The Haiku and Music program

By Robin Chan, Intern
July 28, 2014
Haiku: A Form of Art

Thanks to the generous and unwavering support of Amy Losak, Senior Vice President at Ketchum Public Relations in New York, 2nd grade students at PS 163 in the Bronx continued to explore the form of haiku during the last academic spring semester.  Thanks to Amy’s support, we were able to continue the workshop series in haiku and the visual arts and add an additional program that focused on haiku and music. These programs celebrated the lyrical poetry of Amy’s late mother, Sydell Rosenberg, and also helped students develop literacy and arts skills through the lens of haiku. Rosenberg’s poems served as the foundational support for the students’ learning.

During lessons, students listened to selected poetry by Sydell Rosenberg and explored expression through a vast array of emotional and dynamical experiences. The program focused primarily on haiku revolving around nature, specifically the four seasons. Ultimately, various workshops led to the class composing and performing a song on the seasons based on Rosenberg’s haiku. Four verses of the song incorporated Rosenberg’s haiku, which are shared below:

Standing in the rain

two tree trunks tied together

by a spider’s web.


Hazy summer day

only yellow schools buses

and white butterflies.


Bare branches of bush

holding bright leaves the wind blew,

cupping two seasons.


Winter blizzard —

I donate a carrot nose

for the snowman’s face!

Several workshops taught by Arts For All Teaching Artists Robin Cannon Colwell and Darian Dauchan led to the realization of a song. Particularly, students first became familiar with the haiku form through Rosenberg’s poetry, and eventually composed some of their own. Upon understanding the lyrical form of haiku, they engaged in rhythmic exercises, such as clapping out the rhythm of syllables in poems. Students were encouraged to work together to come up with haiku tableaus, incorporating elements such as soundscaping. Towards the end of the semester, AFA Teaching Artists assisted in developing a haiku that served as the chorus, as well as an accompanying melody, to form an original song in which all students performed and recorded.

Here is the haiku written by the students that served as the chorus for their original song.

Seasons excite me!
Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer
I love the seasons.
Click here to hear to listen to the song, “Seasons Haiku.”

We would like to thank Amy Losak again for her support, teaching artists Robin and Darian for making this program a success and Clayton Colwell for engineering the song “Seasons Haiku.”  As always, we look forward to continue providing our workshops to PS 163 students as well as to other schools!

haikuTeaching Artist, Darien Dauchan, with students in the Haiku and Music Program


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