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Japanese Taiko Drumming

The Place, The People Japan comprises 3000 islands, many of them actively volcanic. Its strong cultural identity means that, while Japan has embraced some aspects of Western culture, traditional values and customs are still strong. The Tokyo region is the largest metropolitan area in the world with over 30 million people, and Japan is home to a vast technology industry, but the tranquillity and timelessness of the countryside with its temples and shrines are still an important cultural focus.

The Music Taiko, literally ‘Big Drum’ combines driving and dynamic rhythms with the strength and disciplined power of traditional martial arts. For centuries, Taiko have been used both in warfare and in Shinto and Buddhist temple ritual. The first modern kumi-daiko Taiko ensemble was founded by Daihachi Oguchi in 1951; since then, the popularity of Taiko has spread throughout Japan and out into the wider world, with Taiko ensembles touring major concert venues across the globe.

The Workshop Playing as a kumi-daiko ensemble, students learn the traditional rhythms, movements and vocalisations that make playing Taiko such a physical experience. Everything is on a grand scale; the drums, the sound and the physical movements add up to an aural and visual spectacle for both the players and the audience.

Sessions will include a physical warm-up. Activities include work on posture, technique, and rhythmic development, all focused on successful teamwork. Over a number of sessions participants learn a range of pieces and drumming styles and can have the opportunity to compose & choreograph their own taiko compositions if desired. Courses cover National Curriculum material for each Key Stage.

N.B. Due to the size of the instruments and the physical coordination & stamina required taiko workshops are unsuitable for pupils below Year 4/5. Workshop sessions need to take place in a large space, ideally the school hall. Please contact the Music Service for further information about accommodating taiko workshops.

Workshops - half day session: £180, full day session: £295 - available on Fridays

Residency -please contact Hampshire Music Service for more details

For further details and booking please contact Kathy Moore on 023 8065 2037 or e-mail: