"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" by Fred Rogers

Piano AR guidance for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Mr. Rogers was a legendary and beloved educator, entertainer, broadcaster, writer, producer, showrunner, puppeteer, ordained minister, and music composer. He earned his bachelor's degree in music composition from Rollins College in 1951, and wrote the music first for The Children's Corner and then Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, including its iconic theme song, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Music was always "my way of saying who I was and how I felt," said Rogers. "It was very natural for me to become a composer. And having written all of the music for The Neighborhood, I feel as if that's one of my gifts to children. ‘Here is a way, that doesn't hurt you or anybody else, to say who you are and how you feel.’"

The Johnny Costa Trio (pianist Johnny Costa with bassist Carl McVicker and drummer Rob Rawsthorne) performed live during episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. They didn't believe in playing traditional children's music. "Children understand good music," said Costa. And they played it. Adult musicians often watched the show to hear Costa and his trio play.