Workshop Session 1

D = Discussion Session

P = Performance Session

Please see the list below for all workshops offered during Session 1 of NATC 2017, from 12:30PM-3:00PM on Friday, August 11th. Schedule is subject to change. Discussion sessions and topics are coming soon.



List arranged alphabetically by instructor/s’ first name.


Group affiliation: Naruwan Taiko

Doubling Down: A Deeper Insight on Hand Technique and Rebound •  Skill level: Intermediate/Advanced • P

Delve into the world of double strokes by learning basic fundamentals and create a deeper understanding of a more efficient stroke to play doubles. A thorough explanation of the push/pull technique will be strengthened through the usage of various exercises and warm ups. Topics will focus on Free Strokes, Fulcrum balance, Finger Utilization, and tension control.


Group affiliation: Yuu Ishizuka Taiko Project ‘indra-因陀羅-‘

Naname Uchi Basics for Beginners • Skill level: ALL• P

Naname Uchi (slanted) style of playing is widely popular in North America. How many of you are aware that the Naname Uchi playing style was originated in the Tokyo-area? Eri will teach the basics of Tokyo-area’s traditional techniques.


Stage Production  • D

If you’ve ever wondered how to produce a concert, then this session is specially formulated for you! Learn about the ins and outs of stage production and the “behind the scenes” action of what goes into producing a concert.


Group affiliation: Soloist – Eitetsu Fu-Un no Kai

Odaiko Solo (De)Construction! Skill level: Intermediate/Advanced • P

The odaiko has the reputation of being an intimidating instrument to play due to its comparatively massive size and sound. Too often playing the odaiko becomes an overwhelming experience defined by ‘confrontation’ or ‘intimidation’ – which can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting for players of all ranges and experiences. This workshop re-establishes the site of the odaiko in the context of a musical instrument and a site of channeling one’s individual expression. While participants can expect a technical challenges, the workshop tone is geared towards friendly, mutual encouragement as opposed to competition, so that participants can approach the odaiko based upon their own individual abilities and experiences rather than a paradigm of ‘lacking’ or ‘not belonging’. Through creative games, exercises, and drills, participants will gain a set of tools on how to create their own odaiko solos expressing their individual selves – while receiving creative and technical feedback to help shape and develop their solos.


Group affiliation: Soloist

An Occasionally Anecdotal But Very Useful Broad Overview of the FueSkill level: ALL• P

This a three part workshop: 1) lecture/demonstration on different types of fue (shinobue, noh kan, and ryuteki), the types of music they are used in, their construction and their inextricable relationship with taiko. 2) basic breathing, fingering and playing techniques for all levels 3) Masterclass: participants can volunteer to play pieces from their repertoire and receive advice and guidance in improving their playing.


Group affiliation: The Genki Spark!

Taiko and Community: What’s the Connection? • D

TAIKO and COMMUNITY go hand in hand. In this workshop we will look at three levels of taiko community: within our groups, amongst our groups, and our connection to the larger community around us. Participants will leave with tools and concepts to strengthen their groups at home, an increased knowledge base of the variety of taiko organizations and their purposes, and several methods of how groups outreach and engage the community around them. This interactive workshop is suitable for all levels of taiko players. Whether you’re a solo or ensemble player, or consider yourself a leader or newbie to the taiko community, you’ll come away from this workshop with new friends, a greater sense of connectedness, and tools and knowledge that will help you achieve your taiko goals. “Technical workshops are great for mechanics, but Karen’s workshops deal with the very heart and soul of taiko – the people who play it.” Jonathan Kirby, Director, Kagemusha Taiko, UK Taiko Festival, and the European Taiko Conference


Group affiliation: Soloist

Bachi TwirlingSkill level: ALL• P

Bachi twirling is a fun way to spice up your taiko compositions and solos. Participants will not only learn basic twirls combined with different arm movements to create some really dynamic maneuvers, but they will also learn how to apply those twirls seamlessly with different rhythms. Even experienced bachi twirlers will learn how to make their twirls look even better. This workshop also includes a bachi twirling practice song that you can use to practice all the twirls covered in the workshop.


Group affiliation: Taikoza

Techniques on the Shime Daiko and How to Tie a Roped Shime Daiko  Skill level: ALL• P

Learn to tie a shime daiko from the beginning in case you need to replace the rope and tie it in a way that will make it easier to retie it. It will be hands on workshop and we will still have some time to play on the shime daiko and work on form and exercises and learn a song.


Group affiliation: TAIKOPROJECT – On Ensemble

Collaboration – How To Play TogetherSkill level: ALL• P

Each person is different. Some people play faster or slower than others, but as a group, we have to learn to compromise and collaborate. We will focus on drills and activities to be able to better understand one another.


Group affiliation: Soloist

Katsugi-Daiko  and Lateral Drumming Skill level: ALL• P

Katsugi-Daiko refers to portable taiko that are carried with a strap and played laterally. Drums of diverse origins are played in this manner, as it is a common thread through the musical traditions of many countries, including Turkey, Iran, India, China, Korea, and Japan. Regardless of the drum type, whether it’s carried or placed on the floor, lateral drumming is a wonderful complimentary style to the standard fixed position taiko. The Katsugi-Daiko & Lateral Drumming workshop aims to provide an intensive, hands-on introduction to this style. Participants will learn about the care and tuning of the drums, basic posture, grips and bachi types, striking techniques, sound production, as well as a variety of rhythms, from simple accompaniment patterns to soloing techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring earplugs and light oke-daiko style bachi.


Group affiliation: San Francisco Taiko Dojo

Fundamentals, Foundations, and FlowSkill level: Beginning/Intermediate/Advanced• P

Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka will work on developing the quality of taiko sound through bodywork mechanics and flow. Training how to warm the body up with a focus on Tai-chi and movement techniques that are synonymous with the Tanaka style. Tanaka Sensei will showcase how to tune the body to produce the ultimate Don. Tanaka Sensei will share his 50 years of experience with a short Q/A at the end of each workshop.


Group affiliation: Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers (RAW)

Body Awareness for Taiko PlayersSkill level: Beginner• P

During this workshop, you will explore body awareness through movement exploration that addresses body alignment, breath, using Butoh imagery, and moving through space. Modified for beginners, or for Taiko players who are looking to learn basic body awareness. Starting with gentle contact improvisation exercises to establish relationship of your body to your bachi, to your drum, and, most importantly, to the ground.


Group affiliation: San Jose Taiko

Taiko Activities for the Young and Young at Heart Skill level: ALL• P

Children learn faster when they want to. This workshop for adult instructors will cover basic teaching principles, which will help you to make intrinsically motivating and meaningful taiko lessons for your youth classes. This is a hands-on session, where you will learn (by doing) fun activities and taiko games for practicing skills. This workshop is designed for those teaching students between the ages of 5-18, although most activities can be modified for any age level.