Lowell Elementary: Poetry and Song 2018

In the spring of 2018, we were pleased to complete our fourth year working with Lowell Elementary School students to create poetry and songs.This web page is the culmination of Jack Straw artist residencies with Lowell second grade students, including students from the Aspire and Focus special education classes.

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. Jack Straw’s vocal coaches also visited the classroom to help the students read their poems out loud. As the culmination of the project, the students visited Jack Straw’s studios. They recorded their individual poems with the help of vocal coaches Sunam Ellis, Alyssa Keene, and Katya Landau and audio engineers Daniel Guenther and Joel Maddox, and then played and sang their songs as a group with Tai and Levi, with help from Peter Williams on cello.


Tai Shan

Tai Shan has performed throughout the West Coast at venues such as Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. She has composed for jazz ensembles and string…


Peter Williams / Cello X

Peter Williams is a cellist and educator. He is a current member of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and former principal cellist of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. He has been a…