Workshop Section 1

Ei Ja Nai Ka (Isn’t it Good)- PJ Hirabayashi

“Ei Ja Nai Ka” (EJNK) to conveys San Jose Taiko’s philosophy of playing taiko, emphasizing movement, dance, drumming, fluidity, joy, and group energy.  A sequence of exhilarating activities is taught to prepare the participant to embody rhythms in movement and taiko for this popular North American taiko folk dance. EJNK is an open source song and welcomes groups to play this song in the spirit of unifying people to play and dance with open heart and abandonment. All levels of experience are welcome. Bring bachi.

Stage Presence and Playing as an Ensemble- Roy Hirabayashi

Performing in public requires more than just the basics of playing the taiko. Stage presence, working as a group and group dynamics are all part of what can make an ok performance into a great performance.

Miyake (Beginner)Shigeru Watanabe

Miyake Taiko is a traditional Japanese Taiko drumming style that has developed as a music in Miyake-island, an island of the Izu Island chain, locating at 180km south of Tokyo. During a traditional festival, Gozu Tenno Sai, the people on Miyake-island play Miyake Taiko from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and carry the portable shrine around the town.

Simple rhythm and powerful beat. Basically, the sound of Miyake Taiko is composed of only 3 straightforward rhythm patterns so that it does not require any musical scores. And also, it is distinguished form other taiko style by its quick and powerful beat. The intensity of the beat is described that the heads of drums used for Miyake Taiko must be changed once a year though those used for other taiko styles usually changed once in every 10 years. Through the years as a festival music, these two aspects have grown into the powerful and exciting groove of Miyake Taiko nowadays.

Odaiko Kihon– Kenny Endo

Basics for performing on the ‘big drum’ will include stance, grip, hitting techniques, training tips, maximizing sounds, and relaxing.  Traditional Kabuki patterns on the odaiko will also be introduced.  A practice odaiko piece will be taught focusing on fundamentals, simple improvisation, base beat patterns, and becoming more comfortable and dynamic at performing the odaiko.

The Perfect Strike: Theory and TechniqueMiles Endo

There are many styles of how to play Taiko. Martial arts and sports techniques can also inform a Taiko player. We will discuss achieving the right sound from any drum by breaking down the basic principles of stance, grip, positioning, and motion.

Music Notation and Rehearsal Techniques for Taiko– Isaku Kageyama

This workshop is a crash course on reading and writing both Western and Japanese Hogaku notation.  Participants can expect to learn basic rhythmic notation as well as scoring and rehearsal techniques that allow composers to work more efficiently and improve the quality of their performances.

All levels.

Bachi Tricks- Mark H. Rooney

Learn how to spin, throw and catch your bachi as a way to spice up your solo, performance or composition. Basic and advanced tricks will be taught as well as exercises for how to practice them. Mark H will also reveal the secrets to making simple tricks appear more impressive and the deeper universal philosophies behind these (seemingly) superfluous skills.

All levels of experience are welcome.

Bon Taiko on Betta: Form, Power, and Expression– Stuart Paton

We will use a public domain Bon Taiko arrangement as vehicle for covering head isolation and stance, joint alignment and sequence, palm orientation, and different  grips.  Other topics will include initiating motion from the shoulder/hips, upper body torque and folding, and adjusting the arms flight path accordingly.

For Newer Drummers/ teachers

Yatai Bayashi- Kaoru Watanabe
Kaoru will focus on improving on and fine tuning the form used in Kodo’s Yatai Bayashi. He will briefly touch upon the history of the piece, the differences between the traditional festival versions and Kodo’s version as well, but the majority of time will be spent on learning how to develop this piece. In order to best utilize the time, participants should try to learn a version of Yatai Bayashi prior to the workshop.


Leadership 101: How to Promote and Develop Leadership Culture- Karen Young



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