Workshop Session 5

D = Discussion Session

P = Performance Session

Please see the list below for all workshops offered during Session 5 of NATC 2017, from 3:30PM-6:00PM on Saturday, August 12th.Schedule is subject to change.



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


Group affiliation: San Jose Taiko

Katsugi Okedo Basics with San Jose Taiko!  •  Skill level: Intermediate•P

This workshop introduces San Jose Taiko’s approach to the katsugi okedo. Basic tools will be provided to embrace the mobile nature of this instrument based on SJT’s focus on movement. This workshop is for taiko players who have some experience playing katsugi okedo but would like a different approach to get them out of a developmental rut. Notes: Learning to do cross-overs will not be covered in this workshop. You must bring your own bachi that you normally use for katsugi okedo.


Group affiliation: Amanojaku – Asano Taiko Unit One

Odaiko Fundamentals  •  Skill level: ALL • P

Introduction to the grip, stance, and stroke for playing Odaiko. Focus on creating powerful, dynamic motion and producing a solid sound. Learn the composition “Agari Yatai” by Yoichi Watanabe, founder of Amanojaku.


Group affiliation: Soloist

Yatai Bayashi Skill level: Intermediate•P

While having roots in the festival music of Chichibu City in Saitama Prefecture, taiko groups across the world have versions of this piece, mostly likely due to the popularity of such groups as Ondekoza and Kodo who originally adapted it for stage. Participants of this workshop will study the way Kodo approaches the piece in terms of form, tone, movement and nuance, properly played ji, the transitions between sections and, depending on the skill level of participants, tamaire, atarigane, fue and other components of the piece. All taught by a former member of the Kodo ensemble.


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: Taiko Center of the Pacific

Taiko SetSkill level: Intermediate• P

The practice and performance techniques of playing multiple taiko with be covered in this workshop, among them: basic grooves, independence, soloing, traditional Japanese rhythms, timing and accompanying. The usage of taiko in various genres (rock, hip-hop, funk, Latin, as well as in Japanese music) will be introduced.


Group affiliation: Soloist

Advanced Taiko DrillsSkill level: Intermediate/Advanced • P

This exciting fast-paced workshop will cover a variety of drills of varying difficulty that can be taken back to your taiko group to improve on endurance, speed, dynamics, polyrhythms, listening, voice, spirit, and movement. The workshop is fast-paced in order to cover the maximum amount of content and so participants are strongly encouraged to bring recording devices.


Group affiliation: Taikoza

Rediscovering the Shinobue and Its True Beauty Skill level: Beginner•P

A brief history of the instrument and with some demonstrations. Learn how to play, learn how to get a better sound. Learn a few melodies that you will be able to share. Also learn how to choose a flute and what to look for. Flutes will be available. tuned #8 will be used for the workshop and will be available for you to use if you dont have one. Also flutes will be available for purchase.

Mark H Rooney

Group affiliation: Kizuna

Six Degrees of (Taiko) Separation • D

One of the most interesting and certainly, one of the strongest aspects of the global taiko community is the permeation of taiko on such an international scale. Even within our own countries, the diversity of the taiko community in North America is amazingly rich and varied. Come explore (and share) the stories and histories of how taiko has spread throughout North America and the rest of the world through a series of speakers and discussions that will connect you to every other taiko player in the world!


Group affiliation: Genbu Daiko of San Diego

Hip Hop TaikoSkill level: ALL • P

Using hip hop music, hip hop dance will be utilized to not only warm up, but to also delve into physical expressive freedom. A fun range of hip hop rhythmic vocabulary will be explored to help inspire new ways to approach taiko piece creation.


Group affiliation: Soloist

ImprovisationSkill level: ALL • P

What is improvisation? The ability to improvise, to spontaneously create, is a skill we are all born with and a skill which can bring great joy and personal fulfillment to our music-making. In small, medium and large groups, and on a wide variety of instruments, workshop participants will be guided and encouraged while creating new sounds in an open atmosphere of sharing and listening. The workshop is open to everyone, no improvising experience required. Participants are encouraged to bring a variety of bachi and all instruments are welcome.


Group affiliation: TaikoPeace

Tottemo Yoi!Skill level: ALL•P

Tottemo Yoi! (Very Good!) – Exhilarating and interactive exercises on betta taiko, “dancing with the drum”, and “very good” kakegoe/chant. This open source piece has multiple layers of practice and performance possibilities.


Group affiliation: Soloist

ChappaSkill level: ALLP

The chappa, Japanese hand cymbals, are regularly featured in signature compositions of the Kodo ensemble’s performances. Chappa add a flair and excitement to taiko compositions. In this workshop, Shogo will teach participants the basics of chappa: how to hold chappa, how to create many textures of sounds, and how to accompany taiko. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chappa. Don’t forget your earplugs!


Group affiliation: Taiko Center of the Pacific

Quitiplas in the PocketSkill level: Intermediate•P

A piece for solo improvisation on the slant style (naname) drums. The poly-meter base beat is adapted from the Venezuelan Quitiplas music with a stylized solo cue created by Yeeman Mui. The piece focuses on creating different tonalities of the drum. The Venezuelan-inspired polymeter backbeat is challenging but also has a distinctive groove that can open up various platforms for improvisation.


Group affiliation: San Jose Taiko

Taiko Olympics!Skill level: YOUTH•P

This workshop for youth will combine lots of taiko-based drills and activities into a fun and friendly competition where one team will win the NATC 2017 Taiko Olympics gold medal! It won’t just be about how fast you play, but how well your team does in embodying San Jose Taiko’s 4 Principles of Kata (form), Musical Technique, Ki (Energy) and Attitude. And most importantly – TEAMWORK. The workshop will challenge you, but it will also be fun!