Workshops

Odaiko Foundation (All levels)

Instructor

Kenny Endo

Objective(s)

  • To become comfortable playing the odaiko.
  • To get a good sound out of the odaiko.
  • To learn an open source piece for odaiko.

Description

Basics for performing on the 'big drum' will include stance, grip, hitting techniques, training tips, improving sound, 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 on the odaiko.


Visual Phrasing: Taiko In Motion (All levels)

Instructor

Michelle Fujii

Objective(s)

  • Construct short phrases of taiko choreography.
  • Investigate how taiko form can shape the sound of the drum.
  • Utilize imagery and intention to create taiko movement sequences.

Description

In this workshop, participants will create short phrases of taiko movement. Participants will learn how to utilize imagery and their own inherent sense of movement to develop visual taiko that have intention, purpose, and phrasing. Improvisation will be taught to warm-up the body and short compositional tasks will set limitations to spark creativity. Michelle will share her choreographic philosophies, processes and aesthetics, providing insights into how to create taiko movement phrases, sequences, dynamic variations, and spatial relationships.


Also offered during Session 4.
Small Drum Technique (All levels)

Instructor

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa

Objective(s)

  • Learn about stick selection, grip, rebound, dynamics, ji uchi (groove playing), and tempo control.
  • Gain ideas for practicing at home.
  • Learn exercises to help play together in a group.

Description

This workshop will focus on playing smaller taiko with smaller bachi. Improving small drum technique will strengthen your technique for percussion and larger drums. Areas to be covered include stick selection, grip, rebound, dynamics, ji uchi (groove playing), and tempo control. Ideas for practicing at home will be provided along with exercises to help play together in a group. Please bring a pair of shimedaiko bachi.


Also offered during Session 3.
Naname Fundamentals (All levels)

Instructor

Isaku Kageyama

Objective(s)

  • Provide in-depth instruction on fundamental naname technique (grip, stance, basic stroke).
  • Introduce practice methods that participants can use to continue their development beyond NATC.
  • Learn Agari (Kenkai) Yatai by Yoichi Watanabe of Amanojaku.

Description

Naname is one of the most dynamic and exciting styles of taiko, and this fundamentals workshop is the perfect opportunity to improve your form and sound. This workshop focuses on a piece called Agari (Kenkai) Yatai by my teacher, Yoichi Watanabe of Amanojaku. I first learned this piece when I was 15 years old, and I've been playing it for over 20 years now. This piece has taught me a lot about taiko, such as getting a full sound from the drum, playing ji to support a solo, and getting a crisp sound from the fuchi. This piece has always been a staple of my taiko repertoire, and it would be an honor to share it at NATC.


Introduction to Hachijo Daiko (Beginner)

Instructor

Yuta Kato

Objective(s)

  • Introduce "tendencies" of the Hachijo style.
  • Give participants the tools necessary to work on and create their own solo Hachijo performance.

Description

This workshop will involve talking briefly about the Hachijo Daiko style and history, cultural significance and teaching everything from grip/stance/form and rhythms for future use in creating a solo Hachijo performance.


Multiple Drum Technique (All levels)

Instructor

Kristy Oshiro

Objective(s)

  • Introduce folks to the basics of playing on a set of more than one taiko
  • Teach them drills to practice the techniques
  • Include a fun practice exercise to take back to groups

Description

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 crossover 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.


Also offered during Session 4.
Body Awareness for Taiko Players (Beginner)

Instructor

Young Park

Objective(s)

  • To hone your senses to become a more aware, sensitive player/performer.

Description

During this workshop, you will explore body awareness through movement exploration that addresses body alignment, breath, using butoh imagery, and moving through space. Modified for beginners, or for taiko players who are looking to learn basic body awareness. Starting with gentle contact improvisation exercises to establish relationship of your body to your bachi, to your drum, and, most importantly, to the ground.


Also offered during Session 4.
Katsugi-Okedo Style (All levels)

Instructor

Masayuki Sakamoto

Objective(s)

Learn the basics of katsugi taiko drumming, including:

  • How to wear the drum and move more naturally on stage.
  • How to hold the bachi and strike the drum.

Description

This workshop will cover the basics of playing the katsugi-okedo. The goal is to make the player more aware of how the drum fits on their body and how to move more naturally both in stance and when striking the drum. Patterns and drills will be offered.


Also offered during Session 5.
Miyake (All levels)

Instructor

Fumi Tanakadate

Objective(s)

  • Learn the essence of the piece Miyake.
  • Learn what and how to practice as a group.

Description

This piece, a modern adaption of the traditional festival music from the town of Kamitsuki on Miyake island and made popular by the iconic ensemble Kodo, is physically one of the most demanding pieces in the taiko repertoire. Taught by Fumi Tanakadate, the head disciple of recognized Miyake soloist formerly of Kodo, Kaoru Watanabe, this workshop will introduce participants to a five-part training regiment - that focuses on stamina, speed, lower-body movement and form - that is essential in learning this piece properly. While known for its famous low stance and powerful arm movements, this workshop will also address many nuances and subtleties that can add expressiveness and melodic qualities to a performance.


Also offered during Sessions 3 and 5.
Koshi (All levels)

Instructor

Toru Watanabe

Objective(s)

  • Understand how to connect to your hara (center) while playing taiko.
  • Introduce basic body exercises to strengthen your core.
  • Learn how using your koshi can make a strong taiko sound.

Description

Koshi translates as “hips” in Japanese, but it is more than just the side of your body. It is the key to understanding your power to play taiko. This workshop, taught with multiple perspectives, will focus on movement drills and exercises to physically deepen your understanding of koshi, and in turn make you a strong taiko player.


Hip-Hop Taiko (Intermediate)

Instructor

Bryan Yamami

Objective(s)

In this workshop, participants will learn:

  • Basic hip-hop infused rhythm patterns developed as part of TAIKOPROJECT's composition "Expanding".
  • Hip-hop influenced movement and choreography as part of a taiko song.
  • How to compose and create your own hip-hop rhythms.

Description

In this workshop, participants will learn hip-hop infused rhythm patterns, movements, and choreography as part of TAIKOPROJECT's signature song "Expanding". We will also go over concepts and techniques for developing hip-hop patterns as part of composition and song creation.


Also offered during Session 5.
Shinobue Basics (Beginner)

Instructor

Shogo Yoshii

Objective(s)

  • Provide participants a solid understanding of traditional basic shinobue techniques .
  • Teach basic shinobue fingering.
  • Introduce the concept of neiro, or changing the color of the shinobue sound for greater expressive range.

Description

Shinobue is a simple yet beautifully expressive instrument that has a deep and long history with taiko. This workshop will introduce participants to the basic traditional techniques for the instrument, basic fingering and introduce the concept of neiro or changing the tone color for greater expressive range.


Naname Essentials (All levels)

Instructor

Masato Baba

Objective(s)

  • Introduction of stance, grip, and strikes.
  • A drill to take home that focuses on movement incorporating the stance, grip, and strikes taught.

Description

To create a better understanding of form and hitting technique on naname technique. Using a technique I call “focus forward,” this workshop will focus on form and hitting technique and how the body connects to the drum with a drill to take home.


Improvisation/Spontaneous Creativity (All levels)

Instructor

Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer

Objective(s)

  • Inspire creativity, build confidence, and develop deeper feeling.
  • Create awareness and sensitivity to time and timing, tempo, sound, color, movement, patience, space, strength, passivity, and reaction to action.

Description

Learn to develop group and individual skills to build overall awareness, insight, sensitivity, strength, and confidence through basic improvisation exercises to practice individually and with your taiko group. The workshop will utilize various taiko, percussion, other musical instruments, and body movement.
Also offered during Session 3.
Kata(iko): Body and Taiko Connection (Beginner)

Instructor

Tomomi Hongo

Objective(s)

  • Exploring body aesthetics and how kata affects one's performance.
  • Body and spatial awareness.
  • How to utilize your body effectively when playing.

Description

The intention behind this workshop is to have the participants gain a better understanding of how their body movement affects the visual aspects of taiko as well as sound quality. We will explore body dynamics and efficient use of our entire body.
Also offered during Session 3.
Atarigane Playing (All levels)

Instructor

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa

Objective(s)

  • Cover some effective techniques for playing the atarigane.
  • Explore various sounds, grooves, vocalizing patterns, notation, traditional rhythms, and new applications.

Description

This workshop will cover some effective techniques for playing the atarigane (hand-held gong). Topics include: exploration of various sounds, grooves, vocalizing patterns, notation, traditional rhythms, and new applications. Participants are welcome to bring their own, but practice atarigane will be provided for use during the workshop.


Odaiko Fundamentals (All levels)

Instructor

Isaku Kageyama

Objective(s)

  • Provide in-depth instruction on fundamental odaiko technique (grip, stance, basic stroke).
  • Introduce practice methods that participants can use to continue their development as odaiko performers beyond NATC.
  • Put the fundamentals to practice by learning an excerpt of odaiko repertoire.
  • Explore how fundamental technique affects the overall performance.

Description

If you've never played odaiko, are looking to improve your odaiko fundamental technique, or are just looking for a great, full-body workout, this workshop is for you.


This workshop focuses on three aspects:

  1. an in-depth exploration of fundamental technique,
  2. learning new repertoire, and
  3. combining the fundamentals and repertoire to create a solid odaiko performance.


Participants can expect to come out of the workshop with a better understanding of odaiko fundamental technique, practice methods to continue their development as odaiko performers beyond NATC, and repertoire that they can perform with their own taiko groups.


Also offered during Session 5.
An Introduction to Yatai Bayashi Style (All levels)

Instructor

Joe Small

Objective(s)

  • Learn effective, ergonomically friendly kata.
  • Learn and drill the basic patterns for chudaiko and ji-uchi on shimedaiko.
  • Gain understanding of differences between Chichibu Yatai Bayashi and Yatai Bayashi.

Description

Stemming from the festival music known as Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, Yatai Bayashi was created in the early 1970s by Eitetsu Hayashi and Ondekoza solely for the stage. Renowned for the stamina and energy required to play it, Yatai Bayashi quickly became an iconic kumidaiko piece. If you are looking to try Yatai Bayashi for the first time, or seeking to clarify your group's approach to an already-existing arrangement, this is the workshop for you!


We will focus on how and why Yatai Bayashi differs in comparison to other stylistic approaches, learn the main and supporting rhythms of the physically-demanding chudaiko and shimedaiko parts, and explore exercises to keep our bodies in good condition before, during, and after practice/performance of this exciting piece! Be prepared for lots of drills. Walk away with a clear explanation of ergonomic kata for the notorious 'sit-up' position.


Also offered during Session 4.
Uchiwa Movement (All levels)

Instructor

Unit Souzou

Objective(s)

  • Introduce movement basics utilizing the uchiwa-daiko (fan drum).
  • Teach uchiwa choreography from open-source taiko composition, Korekara.
  • Provide insights on how to utilize and incorporate the uchiwa-daiko creatively within taiko songs.

Description

As an instrument, uchiwa-daiko (fan drums) offer the versatility and mobility to coordinate complex movement with sound. This workshop will teach uchiwa movement drills that will lead into learning lively choreography from Unit Souzou’s composition, Korekara, to illustrate the expansive opportunity this instrument can provide.


7 Essential Sounds for Chappa (All levels)

Instructor

Ringtaro Tateishi

Objective(s)

  • Learn 7 sounds that are all for chappa.
  • This is the first step of your new instrument.
  • You can handle chappa in your group.

Description

For more freedom of musical expression, a chappa will be became the best partner for you. It will allow you to move around on stage and add another color to your team's sound. Contrary to how it may seem, it is very difficult to make a good sound - an accomplished chappa player can control over 200 different sounds. In this workshop, Ringtaro will introduce the most essential 7 sounds. After the workshop, you may create unlimited original sounds to reflect your style!


Please bring your own chappa if you have them.


Conversations: Basic Solo Improvisation (Beginner and Intermediate)

Instructor

David Wells

Objective(s)

  • Ease the barrier of entry into improvisation.
  • Provide structured ways to practice improvisation.
  • Suggest methods for developing listening skills, which are integral to effective improvisation.
  • Raise the success rate for simple, strong, effective solos within an ensemble context.

Description

Are you a human being? Do you communicate with other (probably) human beings through methods verbal or otherwise? If so, you're likely a stellar improviser! Learn to communicate improvisationally with others in a fun and relaxed environment where you can let the drum do the talking!
Katsugi (Sling) Okedo (All levels)

Instructor

Bryan Yamami

Objective(s)

  • Basic katsugi-okedo playing stance, form, diagonal and lateral striking, and movement.
  • Learn rhythms and choreography for TAIKOPROJECT's open-source song "Here We Go Now".

Description

In this workshop, participants will learn basic katsugi-okedo playing stance, form, diagonal and lateral striking, and movement. Participants will receive a full score and notation for TAIKOPROJECT's open-source katsugi-okedo focused song "Here We Go Now" to share with their group. A short primer on okedo drum roping and care will also be a part of this workshop.


Yoko Uchi Basics (Beginner)

Instructor

Shogo Yoshii

Objective(s)

  • Introduce participants to the yoko uchi style.
  • Provide historical and cultural context of how this style of playing originated on Hachijo Island.
  • Provide a solid foundation for learning this style and making a good sound.
  • Teach basic yuukichi rhythms.

Description

Yoko uchi refers to the style of hitting the drum on a horizontal stand that was created and popularized by the folk traditions on Hachijo Island. This workshop introduces players unfamiliar with this style to the basic rhythms, patterns and hitting techniques associated with yoko uchi and provides cultural and historical context for how this style began on Hachijo and how to use it in a modern taiko context.


Fue Scales and Drills (Intermediate)

Instructor

Masato Baba

Objective(s)

  • Introduction of scales that I often use in my songs with drills.

Description

Can you get a sound out of the fue? Do you need guidance in the step? This workshop will focus on introducing scales and drills geared towards writing songs and improvising.


Also offered during Session 5.
Naname Choreography - The Critical Rules and When to Break Them (All levels)

Instructor

Kristofer Bergstrom

Objective(s)

  • Naname-focused warm-up.
  • Gesture suggestion from participants.
  • Application of key choreography techniques: connection to body, bachi lag, wrist angle, independence, zones.

Description

Get a behind-the-scenes take on how graceful taiko movement is created. See concepts including "connection to body", "bachi lag", and "movement zones" utilized to take a ho-hum gesture and turn it into dramatic choreography. Then learn a new movement that breaks key rules to dramatic effect.


Also offered during Session 5.
Improvisation/Spontaneous Creativity (All levels)

Instructor

Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer

Objective(s)

  • Inspire creativity, build confidence, and develop deeper feeling.
  • Create awareness and sensitivity to time and timing, tempo, sound, color, movement, patience, space, strength, passivity, and reaction to action.

Description

Learn to develop group and individual skills to build overall awareness, insight, sensitivity, strength, and confidence through basic improvisation exercises to practice individually and with your taiko group. The workshop will utilize various taiko, percussion, other musical instruments, and body movement.
Also offered during Session 2.
Kata(iko): Body and Taiko Connection (Beginner)

Instructor

Tomomi Hongo

Objective(s)

  • Exploring body aesthetics and how kata affects one's performance.
  • Body and spatial awareness.
  • How to utilize your body effectively when playing.

Description

The intention behind this workshop is to have the participants gain a better understanding of how their body movement affects the visual aspects of taiko as well as sound quality. We will explore body dynamics and efficient use of our entire body.
Also offered during Session 2.
Small Drum Technique (All levels)

Instructor

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa

Objective(s)

  • Learn about stick selection, grip, rebound, dynamics, ji uchi (groove playing), and tempo control.
  • Gain ideas for practicing at home.
  • Learn exercises to help play together in a group.

Description

This workshop will focus on playing smaller taiko with smaller bachi. Improving small drum technique will strengthen your technique for percussion and larger drums. Areas to be covered include stick selection, grip, rebound, dynamics, ji uchi (groove playing), and tempo control. Ideas for practicing at home will be provided along with exercises to help play together in a group. Please bring a pair of shimedaiko bachi.


Also offered during Session 1.
Taiko FUNdamentals - Cultivating Musicality, Creativity, and Stage Presence (All levels)

Instructor

Yeeman Mui

Objective(s)

Target Taiko Skills and Achievement:

  • Enhance creativity and musicality.
  • Inspire teamwork and collaboration.
  • Develop rhythmic sensitivity and stage presence.

Description

Studies have shown that our learning abilities are maximized within a fun and supportive atmosphere. Through a series of songs and games on the taiko, Taiko FUNdamentals focuses on developing the participants’ musicality level, creativity and sense of originality in an inclusive environment while learning the core elements of the art of taiko.


In this workshop, we will experience a series of games and activities that strengthen ensemble listening skills, develop rhythmic sensitivity, opening up creative avenues, while enhancing stage presence and group interaction. Every human soul is musical given an inclusive platform that unlocks our inner musicality. Through the use of musical games, body percussions, songs, and movement, we will experience how to uncover our intuitive musical ability without even trying.


Isamigoma-Tonbane Daiko (Intermediate)

Instructor

Yoko Nakahashi

Objective(s)

  • Learning whole parts of Isamigoma Tonbane Daiko to be able to perform.

Description

Isamigoma is one of the classic pieces in the Osuwa Daiko repertoire composed by master Daihachi Oguchi. He created Tonbane Daiko, based on Isamigoma for children and adults to play together, so whole families could experience the joy of playing taiko. This is a great piece for festivals, for accompanying marathon runners, and for many other occasions, since the length of the piece and the drum arrangements are very flexible. Since there is also a shinobue part, fue players are encouraged to participate in this workshop.


Although this piece is quite simple and designed for all level players, it requires some details to execute so the paired players avoid hitting each other in the air when it is performed in Tonbane form. While this workshop is also for players who already know the piece, first timer and beginners are welcome to join.


Course Outline: Learn Isamigoma part and Tonbane part through kuchi shoga first, with particular attention to go through signature movements step by step. Fue player who attend the workshop will have an opportunity to learn the phrase and fingering for this piece. The culmination of the workshop will be to have all the participants play these classic Osuwa Daiko pieces together. Supplemental material will be distributed as take home references.


Also offered during Session 5.
Bachi Twirling (All levels)

Instructor

Kristy Oshiro

Objective(s)

  • Teach players of all levels the basics of bachi twirling.
  • Exposure to more advanced twirls to challenge experienced players.
  • Teach a practice song that folks can take back to their groups.

Description

Bachi twirling is a fun way to spice up your taiko compositions and solos. Participants will not only learn basic twirls combined with different arm movements to create some really dynamic maneuvers, but they will also learn how to apply those twirls seamlessly with different rhythms. Even experienced bachi twirlers will learn how to make their twirls look even better. This workshop also includes a bachi twirling practice song that you can use to practice all the twirls covered in the workshop.


Also offered during Session 5.
Odaiko Style (Intermediate)

Instructor

Masayuki Sakamoto

Objective(s)

  • Teach stance and hitting trajectory of bachi.
  • Build better endurance for odaiko soloists.

Description

Odaiko soloing is a focus of Japanese taiko drumming. Participants will learn how to use their entire body to create an optimal sound for odaiko playing; how to breathe and harness energy to create different sounds on the odaiko. The odaiko can produce different sounds, textures, and volumes, which can contribute to a more powerful solo! We will explore different techniques in this workshop.


Also offered in Session 4.
Uchiwa Daiko - Falling and Catching in "Forest" (All levels)

Instructor

Joe Small

Objective(s)

  • Learn a whole-body approach to hold and hit the uchiwadaiko.
  • Learn choreography and rhythms for the uchiwadaiko through 'Forest', an original dance and taiko composition.
  • Understand how to use the uchiwadaiko, movement, and body to create a wide range of expressions and impressions.

Description

Focused on Joe’s original dance/taiko piece "Forest", a semi-structured improvisation, this workshop offers both open-ended creative exploration and guided instruction on uchiwadaiko (lightweight, handheld ‘fan drums’) and how we can engage with different interpretations of 'ma' (space-time). Taking influence from Japanese folk dance, classical nihon buyo, and even contemporary dance, through “Forest”, we will apply a cyclical, ma-filled choreographic approach to the uchiwadaiko strike - a ‘fall’; and the preparation into another strike - a ‘catch’.


In our practice of ‘falling’ and ‘catching’ with the uchiwadaiko, we’ll learn specific choreography and rhythms, and have some fun with some open-ended games to stimulate our creative skills. Whether you’re looking for ideas to expand your group’s creative repertoire, or just looking to get some guidance in how to play and move with uchiwadaiko, this workshop is for you!


Miyake (All levels)

Instructor

Fumi Tanakadate

Objective(s)

  • Learn the essence of the piece Miyake.
  • Learn what and how to practice as a group.

Description

This piece, a modern adaption of the traditional festival music from the town of Kamitsuki on Miyake island and made popular by the iconic ensemble Kodo, is physically one of the most demanding pieces in the taiko repertoire. Taught by Fumi Tanakadate, the head disciple of recognized Miyake soloist formerly of Kodo, Kaoru Watanabe, this workshop will introduce participants to a five-part training regiment - that focuses on stamina, speed, lower-body movement and form - that is essential in learning this piece properly. While known for its famous low stance and powerful arm movements, this workshop will also address many nuances and subtleties that can add expressiveness and melodic qualities to a performance.


Also offered during Sessions 1 and 5.
Katsugi 2.0 One Step Forward (Intermediate)

Instructor

Ringtaro Tateishi

Objective(s)

  • Create crisp sounds with beautiful strokes.
  • Look more smooth and natural.

Description

This workshop is designed for experienced katsugi players who are looking to drastically improve their skills on the katsugi. Participants will learn the best position of your taiko and effective path of bachi strokes. Advanced accent and hand control exercises will improve your rhythm vocabulary. Finger control such as double strokes and complicated patterns will additionally be taught so you can create faster and more complicated parts. Using these techniques, your phrases become unique.


Also offered during Session 4.
Ji and Improvisation (All levels)

Instructor

Kenny Endo

Objective(s)

  • To be able to play a solid bass beat (in sound and groove).
  • To become comfortable improvising a solo which fits the composition and is musical.

Description

One of taiko's major roles in traditional Japanese music is as an accompaniment for theater, dance, and other music genres. In kumidaiko the art of correctly propelling the music and supporting the soloists through solid ji playing (base beat) are often overlooked. Basic kumidaiko ji patterns as well as patterns from traditional music will be explained. Internalizing the beat, soloing within a group context, timing, and performing as a soloist will also be covered. Spontaneity, phrasing, and thematic soloing will be introduced. A great improvised solo will not only raise the energy level of performance but transport everyone to another place. Explore the creativity you have within yourself.


Visual Phrasing: Taiko In Motion (All levels)

Instructor

Michelle Fujii

Objective(s)

  • Construct short phrases of taiko choreography.
  • Investigate how taiko form can shape the sound of the drum.
  • Utilize imagery and intention to create taiko movement sequences.

Description

In this workshop, participants will create short phrases of taiko movement. Participants will learn how to utilize imagery and their own inherent sense of movement to develop visual taiko that have intention, purpose, and phrasing. Improvisation will be taught to warm-up the body and short compositional tasks will set limitations to spark creativity. Michelle will share her choreographic philosophies, processes and aesthetics, providing insights into how to create taiko movement phrases, sequences, dynamic variations, and spatial relationships.


Also offered during Session 1.
Naname Intermediate Technique (Intermediate)

Instructor

Yuta Kato

Objective(s)

  • Introduce concepts and exercises to further the study of the naname style.

Description

This workshop will involve a basics check and how to use the whole body for a solid strike, as well as drills that will help improve deepening of movement/choreography and drills that will improve flashy fuchi (rim or ka sound), which is helpful in learning current trends, such as Jack Bazaar.


Hana Hachijo (All levels)

Instructor

Chieko Kojima

Objective(s)


Description

Participants combine the beauty of Japanese traditional dance with taiko, learning the powerful Hana Hachijo drumming style made famous by Chieko on tour with Kodo. Open to both female and male performers, participants learn how to push their bodies' strength and endurance to the limit without sacrificing grace. Many of the techniques are directly applicable to other taiko styles by helping to improve general movement and body control.


It is recommended that participants be 18 years or older.


Multiple Drum Technique (All levels)

Instructor

Kristy Oshiro

Objective(s)

  • Introduce folks to the basics of playing on a set of more than one taiko.
  • Teach them drills to practice the techniques.
  • Include a fun practice exercise to take back to groups.

Description

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 crossover 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.


Also offered during Session 1.
Body Awareness for Taiko Players (Beginner)

Instructor

Young Park

Objective(s)

  • To hone your senses to become a more aware, sensitive player/performer.

Description

During this workshop, you will explore body awareness through movement exploration that addresses body alignment, breath, using butoh imagery, and moving through space. Modified for beginners, or for taiko players who are looking to learn basic body awareness. Starting with gentle contact improvisation exercises to establish relationship of your body to your bachi, to your drum, and, most importantly, to the ground.


Also offered during Session 1.
Odaiko Style (Intermediate)

Instructor

Masayuki Sakamoto

Objective(s)

  • Teach stance and hitting trajectory of bachi.
  • Build better endurance for odaiko soloists.

Description

Odaiko soloing is a focus of Japanese taiko drumming. Participants will learn how to use their entire body to create an optimal sound for odaiko playing; how to breathe and harness energy to create different sounds on the odaiko. The odaiko can produce different sounds, textures, and volumes, which can contribute to a more powerful solo! We will explore different techniques in this workshop.


Also offered in Session 3.
An Introduction to Yatai Bayashi Style (All levels)

Instructor

Joe Small

Objective(s)

  • Learn effective, ergonomically friendly kata.
  • Learn and drill the basic patterns for chudaiko and ji-uchi on shimedaiko.
  • Gain understanding of differences between Chichibu Yatai Bayashi and Yatai Bayashi.

Description

Stemming from the festival music known as Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, Yatai Bayashi was created in the early 1970s by Eitetsu Hayashi and Ondekoza solely for the stage. Renowned for the stamina and energy required to play it, Yatai Bayashi quickly became an iconic kumidaiko piece. If you are looking to try Yatai Bayashi for the first time, or seeking to clarify your group's approach to an already-existing arrangement, this is the workshop for you!


We will focus on how and why Yatai Bayashi differs in comparison to other stylistic approaches, learn the main and supporting rhythms of the physically-demanding chudaiko and shimedaiko parts, and explore exercises to keep our bodies in good condition before, during, and after practice/performance of this exciting piece! Be prepared for lots of drills. Walk away with a clear explanation of ergonomic kata for the notorious 'sit-up' position.


Also offered during Session 2.
Katsugi 2.0 One Step Forward (Intermediate)

Instructor

Ringtaro Tateishi

Objective(s)

  • Create crisp sounds with beautiful strokes.
  • Look more smooth and natural.

Description

This workshop is designed for experienced Katsugi players who are looking to drastically improve their skills on the Katsugi. Participants will learn the best position of your Taiko and effective path of Bachi strokes. Advanced accent and hand control exercises will improve your rhythm vocabulary. Finger control such as double strokes and complicated patterns will additionally be taught so you can create faster and more complicated parts. Using these techniques, your phrases become unique.
Also offered during Session 3.
Polyrhythms (Intermediate)

Instructor

David Wells

Objective(s)

  • Learn various polyrhythms as an introduction to fun, new patterns.
  • Develop technical and musical independence.
  • Gain a greater understanding of pulse through rhythmic comparison.

Description

If you enjoy the rhythm of grooving with friends, wait until you play two rhythms at the same time! Polyrhythms are fun and challenging ways to strengthen our understanding of the music we love to play -- and you may just find yourself with a few new tricks up your sleeve to add additional flair to solos, compositions, or just a jamming good time.
Also offered during Session 5.
Chappa Basics (All levels)

Instructor

Shogo Yoshii

Objective(s)


Description

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!


Fue Scales and Drills (All levels)

Instructor

Masato Baba

Objective(s)

  • Introduction of scales that I often use in my songs with drills.

Description

Can you get a sound out of the fue? Do you need guidance in the step? This workshop will focus on introducing scales and drills geared towards writing songs and improvising.


Also offered during Session 3.
Naname Choreography - The Critical Rules and When to Break Them (All levels)

Instructor

Kristofer Bergstrom

Objective(s)

  • Naname-focused warm-up.
  • Gesture suggestion from participants.
  • Application of key choreography techniques: connection to body, bachi lag, wrist angle, independence, zones.

Description

Get a behind-the-scenes take on how graceful taiko movement is created. See concepts including "connection to body," "bachi lag," and "movement zones" utilized to take a ho-hum gesture and turn it into dramatic choreography. Then learn a new movement that breaks key rules to dramatic effect.


Also offered during Session 3.
Odaiko Fundamentals (All levels)

Instructor

Isaku Kageyama

Objective(s)

  • Provide in-depth instruction on fundamental odaiko technique (grip, stance, basic stroke).
  • Introduce practice methods that participants can use to continue their development as odaiko performers beyond NATC.
  • Put the fundamentals to practice by learning an excerpt of odaiko repertoire.
  • Explore how fundamental technique affects the overall performance.

Description

If you've never played odaiko, are looking to improve your odaiko fundamental technique, or are just looking for a great, full-body workout, this workshop is for you.


This workshop focuses on three aspects:

  1. an in-depth exploration of fundamental technique,
  2. learning new repertoire, and
  3. combining the fundamentals and repertoire to create a solid odaiko performance.


Participants can expect to come out of the workshop with a better understanding of odaiko fundamental technique, practice methods to continue their development as odaiko performers beyond NATC, and repertoire that they can perform with their own taiko groups.


Also offered during Session 2.
Body Bayashi (All levels)

Instructor

Yeeman Mui

Objective(s)

  • An innovative approach to practicing rhythm and multiple instrumental parts simultaneously to enhance listening skills and understanding of the music.
  • Participants will use body percussion to practice shime and kane parts of Nageai/Mikoshi Bayashi, playing and singing two instrumental parts at the same time.

Description

Body Bayashi is a body music/dance piece created during the San Francisco International Orff Courses based on the kuchi shoga (phonetic musical notation of traditional Japanese drumming) of Nageai/Shichome/Mikoshi Bayashi – a basic pattern from the festival music of old Tokyo, as learned from Kenny Endo-sensei. Through learning this dance, participants will internalize and embody the interlocking relationship between two instruments simultaneously. The exercise can be applied to any taiko piece to strengthen listening skills and enhance understanding of the musical nuances. Target Taiko Skills and Achievement: Deepen the practice of kuchi shoga, the art of “if you can say it, you can play it” or “say it the way it supposed to sound”; enhance sensitivity in dynamics in the drum melody and timbre of the drum sound; strengthen listening skills especially on hearing how two musical parts interlock with each other.


Isamigoma-Tonbane Daiko (Intermediate)

Instructor

Yoko Nakahashi

Objective(s)

  • Learning whole parts of Isamigoma Tonbane Daiko to be able to perform.

Description

Isamigoma is one of the classic pieces in the Osuwa Daiko repertoire composed by master Daihachi Oguchi. He created Tonbane Daiko, based on Isamigoma for children and adults to play together, so whole families could experience the joy of playing taiko. This is a great piece for festivals, for accompanying marathon runners, and for many other occasions, since the length of the piece and the drum arrangements are very flexible. Since there is also a shinobue part, fue players are encouraged to participate in this workshop.


Although this piece is quite simple and designed for all level players, it requires some details to execute so the paired players avoid hitting each other in the air when it is performed in Tonbane form. While this workshop is also for players who already know the piece, first timer and beginners are welcome to join.


Course Outline: Learn Isamigoma part and Tonbane part through kuchi shoga first, with particular attention to go through signature movements step by step. Fueplayer who attend the workshop will have an opportunity to learn the phrase and fingering for this piece. The culmination of the workshop will be to have all the participants play these classic Osuwa Daiko pieces together. Supplemental material will be distributed as take home references.



Also offered during Session 3.
Bachi Twirling (All levels)

Instructor

Kristy Oshiro

Objective(s)

  • Teach players of all levels the basics of bachi twirling.
  • Exposure to more advanced twirls to challenge experienced players.
  • Teach a practice song that folks can take back to their groups.

Description

Bachi twirling is a fun way to spice up your taiko compositions and solos. Participants will not only learn basic twirls combined with different arm movements to create some really dynamic maneuvers, but they will also learn how to apply those twirls seamlessly with different rhythms. Even experienced bachi twirlers will learn how to make their twirls look even better. This workshop also includes a bachi twirling practice song that you can use to practice all the twirls covered in the workshop.


Also offered during Session 5.
Katsugi-Okedo Style (All levels)

Instructor

Masayuki Sakamoto

Objective(s)

Learn the basics of katsugi taiko drumming, including:

  • How to wear the drum and move more naturally on stage.
  • How to hold the bachi and strike the drum.

Description

This workshop will cover the basics of playing the katsugi-okedo. The goal is to make the player more aware of how the drum fits on their body and how to move more naturally both in stance and when striking the drum. Patterns and drills will be offered.


Also offered during Session 1.
Miyake (All levels)

Instructor

Fumi Tanakadate

Objective(s)

  • Learn the essence of the piece Miyake.
  • Learn what and how to practice as a group.

Description

This piece, a modern adaption of the traditional festival music from the town of Kamitsuki on Miyake island and made popular by the iconic ensemble Kodo, is physically one of the most demanding pieces in the taiko repertoire. Taught by Fumi Tanakadate, the head disciple of recognized Miyake soloist formerly of Kodo, Kaoru Watanabe, this workshop will introduce participants to a five-part training regiment - that focuses on stamina, speed, lower-body movement and form - that is essential in learning this piece properly. While known for its famous low stance and powerful arm movements, this workshop will also address many nuances and subtleties that can add expressiveness and melodic qualities to a performance.


Also offered during Sessions 1 and 3.
Polyrhythms (Intermediate)

Instructor

David Wells

Objective(s)

  • Learn various polyrhythms as an introduction to fun, new patterns.
  • Develop technical and musical independence.
  • Gain a greater understanding of pulse through rhythmic comparison.

Description

If you enjoy the rhythm of grooving with friends, wait until you play two rhythms at the same time! Polyrhythms are fun and challenging ways to strengthen our understanding of the music we love to play -- and you may just find yourself with a few new tricks up your sleeve to add additional flair to solos, compositions, or just a jamming good time.
Also offered during Session 4.
Hip-Hop Taiko (Intermediate)

Instructor

Bryan Yamami

Objective(s)

In this workshop, participants will learn:

  • Basic hip-hop infused rhythm patterns developed as part of TAIKOPROJECT's "Expanding".
  • Hip-hop influenced movement and choreography as part of a taiko song.
  • How to compose and create your own hip-hop rhythms.

Description

In this workshop, participants will learn hip-hop infused rhythm patterns, movements, and choreography as part of TAIKOPROJECT's signature song "Expanding." We will also go over concepts and techniques for developing hip-hop patterns as part of composition and song creation.


Also offered during Session 1.
Yoko Uchi Basics (Beginner)

Instructor

Shogo Yoshii

Objective(s)

  • Introduce participants to the yoko uchi style.
  • Provide historical and cultural context of how this style of playing originated on Hachijo Island.
  • Provide a solid foundation for learning this style and making a good sound.
  • Teach basic yuukichi rhythms.

Description

Yoko uchi refers to the style of hitting the drum on a horizontal stand that was created and popularized by the folk traditions on Hachijo Island. This workshop introduces players unfamiliar with this style to the basic rhythms, patterns and hitting techniques associated with yoko uchi and provides cultural and historical context for how this style began on Hachijo and how to use it in a modern taiko context.


Omiyage Mini-Intensive (All levels)

Instructor

Shoji Kameda

Description

The goal of this Mini-Intensive will be to give participants the fundamental concepts and exercises necessary for playing, teaching and performing Omiyage. By the end of this Mini-Intensive participants will have an in-depth understanding of the piece including step-by-step drills that will teach the basic components of the song. Participants will be able to move from the core, understand how all the polyrhythms fit together, understand the structure of the piece, and feel confident in performing and teaching the piece. This Mini-Intensive will be geared for those learning the piece for the first time and for those who already know the piece but would like to deepen their understanding and learn how to teach the piece effectively.


Collaborative Practices Mini-Intensive (All levels)

Instructor

San Jose Taiko

Description

Led by San Jose Taiko Artistic Director Franco Imperial, this Mini-Intensive focuses on the use of physical, audible, and mental spaces to create new works. Split into 4 workshops:

  1. Inspiration by Discovery: Immersion into various physical environments to inspire work.
  2. Listening Labs: Kumidaiko ear training. Sharpening one's acuity by bringing awareness to self and others. Revisit sound with a greater sense of wonder.
  3. Stillness in Storytelling: Finding your creative centeredness by fostering a mental space for your work.
  4. Potluck Composition: Introduction to the trials and tribulations of working with other artists. Techniques for finding common ground and expanding from there to create meaningful, interesting work.

Kasuga-Style Ondeko Mini-Intensive (All levels)

Instructor

Tiffany Tamaribuchi

Description

Participants will learn the background and basic steps and accompaniment rhythms for the O-su (male oni) dance and drumming for Kasuga-style Ondeko. We will start with appropriate warm-ups and the den-ko-den-den basic steps and drumming, and progress through the basic O-su (male oni) dance and accompaniment rhythms. We should be able to finish and demo with participants by the end of the Mini-Intensive, and for sure members of the Onigumi would be able to demo both the O-su and Me-su dances (male and female oni) in full costumes.