School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Rebecca Watson


Fred Rogers, Music Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Early Childhood, Elementary Music


Education | Music | Music Education


Modern music educators are faced with many unique challenges while teaching in the early childhood and elementary classroom. With these challenges come the added stressors of students’ individual and collective experiences as they learn to process and regulate their behaviors and emotions through a variety of often unfamiliar social, political, and familial challenges. Currently, while many university teacher preparation programs focus on teaching content differentiation, curriculum creation, and content knowledge, they do not often focus on cultural relevance and responsiveness. One champion of cultural relevance and responsiveness in music education is composer, educator, minister, and children’s television host, Fred Rogers, most commonly known as the man behind the acclaimed show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. This study seeks to examine and apply the life, works, and pedagogical approaches of Fred Rogers to propose a curriculum to help collegiate music educators foster a culturally responsive environment for young students in the early childhood music classroom.