Visiting Musician and 3rd Grade Create an Orignal Song

Singer/Songwriter Steve Seskin worked with the Heathwood Hall Episcopal School third grade classes to write and perform an original song. This visiting artist opportunity allowed the students to be part of the songwriting experience, explore its creative aspects, and turn their message into a beautiful song. Steve began the morning with Mrs. Herring’s class where students shared ideas and words that they would like to incorporate into their song. Together they tried words and phrases until they had a chorus for their song, Say Something Nice. From the chorus developed in Mrs. Herring’s class, Steve moved to Mrs. Whiteman’s class where the students built a verse to complement the chorus passed to them. Steve then worked with Mrs. Bain’s class to finalize the verses and put the finishing touches on the third grade’s song.

Throughout the class visits, Steve solicited ideas and suggestions from students as they co-created Say Something Nice. Steve talked to students about the creative process, the need for trial and error, and the technical items needed in songwriting, including structure, rhyme, and word choice. Together they added and deleted words and phrases, moved ideas and changed rhyme, and listened to their progress as they sang. The students actively participated with delight as their words and ideas came to life in song.

After completing the song, the entire Lower School gathered in the auditorium where Steve performed a concert with several of his original songs that reinforced his message of respect and kindness. The entire third grade joined Steve on stage to conclude the day with the first public performance of Say Something Nice. The visiting musician experience was a fantastic opportunity for students to explore the writing process in a creative way while connecting with the core values of the Lower School. We are grateful to Mr. Seskin for sharing his talent and his time with us at Heathwood Hall.

Steve Seskin is an accomplished singer and songwriter who has written seven number one songs. One of his best known creations Don’t Laugh at Me was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and became the impetus for the “Operation Respect/Don’t Laugh at Me” project, a curriculum designed to teach tolerance in schools. This program has already been implemented in more than 20,000 schools across the country. Steve now enjoys performing at school assemblies in support of this program. You can learn more about Steve Seskin at

View first public performance of Say Something Nice

Watch Mr. Seskin and the 3rd grade classes create
Say Something Nice