected Arts Networks (CAN)

Leveraging Arts Learning Communities for Teacher Leadership and Student Achievement is a 5-year federal grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is proud to be partners on this project with the National Art Education Association (NAEA – the project lead), the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), and the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE’s) Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP). A comprehensive evaluation of the project will be conducted by Metis Associates.  

The CAN project focuses on fostering, nurturing, and facilitating:

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I)
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL)
  • Teacher leadership through professional learning communities

All work is aligned to the National Core Arts Standards which recognizes arts education as dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.  Learn about the Music Education Standards.

The project is based on a New York City program in which music and arts educators across disciplines and grade levels meet monthly in professional learning communities to investigate how to incorporate best practices into music and arts education content, instruction, and leadership. The methodology has proven successful, so national music and arts education organizations want to take the approach nationwide.

After the initial recruitment by NAfME of 15 teacher leaders in year one of the project, music educators at the elementary, middle, and high school levels representing diverse schools/districts/communities nationwide, each of the teacher leaders will be trained and supported to each facilitate a professional learning community. Each PLC will have 10 teachers, for a total of 150 music teachers in NAfME-facilitated PLCs nationwide.

Bookmark this page and stop back often for regular project updates, resources, toolkits, and other information and ideas for teacher professional development, ED&I/DEIA, SEL, and standard-based instruction and teacher leadership.


NAfME Staff Contacts:

LaSaundra Booth
Professional Development/Grant Project Content Manager

Angela Keedy
Professional Development Specialist

John Donaldson
Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development and Publications 

Opportunities for PreK-12 Teachers

Learn more about opportunities for PreK-12 teachers to apply (deadline October 16, 2023 – see the timeline) to participate in NAfME Connected Arts Networks Professional Learning Communities:


The National Association for Music Education (NAfME), in partnership with the National Art Education Association (NAEA – grant project lead), the Educational Theater Association (EdTA), and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is launching Connected Arts Networks (CAN), a five-year grant initiative to create nationwide virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with educators in visual arts, music, theater, dance and media arts. The overarching vision for CAN is to build a sustainable model of professional learning for music and arts educators to strengthen their pedagogy, instruction and leadership skills in order to better serve students. This project is modeled after the successful structure of the PLC program in New York City, initiated by the Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP), another partnering organization.

  • As part of year one of this multi-year project, NAfME recently recruited an outstanding group of music educators to create a national professional learning community of Teacher Leaders. (Similarly, the other grant partners, NAEA, NDEO, and EdTA, recruited teacher leaders for their respective disciplines). This initial PLC of Teacher Leaders is receiving specialized virtual training in the coming months to build their capacity to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and social-emotional learning within music instruction, while also emphasizing the importance of leadership skills, teacher professional development through PLCs, and standards-based instruction.  Each Teacher Leader will facilitate their own virtual PLC of music educators starting in January 2024.
  • Starting in September 1, 2023, through October 16, 2023 (see below for a timeline and details), NAfME will recruit additional PreK-12 music educators throughout country to take part in virtual music education PLCs representing diverse schools, communities, and regions nationwide, including PLCs representing elementary, middle, and high school levels.  


  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) (Note: NAfME uses the term Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access – DEIA)
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Teacher leadership in standards-based music and arts instruction and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)


If you are interested in applying to join a PLC contact and

In Fall 2023 each national partner association will select 150 arts educators to serve as members of their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). If you’d like to receive notification when the application opens, complete this form offsite link with your name, art discipline, and contact information.

National CAN PLC Application

The application for National CAN PLC participants will be open through October 16, 2023.


  • Peer mentorship and community network of ongoing support
  • Quarterly virtual workshops with national content experts
  • Potential bi-annual virtual classroom visits with peer arts educators, depending on availability and scheduling
  • Professional development hours to utilize towards your local professional development needs
  • Annual professional development certificates to recognize participation in the program
  • Complimentary NAEA membership (or affiliated association) for each year of involvement in CAN
  • Opportunities to contribute or be featured in publications such as magazines, newsletters, website, blogs and/or professional journals
  • Opportunities to present at webinars, podcasts, town halls, and/or local or national conferences and conventions

Timeline and Commitment:

  • September 1, 2023: Applications go live
  • September 26, 2023: Town Hall (register)
  • October 16, 2023: Application deadline
  • Early December 2023: Arts educators are selected
  • Mid-December 2023: Onboarding process
  • January 2024:
    • CAN Orientation for new arts educators
    • Monthly PLC Meetings, 2 hours in the evening, dates will be set by PLCs
    • Four Quarterly Workshops annually led by content specialists