Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Susan Raponi

Dr. Susan Raponi

Assistant Professor of Music
Division Chair of Music Education

  • 412-268-3368
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Dr. Susan Raponi is a distinguished recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence of Canada for her commitment to inclusive music education practice. She holds a Ph.D. and M.M.E. in music education from the University of Toronto with undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts and Anti-Racism Education from York University, Canada. Her music programs focused on the individual learning needs of students through progressive assessment, differentiation, and flexible adaption of curriculum, based on the developing individio-socio-cultural context of the inclusive classroom. Dr. Raponi practiced her profession in the field as an award winning general, choral, and middle school wind music educator for the Toronto District School Board.  Her music program served as a model for mixed ability classroom settings in Toronto in urban instrumental music education.

As a curriculum design specialist, Dr. Raponi developed the pedagogical and curricular theory, Learning Differentiation Music Education Theory (LDMET). Her major influences philosophically are deeply embedded in Freirean social justice and transformative change agency, with a curricular approach in praxial and differentiation theory.

Dr. Raponi has presented her research in learning differentiation in music education at conferences across the United States and Canada. She was the Coordinator of Music Education for the University of Dayton prior to coming to Carnegie Mellon University.

As the Division Chair of Music Education, Dr. Raponi teaches graduate courses in foundational pedagogy, research methods, and diversity and inclusion contexts. Dr. Raponi supervises the Practicum Teaching Seminar for senior and post-baccalaureate student teachers in the field. Her vision for the Master’s program is research driven, fueled by her passion for transformative musicing and advocacy for music in education and her commitment to the profession. She is committed to the research development of her graduate students towards pushing the boundaries in alternative and neo-traditional praxis.

Her current research interests are bringing LDMET theory to practice in pre-service and in-service training and course curriculum, as well as constructing a neo-traditionalist framework and practice in under-served school populations.

Dr. Raponi is honored to be an inducted member of Phi Beta Mu, The International Bandmasters Fraternity, Toronto, Canada Chapter.