Mr rogers trolley name

The Music of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Most children’s programs dub in the music afterwards, but in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood the music was recorded live in the studio. Costa and his trio were at one side of the studio, watching on a television monitor, providing the background music as the program was being produced.

Costa had his nimble fingers flying over the piano keys, occasionally shifting to the electronic keyboard (for some special effects sounds in Make-Believe) and the high-pitched celeste (for the Trolley sound) beside him. As a jazz musician, Costa was a magnificent improviser. He would spontaneously “noodle” non-distinct melodies under what Mister Rogers was doing or showing, sometimes even illustrating a point with a few notes of a familiar song. He also knew when to stop playing and let the silence take over, as there were times when Fred Rogers didn’t want anything, even music, to distract the children from concentrating on what he was saying or showing.

Fred and Johnny were wonderful musical partners. As Fred said “Music is rock bottom for Johnny and me, and we communicate on an intuitive substratum that would not be possible if we didn’t have a feel for music. It’s true that there are no cues. We have a rundown, of course, for the program, and he knows my teleprompter copy. But when I’m working with a craft or something, invariably he’ll come in and underline an important issue.”

Welcome to Our Neighborhood

Series: ExpressiveArts Format: CD ShowTrax CD Composer: Fred Rogers Arranger: John Higgins

From the popular Emmy-award winning children’s television program MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, comes this delightful collection of songs and connecting dialog where children can find new ways to enjoy the music and messages that brought international acclaim for Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers was not only host, creator, writer, and puppeteer for the Neighborhood series, he was also the program’s composer and lyricist. He was the recipient of every major award in television and education for his pioneering efforts to communicate with young children about things that matter in childhood. The story features Mr. Rogers and the children taking a ride on Trolley to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe where they meet up with Queen Sara Saturday, King Friday, Daniel Striped Tiger, and Mr. McFeely. The Teacher Edition features a complete resource of songs, dialog, teaching tips, production ideas and a host of cross-curricular activities and reproducible projects … all under one cover! Performance Time: Approx. 20 minutes, For Grades K-2. Available: Teacher Edition (with reproducible singer pages), Performance/Accompaniment CD, Classroom Kit (Teacher and PA CD).

Song List Print

  • Go, Go, Go
  • Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday (from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD)
  • It’s Such A Good Feeling (from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD)
  • Let’s Think Of Something To Do (While We’re Waiting) (from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD)
  • Peace And Quiet (from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD)
  • Row, Row, Row/Propel, Propel, Propel Your Craft
  • Speedy Delivery To You
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood) (from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD)


  • Choral

$45.00 (US) Inventory #HL 09970576 UPC: 073999669213 Width: 5.0″ Length: 5.0″

Prices and availability subject to change without notice.

How The Science Of Learning Is Catching Up To Mr. Rogers

Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the 1980s. Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Getty Images

Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the 1980s.

Getty Images

Editor’s note on Aug. 8, 2018: This piece has been substantially updated from a version published in 2014.

A solemn little boy with a bowl haircut is telling Mr. Rogers that his pet got hit by a car. More precisely, he’s confiding this to Daniel Striped Tiger, the hand puppet that, Rogers’ wife, Joanne, says, “pretty much was Fred.”

“That’s scary,” says Daniel/Fred. He asks for a hug. The boy hugs the tiger. Not a dry eye in the house.

That scene is from Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the hit documentary airing across the country with a 99 percent rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

At first, such a film might seem superfluous. Why make a movie about a man who appeared as himself in hundreds of highly rated television episodes? Someone as familiar to millions of adults as a childhood friend?

Not because it reveals some shocking hidden side to the TV host, husband, father, Presbyterian minister, puppeteer, composer, organist, best-selling author and noted cardigan aficionado. He wasn’t gay, says his good friend and co-star Francois Clemmons, who is. He wasn’t a Navy SEAL, either — not sure how that rumor got started.

What makes Morgan Neville’s biographical documentary so necessary, in fact, is that it shows Rogers was exactly what he appeared to be. Someone who devoted his life to taking seriously and responding to the emotions of children. In a word: to love.

Yes, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was slow. It was repetitive. This was thoroughly, developmentally appropriate; Rogers was informed by his coursework at the University of Pittsburgh, by pediatricians like Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, and his mentor, child psychologist Margaret B. McFarland.

The show was also deep, and not afraid to get dark. The topics and the format, it turns out, are as relevant to education and child development as they ever were:


“What does assassination mean?”

“It’s when someone is killed, in a surprising way.”

The date was June 7, 1968. Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated just days before. Fred Rogers and his team addressed the incident directly in an episode aimed both at children and adults. It explored how to share your own feelings and answer children’s questions and common concerns. It also showed how children process scary events through play.

It’s hard to think of any children’s media today, let alone a TV show in its first season, that so directly, and quickly, responds to the news.

Yet there is far from a shortage of traumatic events today, and parents and teachers need help talking about them. It’s a topic we’ve covered often on NPR Ed.

NPR’s Susan Stamberg appears in the documentary, saying she liked to invite Rogers on the radio to reassure parents and children. In 1979, for example, she had him on to talk about the Iran hostage crisis. He often brought a message that’s become almost a meme today: When the news is scary, “look for the helpers.”

Early childhood education

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood focused on one audience: preschoolers. And for good reason. Today, increasing evidence points to the importance of early childhood education. Its impact can be felt decades down the road — in adults’ education levels, incomes, even health.

Social and emotional skills

Mr. Rogers was in it for the love. “The whole idea,” he told CNN in 2003, “is to look at the television camera and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who might feel that he or she needs it.”

But he wasn’t all sweetness and light. The shows repeatedly took on emotions like anger and sadness, too. He wanted children to learn that “feelings are mentionable and manageable.” I may get mad and even feel violent, went one song, but “I can stop when I want to.”

His shows, books and songs were carefully designed to give kids the tools to deal with what he called “the inner drama of childhood” — from sibling rivalry to loneliness, anger and edgier topics like gender expression (as in the song “Everybody’s Fancy”).

Today, the science has caught up. Research tells us social and emotional skills, including self-regulation, and being able to recognize emotions, are as important to success as academic achievement.

Digital media and young minds

Fred Rogers’ attitude toward electronic media perfectly mirrored the love/hate relationship many of us have with technology today. “I got into television because I hated it so,” he told CNN in 2001. Over decades, he reached millions of households and won every award in the business. His position was simple: TV is here to stay, and its ubiquity and power must be harnessed to help our youngest and most vulnerable.

“In a young child’s mind, parents probably condone what’s on the television, just like they choose what’s in the refrigerator or on the stove,” he once said in an interview. “That’s why we who make television for children must be especially careful.”

Yet his position was ambiguous, for even as he condemned most television he became one of the century’s most embraced TV personalities. The film portrays him as basically single-handedly saving public media with his heartfelt testimony to a Senate panel in 1969.

Today, the debate about both the quality and quantity of children’s media use is hotter than ever. Four in 10 children under 8 have their own handheld device, and they spent nearly an hour a day with them, according to one 2017 study.

Leaving aside the question of dosage, how much of that content could, or should, parents condone?

Public television still exists, and there are highly rated apps and games from commercial providers. But streaming video like YouTube has flooded the market for kids’ media. It gives children instant access to millions of hours of content, a lot of which is probably ill-suited, and some of which doesn’t even seem to be made by human hands.

Which leads to the question: Could a show like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood succeed today? Would 2018’s children sit still to watch a man take off his loafers and lace up his sneakers, and to watch a little trolley trundle off into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe?

There are some gently paced shows for preschoolers, although nothing quite as slow as the original Neighborhood. Very few are live-action, except for good old Sesame Street.

In content? “Fred Rogers pretty much invented as a topic for a show,” says Linda Simensky, the vice president of children’s programming at PBS. In 2013, they debuted Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an animated reboot of the Mister Rogers universe. The show is streamed millions of times a month, mostly on mobile devices.

Each episode uses a song to teach a strategy for dealing with an emotion, including fear, anger and frustration. “The whole curriculum is based on Fred’s research and teaching,” Simensky says.

Daniel Tiger tackles potty training, allergies, and Mom going to work. But, now in its fourth season, it hasn’t taken on politics or current events.

It’s hard to imagine any TV show for a broad audience of the youngest children responding to, say, Black Lives Matter the way Mr. Rogers took on racial segregation. (There are always more options in picture books.) In 1969, when swimming pools had become racial battlegrounds, Rogers filmed himself soaking his feet on a hot summer day with his friend Officer Clemmons.

The good news is that Mr. Rogers left us enough episodes that there is one to fit almost anything that might come up in the news today.

In one episode from the very first week of the show, the hand-puppet King Friday XIII opposes change. So he decides to build a wall around his kingdom. Some of the other puppets and people float balloons over the wall with messages like LOVE and PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE, warming the king’s heart. The wall comes down.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers, in full Fred McFeely Rogers, byname Mister Rogers, (born March 20, 1928, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died February 27, 2003, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), American television host, producer, minister, and writer best known for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001), an educational children’s show that aired on public television.

Following graduation (1951) from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, with a degree in musical composition, Rogers worked first for NBC in New York City and then for the public television station WQED in Pittsburgh. In 1954 he began what became a seven-year run of writing, producing, and serving as puppeteer for The Children’s Corner; 30 segments of the show were broadcast on NBC in 1955–56. He earned (1962) a divinity degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained by the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., which asked him to continue his television work. Rogers made his on-camera debut in 1963 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Misterogers and in 1966 returned to WQED, where the show became Misterogers’ Neighborhood. By 1968 it was being distributed nationally by National Educational Television (NET). After the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) succeeded NET in 1970, the program was renamed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mr. Rogers began each episode by changing into one of his trademark cardigan sweaters while singing the show’s theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” He then addressed the topic of the day and in the process taught children how to get along with others, feel good about themselves, and cope with their fears.

Besides producing, writing the scripts, and serving as host, he wrote about 200 songs (including the theme song) for the program, some 1,000 episodes of which were broadcast between 1968 and 2001. The last original episode was taped in December 2000 and broadcast the following August; following the September 11 attacks in 2001, however, Rogers once again appeared on camera to record public service announcements aimed at informing parents how they could help their children cope with the events. Rogers was honoured with numerous awards, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award (1997) from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002). In addition, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., added one of his red cardigans to its collection of Americana. Rogers was the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018) and the feature film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019), starring Tom Hanks.

In 2012 the animated series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood debuted on PBS. Produced by the Fred Rogers Company, the show drew upon the characters and locations from Rogers’s “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” to introduce a new generation of viewers to Rogers’s social and emotional curriculum.

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15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever

By Mangesh Hattikudur

(Mental Floss) — Here are 15 things everyone should know about Fred Rogers:

Every one of Mr. Roger’s cardigan sweaters was hand-knitted by Fred Rogers’ mother.

1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English.

What most people don’t know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she’d always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town.

Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.” Mental Floss: Memorable commencement speakers

3. He watched his figure to the pound. In covering Rogers’ daily routine (waking up at 5 a.m.; praying for a few hours for all of his friends and family; studying; writing, making calls and reaching out to every fan who took the time to write him; going for a morning swim; getting on a scale; then really starting his day), writer Tom Junod explained that Mr. Rogers weighed in at exactly 143 pounds every day for the last 30 years of his life.

He didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine. And while I’m not sure if any of that was because he’d mostly grown up a chubby, single child, Junod points out that Rogers found beauty in the number 143.

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4. He saved both public television and the VCR. Strange but true. When the government wanted to cut public television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington.

Almost straight out of a Frank Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million.

Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR’s to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family. Mental Floss: Forgotten kids shows sure to give you nightmares

5. He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.

Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, “God loves you just the way you are.” Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

6. He was genuinely curious about others. Mister Rogers was known as one of the toughest interviews because he’d often befriend reporters, asking them tons of questions, taking pictures of them, compiling an album for them at the end of their time together, and calling them after to check in on them and hear about their families. He wasn’t concerned with himself, and genuinely loved hearing the life stories of others.

And it wasn’t just with reporters. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec’s house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host).

On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver’s home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

7. He was color-blind. Literally. He couldn’t see the color blue. Of course, he was also figuratively color-blind, as you probably guessed. As were his parents, who took in a black foster child when Rogers was growing up. Mental Floss: Praise for the blind genius who invented cruise control

8. He could make a subway car full of strangers sing. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn’t be noticed.

But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” The result made Rogers smile wide.

9. He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other’s faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn’t be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won’t fit!), to divorce and war.

10. He was an Ivy League dropout. Rogers moved from Dartmouth to Rollins College to pursue his studies in music.

11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.

12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.

13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant. He helped puppeteer and operate the trolley.

14. Several characters on the show are named for his family. Queen Sara is named after Rogers’ wife, and the postman Mr. McFeely is named for his maternal grandfather who always talked to him like an adult, and reminded young Fred that he made every day special just by being himself. Sound familiar? It was the same way Mister Rogers closed every show.

15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his mother.

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