Gary Rasberry hugs a blue guitar As one of Gary Rasberry’s (MEd’91 , Ed’83) songs notes, it’s not easy being a kid – especially when mom and dad are headed back to their alma mater to socialize with old friends, catch up with former professors, and tour around buildings. What’s a kid to do?

That’s why this year’s Homecoming agenda has an addition just for those future Queen’s alumni – a performance by Rasberry, a hometown favourite, on Oct. 20 at 5 pm in Duncan McArthur Hall’s Education Library as part of EdFest. He’ll be bringing his guitar and singing a few songs from his catalogue that includes hits like Got a Hat Hat, At The Drive Thru, and It’s Not Easy Being a Kid. But you’d be mistaken if you thought his show is just for kids!

“I'm working with children, but they're attached to parents, so when I do concerts and shows I'm doing what the great cartoon writers had to do in shows like Bugs Bunny which is writing something that the parents get and the kids get” he said. “So, by working and writing children's songs, I'm really just writing songs that are about experiences that we all have as people that belong to these things called families.”

In addition to being a successful children’s entertainer, Raspberry teaches as part of the professional Masters of Education and has worked with musically-inclined teacher candidates on alternative practicums such as songwriting. He earned his PhD in 1997 focused on teacher education.

“I call myself an imagination consultant, mostly because I like the playful term – it sounds important and it makes fun of itself,” he said. “I'm interested in teaching and learning, but I think I'm more interested in the learning part of the teaching and learning. Being a learner is something that we have to work at. It's a lifelong thing that we can really benefit from, but it requires cultivating.”

As it turns out, 2023 will be the first Homecoming Rasberry attends as an alum. While he might keep an eye out for familiar faces, his main focus will be – as it always is – on his audience. 

“I don't always know who's going to come to my show, but I just look in front of me and wherever that is, whatever the energy is, that's where I pay attention,” he said. “It's often children with their parents beside them. What's going to happen at Homecoming is that there'll be hopefully some people coming back to Queen’s to revisit where they did their education and they'll have children now. I've got children, I got parents, I got educators. That's my home turf.”

Parents wishing to familiarize their kids with Gary Rasberry’s music before Homecoming should visit his website, or Spotify.

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