March 2018 Assignment

Write a song about or in the style of Fred Rogers.


Originally from Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was a friend to everyone in a neighborhood of make-believe that was broadcast from coast to coast. The half-hour educational children’s program produced in Pittsburgh taught kids to believe in themselves and respect others through Rogers’ original songs and skits that played to his pre-K audience.

Think this is an easy assignment?

“It certain-dictually is not,” said X the Owl, an avid learner and student of Suzuki method guitar.

Recognized worldwide as a kind and gentle man, your musical biography could be far more interesting if your research enabled you to humanize the star and bring him down to earth. (NOTE: In the land of make-believe everything you’re told is true. Don’t get fake-newsed on the Internet).

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood 50th Anniversary

Fred Rogers Biography

“Writing children’s songs is no laughing matter,” said the Neighborhood’s friendly Handyman, who moonlights as world-renowned jazz guitarist Joe Negri.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: All Songs (PBS)

Brad Mossman on writing music for kids of all ages (ASCAP)

Joe Negri’s jazz guitar is his legacy

“Underestimate the challenge of songwriting for stage, live TV and meow-meow musical theater,” said Henrietta Pussycat, “and i’ll scratch your meow-meow f-ing eyes out.”

Musical writing advice from Stephen Schwartz

The musical theater writer’s survival guide by David Spencer

10 things you need to know about placing music on TV and in films