Workshops

“P” indicates that the workshop is mostly spent playing.

“D” indicates that portions of this workshop is discussion/lecture based but may include playing as well.

“P/D” indicates that the workshop is a mix of playing and discussion.

 

SATURDAY MORNING:

Traditional Japanese Dance – Chieko Kojima

  • P – All levels
  • Chieko gives instruction in fundamental body movement in Japanese dance by adopting various Japanese traditional folk dances as well as her own creation entitled Yoi no Yunzuru, a slow and languid dance piece, like floating on waves. Chieko also works on freeing the participant’s minds and bodies of inhibition through playful improvisational dance.

Yataibayashi – Fumi Tanakadate

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • 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. Taught by a main instructor of Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center, founded by a former Kodo member, Kaoru Watanabe.

Taiko and Community: What’s the Connection? – Karen Young

  • D – All levels
  • 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

Taiko Set – Kenny Endo

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • The practice and performance techniques of playing multiple taiko with be covered in this workshop, among them: stance, grip, basic grooves, independence, soloing, traditional Japanese rhythms, and accompanying. 16th note back beat, Brazilian, Cuban, and patterns from Kotobuki Jishi (Tokyo Lion Dance drumming) will be covered.

Naname Choreography Primer – Kris Bergstrom

  • P – All levels
  • 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.

Basics for Katsugi Okedo Playing – Mark H. Rooney

  • P – All levels
  • The okedo daiko is a tied drum with a barrel-shaped body that tends to be lighter than taiko made from one piece and is, therefore, portable. The katsugi okedo refers to the okedo that is slung on a strap over the shoulder and allows for the versatility to move about while playing the drum. This style based on Korean drumming and made popular by taiko artists like Leonard Eto and Ryutaro Kaneko has become very popular for its ability to cover a lot of area and perform complicated rhythms on both sides of the drum. An introduction to this exciting style involves various techniques for hitting the okedo, exercises to practice with and tips on how to move while playing. Available to any level of player with little to no experience playing this style.

Open Source Piece: Ei Ja Nai Ka? – PJ Hirabayashi

  • P – All levels
  • Ei Ja Nai Ka (EJNK) is an open source piece that has become a popular North American taiko folk dance. A sequence of energizing activities prepares participants to embody rhythms in movement, dance, voice, and taiko. In recent years, EJNK is being danced at many local obons. Share EJNK in the spirit of unifying people to play and dance with open heart and abandonment. Bring bachi.

Basics to Composition and Improvising – Roy Hirabayashi

  • P/D – All levels
  • Writing a new song or improvising a solo follows the same basic fundamental concepts. The basic dos and don’ts of composing are covered in this workshop format through a descriptive process with volunteers from the workshop to participate in various activities to help demonstrate the key points. No prior composing experience is necessary. Participants are encouraged to bring a chappa, kane, hyotan, fue or any other instrument they enjoy playing.

The Wonderful World of Chappa – Shoji Kameda

  • P – Beginner
  • The chappa is a versatile instrument often overlooked in a taiko ensemble. Almost every group has a pair of chappa but often nobody wants to play it! The goal of this workshop is to learn basic patterns and techniques that will help you develop facility with the instrument and unlock its sonic potential. By the end of this workshops participants will have patterns that they can practice and be excited about the potential of the instrument.

Group Drumming: Performing Taiko in an Ensemble – Soh Daiko

  • P – All levels
  • This workshop will test participants’ skills in the ensemble aspect of a taiko performance. Emphasizing the kumi in kumi-daiko (group drumming), we will use various simple song structures to learn listening and communicating while playing taiko with others. We aim to build skills in playing together on time, supporting soloists, engaging others and the art of “jamming” in a taiko performance.

Ideas and Techniques for Teaching Taiko – Stuart Paton

  • D – All levels
  • This workshop will start with exercises, elements, and Ideas I work with when teaching Taiko to children. The majority of the time will be addressing ideas and priorities of teaching/leading a Taiko group, as well as responding to ECTC ’18 participant questions and ideas. Time permitting, I’m glad to speak from some of my experiences teaching Taiko to players with disabilities.

Shamisen Takes a Part in Taiko Pieces – Sumie Kaneko

  • P – Beginner
  • Mainly useful skills along with pieces for Taiko group performance including traditional pieces such as Bon Odori and Minyo.

Mind Imaging Workshop – Surprise Guest Clinician

  • D – All levels
  • Normally, we rely on visible cues to play taiko.  For this workshop, participants will start by figuring out the shape of the instrument, then the position between themselves and the instrument, and finally create sounds while blindfolded.  With this practice, participants will learn to observe things that they may not have been aware of, and we’ll work on incorporating this new awareness into our playing.

Odaiko I – Tiffany Tamaribuchi

  • P – Beginner
  • This workshop covers a set of fundamental techniques to help players of all levels improve their overall technique when playing Odaiko. Whether you are playing in an ensemble piece, are an accompanist or a soloist, and whether you are an accomplished performer or you haven’t had a chance to try playing Odaiko yet, the skill sets covered in this class have helped hundreds of players to play with more power, spirit, control, stamina, and confidence. Please try to bring your own odaiko bachi.

Beta Fundamentals – Yuta Kato

  • P – All levels
  • With efficiency and sustainability at its core, this workshop explores the limitless potential of the relationship between body, bachi, and taiko. Within all styles of taiko, the “beta” is often considered the purest and simplest. Taking steps towards mastering this style will better every aspect of taiko playing no matter what your genre of style or taiko music. We will also explore exercises and drills beyond the basics that will allow for more movement and creativity for pieces such as “Dokokara”.

 

SATURDAY AFTERNOON:

Traditional Japanese Dance – Chieko Kojima

  • P – All levels
  • Chieko gives instruction in fundamental body movement in Japanese dance by adopting various Japanese traditional folk dances as well as her own creation entitled Yoi no Yunzuru, a slow and languid dance piece, like floating on waves. Chieko also works on freeing the participant’s minds and bodies of inhibition through playful improvisational dance.

Yataibayashi – Fumi Tanakadate

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • 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. Taught by a main instructor of Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center, founded by a former Kodo member, Kaoru Watanabe.

Taiko Beyond the Stage: Exercises aimed at Bringing Communities Together -Karen Young

  • P/D – All levels
  • Taiko is an incredible vehicle for connecting people and right now we need community and connection more than ever. Beyond facilitating introductions in our workshops or doing a clapping game on stage, how can we be more intentional about engaging people in our classes or audiences? Come share ideas and participate in a variety of exercises aimed at building relationships, lifting spirits, and spreading joy. We will learn an open source song called ‘Joy Bubble’ (written by Tiffany Tamaribuchi) which you can use as an exercise with audiences to engage non taiko players in playing, singing, and dancing.

Solid Shime Daiko Playing – Kenny Endo

  • P – All levels
  • Good shime daiko technique will improve your technique on all sized taiko. This class will concentrate on the intricate shime daiko techniques and patterns found in the lively festival music of Edo Bayashi (Tokyo festival music). This technique is quite refined and has applications to all sized taiko. Emphasis will be on timing, playing with precision, grip, sound, nori (groove), and relaxing.

Naname Choreography Primer – Kris Bergstrom

  • P – All levels
  • 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.

Basics for Katsugi Okedo Playing – Mark H. Rooney

  • P – All levels
  • The okedo daiko is a tied drum with a barrel-shaped body that tends to be lighter than taiko made from one piece and is, therefore, portable. The katsugi okedo refers to the okedo that is slung on a strap over the shoulder and allows for the versatility to move about while playing the drum. This style based on Korean drumming and made popular by taiko artists like Leonard Eto and Ryutaro Kaneko has become very popular for its ability to cover a lot of area and perform complicated rhythms on both sides of the drum. An introduction to this exciting style involves various techniques for hitting the okedo, exercises to practice with and tips on how to move while playing. Available to any level of player with little to no experience playing this style.

Open Source: Ei Ja Nai Ka? – PJ Hirabayashi

  • P – All levels
  • Ei Ja Nai Ka (EJNK) is an open source piece that has become a popular North American taiko folk dance. A sequence of energizing activities prepares participants to embody rhythms in movement, dance, voice, and taiko. In recent years, EJNK is being danced at many local obons. Share EJNK in the spirit of unifying people to play and dance with open heart and abandonment. Bring bachi.

Basics to Composition and Improvising – Roy Hirabayashi

  • P/D – All levels
  • Writing a new song or improvising a solo follows the same basic fundamental concepts. The basic dos and don’ts of composing are covered in this workshop format through a descriptive process with volunteers from the workshop to participate in various activities to help demonstrate the key points. No prior composing experience is necessary. Participants are encouraged to bring a chappa, kane, hyotan, fue or any other instrument they enjoy playing.

Advanced Chappa Technique – Shoji Kameda

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • Take your chappa playing to the next level! This workshop is designed for those who already have some facility with the chappa and will focus on more advanced techniques and ways to develop touch and speed with the instrument. This workshop will also focus on using the chappa as a solo instrument.

Transitions and Stage Presence – Soh Daiko

  • P – All levels
  • How do you enter and exit the stage? How do you move your equipment from one song to the next? Do you practice transitions? In this workshop, we will discuss how to carry yourself on stage – particularly when you are not drumming. We will also provide guidance and tips on the preparation and execution of transitions in between songs.

Open Source: Tsubasa (Wings) – Stuart Paton

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • Played on a Diagonal/Sukeroku stand, Tsubasa is my composition inspired by 33 years of practicing Tanaka Sensei’s Soko Bayashi. I will be teaching the Tsubasa music and choreography, while bringing attention to palm orientation, planes of movement, and ideas from sword technique.

Shamisen Takes a Part in Taiko Pieces – Sumie Kaneko

  • P – Beginner
  • Mainly useful skills along with pieces for Taiko group performance including traditional pieces such as Bon Odori and Minyo.

Vocalization Workshop – Surprise Guest Clinician

  • D – All levels
  • Not being able to see, the workshop leader is keenly aware of the use and impact of the voice with taiko.  For this workshop, participants will learn more effective ways of using kiai, and its incorporation along with movements into songs.

Odaiko II – Tiffany Tamaribuchi

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • This workshop will cover different aspects of both solo and ensemble performance on Odaiko, including staging considerations, development and composition of set patterns and improvised rhythms that highlight the character and power of the style, including ways to incorporate different kata and approach more challenging arrangements. We’ll be doing a brief overview of the development of this style and the character and various techniques used by professional artists, and work on enhancing each player’s skill level by adapting some of these elements in different drills. We’ll also work together to create a short, take-away piece that brings different aspects of what we cover in the workshop together in a cohesive way, allowing each participant to easily continue to practice what’s been covered and share what they’ve learned with their groups.

Beta Fundamentals – Yuta Kato

  • P – All levels
  • With efficiency and sustainability at its core, this workshop explores the limitless potential of the relationship between body, bachi, and taiko. Within all styles of taiko, the “beta” is often considered the purest and simplest. Taking steps towards mastering this style will better every aspect of taiko playing no matter what your genre of style or taiko music. We will also explore exercises and drills beyond the basics that will allow for more movement and creativity for pieces such as “Dokokara”.

 

SUNDAY MORNING:

Hana Hachijo – Chieko Kojima

  • P – All levels
  • One of the keys to the beauty of Japanese traditional dance and taiko lies in having the body appear natural and poised while maintaining a most unnatural and strenuous position. Open to both female and male performers, in this workshop participants learn how to push their bodies’ strength and endurance to the limit while never sacrificing any suppleness or grace.  This powerful and very beautiful drumming style was made famous by Chieko’s performance of Hana Hachijo often performed on Kodo’s stage. Most of the techniques touched upon can be directly applied to more masculine drumming styles as well to develop better body movement and control in general.

Miyake – Fumi Tanakadate

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • This piece, an adaption from the traditional festival music from Miyake island and made popular by Kodo, is physically one of the more demanding pieces in the taiko repertoire. This workshop will introduce participants to the five-part regiment that Kodo apprentices must go through to learn this piece, and depending on the skill level of participants, other components of the piece including soloing patterns. While known for its famous low stance and powerful arm movements, there are many nuances and subtleties that can will add expressiveness and melodic qualities to a performance. Taught by a main instructor of Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center, founded by a former Kodo member, Kaoru Watanabe.

Taiko Beyond the Stage: Exercises aimed at Bringing Communities Together -Karen Young

  • P/D – All levels
  • Taiko is an incredible vehicle for connecting people and right now we need community and connection more than ever. Beyond facilitating introductions in our workshops or doing a clapping game on stage, how can we be more intentional about engaging people in our classes or audiences? Come share ideas and participate in a variety of exercises aimed at building relationships, lifting spirits, and spreading joy. We will learn an open source song called ‘Joy Bubble’ (written by Tiffany Tamaribuchi) which you can use as an exercise with audiences to engage non taiko players in playing, singing, and dancing.

Oto: Getting a Good Sound Out of the Taiko – Kenny Endo

  • P – All levels
  • The ideal sound is full and travels through both skins and beyond. Often people mistake a bombastic sound for a good sound. Using the whole body, relaxing, a strong spirit, and a definitive snap of the wrists all combine to making a sound that is rich and can be played at all volumes.

Advanced Shime Technique Clinic: Radiddlepa – Kris Bergstrom

  • P – Advanced
  • Participants learn a variety of extended techniques for shime, a specific pattern from Radiddlepa, and methods for using the techniques more broadly in existing repertoire and new compositions.

Open Source: Shin-En – Mark H. Rooney

  • P – All levels
  • This simple yet dynamic song involves a number of skills as a taiko performer and drummer. It has been played by numerous groups in both the States and Japan and can be easily adapted to fit any taiko groups style or repertoire.

Tottemo Yoi – PJ Hirabayashi

  • P – All levels
  • Exhilarating and interactive sequences on betta taiko: “dancing with the drum” and “very good” kakegoe/chant. This open source piece has multiple layers of practice and performance possibilities.

How Leaders Lead – Roy Hirabayashi

  • P/D – All levels
  • This workshop takes a look at different ways to take on a leadership role in your group. Defining leadership and identifying various leadership models will be discussed. How to manage the other members of the group, drill exercises to help bring the group together and suggestions on how to best maintain order and focus during your practice and performance will be reviewed.

The Rhythmic Composer’s Toolkit – Shoji Kameda

  • P – Intermediate / Advanced
  • When we compose taiko pieces we often have a rhythm or idea but don’t know what to do with it. This workshop gives participants a great set of tools that they can apply to their rhythms or phrases that will help them develop their idea into something more substantial. These tools are also very useful in developing solos and composing entire pieces.

Odaiko: Basics and Deeper Layers – Stuart Paton

  • D – Beginner
  • This workshop will bring ideas and attention to stance, range of motion, grip, palm orientation, joint alignment, koshi, head-motion, stick angle, supplemental power sources/accessing chi, – resistance breathing, voice, posture, eye-and facial postures to access energy pockets, and more.

Shamisen Takes a Part in Taiko Pieces – Sumie Kaneko

  • P – Beginner
  • Mainly useful skills along with pieces for Taiko group performance including traditional pieces such as Bon Odori and Minyo.

Musical/Rhythmic Interpretation Workshop – Surprise Guest Clinician

  • D – All levels
  • Even the same phrase can be played differently based on one’s interpretation.  As musicians, we should be aware of the impact of “ma”, down/up beats, and grooves.  This workshop will focus on how to listen to sounds conscientiously, and how you can put this idea of conscious listening into practice within your groups.

Basic Kata & Injury Prevention – Tiffany Tamaribuchi

  • D – All levels
  • We create a lot of interesting physical demands on our bodies when we move through our day-to-day lives, but more so when we play taiko. I’ve seen a lot of people suffer significant and very often preventable injuries over the past 30+ years while on tour, I’ve recovered from injuries that I thought were career-ending, and I’ve also worked with a lot of people who are dealing with pre-existing conditions that make it harder for them to enjoy playing. We’re going to cover the most common types of injuries for taiko players and how they typically occur, and we’re going to cover a bunch of simple, practical, and well-considered techniques designed to help you minimize risk of injury for yourself and your fellow group members.

Open Source: Dokokara – Yuta Kato

  • P/D – Intermediate / Advanced
  • Originally commissioned and performed by Zenshin Daiko, “Dokokara” draws its name from taiko syllabary, where “doko” means two strikes in the center of the drum and “kara” is two on the rim. In Japanese, the phrase “doko kara?” also means “where from?”. The piece’s arrangement plays on the concept of the rippling effects of energy on its surroundings. Where does energy come from? And where does it go? (Click here to see Zenshin Daiko’s Performance of Dokokara)