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Lowell Poetry, Sound, & Song 2017

In the spring of 2017, we were pleased to complete our third year working with Lowell Elementary School's second grade classes to create poetry and songs with the students. Each year, we give special attention to medically challenged and special education students at Lowell. This year, we included these students in three ways: as part of the regular second grade classes, in self-contained classrooms participating with the regular classes, and a group of students who participated with their self-contained classmates only.

Special Education students:

Students in Jessica, Sara, and Heidi's self-contained special education classrooms created their own poems with poet Samar Abulhassan and helper Peter Williams. Armed with poems and lunch, the kids and their helpers came to Jack Straw. Students absorbed the sounds of the installation Meditations on Water by City Meditation Crew in the Jack Straw New Media Gallery, recorded their poems in the studios, experimented making sounds with a variety of objects from rain sticks to cymbals, and had a music jam with cello, keyboard, accordion, and more!   Lowell Special Ed students and helpers in the studio at Jack Straw
 

Second Grade Poetry and Song

Lowell second graders worked with Jack Straw's artist team to write, perform, and record their own poetry and songs. First, poet Samar Abulhassan visited the students and helped them write their poems. The students chose their favorites, and songwriters Tai Shan and Levi Fuller wrote songs inspired by the poems.

Tai and Levi visited the students in the classroom to teach them the songs, which they then practiced in school. As the culmination of the project, the students visited Jack Straw's studios. They recorded their individual poems with the help of vocal coaches Alyssa Keene and Katya Landau and audio engineers Daniel Guenther, Joel Maddox, and Tom Stiles, and then played and sang their songs as a group with Tai and Levi.

Lowell 2nd graders record their song with Levi Fuller
Lowell 2nd graders record their song with Tai Shan
Lowell 2nd graders record their song with Tai Shan

Poems by Lowell 2nd Graders:

Vocal coach Alyssa Keene and engineer Joel Maddox in the studio with a Lowell student Lowell students in the control room with engineer Tom Stiles

Vocal coach Katya Landau in the studio with Lowell student

Vocal coach Meg McLynn in the studio with a Lowell special education student and his helper

Teaching artist Alyssa Keene helps a Lowell Student with her headphones

Student sing in the studio at Jack Straw

Lowell student prepares to read his poem in the studio

Vocal coach Meg McLynn in the studio with a Lowell special education student

Student warm up in the studio at Jack Straw

Lowell Poetry, Sound, and Song 2017 was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center and Lowell Elementary School with the generous support of Creative Advantage, Jubilation Foundation, the Washington State Arts Commission, and individual contributors. This program was provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Special thanks to teachers Jessica, Sara, and Heidi, and helpers Davina, Emma, Peter, and Rose who worked with our artist team to make our special needs project very special.

Special thanks to Lowell 2nd grade students, 2nd grade teachers Rae Richardson, Alexi West, and Hannah Moffitt, Special Education teacher Karen Giroux, Lowell's art teacher and Creative Advantage Co-Coordinator Robyn Jordan, music teacher Rose Ness, and principal Colleen Stump who all helped make this program possible.

The Jack Straw artist team included poet Samar Abulhassan, vocal coaches Alyssa Keene, Katya Landau, and Meg McLynn, musicians Tai Shan and Levi Fuller, audio engineers Daniel Guenther, Joel Maddox, and Tom Stiles, photographer Sherwin Eng, and Jack Straw Executive Director Joan Rabinowitz.

Kennedy Center 2017

Vocal coach Alyssa Keene in the studio with a Lowell student

Vocal coach Katya Landau in the studio with a Lowell student

Photos by Sherwin Eng and Jack Straw staff

 

Lowell Poetry and Song 2015

Lowell Poetry and Song 2016

Lowell Poetry and Song 2018

Lowell Poetry and Song 2019

 

For further information on our educational programs, contact:

Joan Rabinowitz, Executive Director
Jack Straw Cultural Center
206-634-0919


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