Workshop Session 4

D = Discussion Session

P = Performance Session

Please see the list below for all workshops offered during Session 4 of NATC 2017, from 12:30PM-3:00PM on Saturday, August 12th. Schedule is subject to change.



List arranged alphabetically by instructor/discussion curators’ first name.


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

Bon Taiko Basics: Edo Tokyo Style for BeginnersSkill level: ALL•P

In this workshop, Eri will teach you how to play Bon Taiko basics with Edo Tokyo Style using Naname Uchi (slanted) technique. Eri will also share with you her personal playing techniques.


Group affiliation: KODO

Mindfulness of the Sole StrikeSkill level: ALL•P

The performance group Kodo teaches its performers the importance of a sole strike: ippatsu uchi. Hours are spent practicing and thinking about how to create a good sound, how to control the body, the way energy should flow, the relationship to our bachi, our approach to the drum, and how we envision the sound that we produce. The sole sound connects with others to create a rhythm, which becomes a phrase, and finally completes a piece. The sole strike is a starting point for any beginner or experienced taiko player in any style.
Through mindful thinking of the basics, players can achieve a greater understanding of the musical phrase, composition, and his/her fellow group mates.


The Wonderful World of Wagakki – Traditional Arts Showcase•D

Come enjoy some live music and learn about wagakki (traditional Japanese instruments). Presenters will be sharing the rich history of various traditional Japanese performing arts and melodic instruments. Experience how wagakki can work together in a performing ensemble and complement any taiko performance.


Group affiliation: Soloist – Eitetsu Fu-Un no Kai

Odaiko Technique – Original Piece “Bounding” by Eitetsu Hayashi-based Methodology Skill level: Advanced•P

“Bounding” is the climactic finale of Joe’s original evening-length concert, “Spall Fragments” (excerpt at Participants will learn the fundamental components of “Bounding: – rhythmic building blocks, themes, time signatures, as well as the challenging main theme – which are rooted in the aesthetic approach and technical methods of Joe’s mentor, pioneering solo taiko artist, Eitetsu Hayashi. Other key sections of “Bounding” will also be covered, in order to create a fun and exciting short arrangement. If you’re looking for a challenge on odaiko designed to improve your musical, physical, and technical acumen, please consider this workshop!


Group affiliation: Soloist

Choreography PrimerSkill level: Intermediate • P

How is taiko movement created? Do we begin with the rhythm and add movements, or the other way around? This workshop teaches a selection of advanced naname movements plus the concepts that underlie them.


Group affiliation: Soloist

Multiple Drum Technique Skill level: ALL•P

Have you always wanted to try playing more than one taiko at once? Or do you already have some experience playing multiple drums and would like to feel comfortable doing so? If so, this workshop is for you! We will go over basic technique for playing rhythms using more than one taiko as well as breaking down the bachi cross over technique so players will be able to both sound good and look good while moving from drum to drum. This workshop also includes a practice exercise you can take back to your group that combines all skills covered in the workshop. Light tapered bachi (made of cypress or magnolia) are recommended for use in this workshop.


Group affiliation: Taikoza

Challenge Yourself to a New Style of Playing with Kaitoryu’s KaguraSkill level: ALL• P

You will learn basic movements of the song and some parts of the song will be taught through the workshop. You will learn about the background of the song and history behind it. A “new” and unusual style that will help you develop your skills and help you envision new possibilities in creating new songs for yourself. This will be challenging as well for those who already have taken this class before. It will be challenging for those new to the songs, but you will be able to concentrate on different aspects of the songs and find your challenge in this particular song that you can better yourself in.


Group affiliation: TaikoPeace

Key to Your KiSkill level: ALL • P

Tap into your ki (energy) with activities that will build awareness, activate individual and group ki, and erase the boundaries between players and the audience. The workshop will challenge participants in movement, rhythm, timing and improvisational skills, all without using taiko…the ki to becoming a better taiko player.


Fundraising doesn’t have to suck• D

Most of us just want to play more taiko, but none of us get to play ANY taiko if someone isn’t bringing in money for drums, replacement heads, a place to play, a place to store everything ….if you’re the person in charge of keeping the lights on for your group, come to this engaging (really!) interactive (really!) session and begin building a toolkit to help you bring in money without burning out.


Group affiliation: Taiko Center of the Pacific

Taiko FUNdamentalsSkill level: ALL/YOUTH• P

Recommended for youth and beginners. Through a series of FUN songs and games with taiko drumming, Taiko Fundamentals focuses on developing the participants’ musicality level, creativity and sense of originality. Experience the fun of playing games that strengthen ensemble listening skills, while developing stage presence and interaction.


Group affiliation: Navy Yard Taiko

Composition Idea/Improvisation Vocabulary for Taiko DrummingSkill level: Intermediate • P

Composing Taiko music is a great way to cultivate the sense of kumi-daiko and performing skill. Through learning and practicing some rhythm pattern etudes created specifically to enhance improvisation vocabularies, each participant can experiment applying phrases, creating various changes, and construct an original music. We will discuss how to create necessary changes in the composition, exercising some compositional skills including some applications from Ted Reed’s famous book,  Syncopation.


Group affiliation: Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers (RAW)

Advanced Movement for TaikoSkill level: geared for taiko players who are experienced in movement • P

Open to players with some previous movement experience (dance, martial art, etc.). Expand your Taiko playing and composition to encompass more movement. Based in fundamental dance techniques and styles, it will expand your movement vocabulary for Taiko performance. Starting with a warm-up exercises to connect you with your body and its capabilities, we will explore moving through space, in both vertical and horizontal planes, learning longer phrases of movement, as well as learning how to take weight in the hands. Workshop participants will also be learning sections of Young Park’s composition “Moving in Tongues.”  See excerpt here: