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Workshop Block 1

Friday, August 16th

2:00pm - 4:30pm


Beta Together: Kumi

Gain an introduction to Beta style (upright) drumming and learn key phrases from one of RAW Taiko’s newest repertoire pieces! Composed by Wy Joung Kou and brought to life by the members of RAW Taiko, Kumi is a high energy song that draws its vivacious spirit from North American legacies of kumi-daiko. Rooted in a sense of community and collective empowerment, Kumi revels in the “togetherness” of taiko; attuning to and generating energy and momentum with those around us.


This workshop will cover the basics of Beta form and lead participants through the main chudaiko rhythmic sections of Kumi. Whether you are brand new to taiko and looking for a fun way to begin, or you are a seasoned player looking to discover something new, this repertoire-based workshop will offer an action packed learning experience for participants of all levels.

ALL  LEVELS - no prior taiko experience required


Naname - Power, Movement and Expression

In this workshop we will go deep into San Jose Taiko’s naname fundamentals, learning how to move energy through and around the entire body and drum. We will also be exploring creative naname movement in order to build your own unique movement “toolkit.”


With 50+ years of taiko history, San Jose Taiko’s naname style encourages a combination of ergonomics and expression, a vocabulary for teaching naname and developing a critical eye for maximizing power and effortlessness at the same time. 

INTERMEDIATE - requires general comfort playing naname style


Composition - Putting Together a Great Song

Learn to put together rhythmic aspects and build a soundscape with layers and kata that fit your style, and express who you are. Construct and deconstruct your repertoire to produce musically powerful taiko pieces.

ALL LEVELS - anyone with an interest in composing is invited to this workshop! If you’ve already composed a song, or part of a song, you’re welcome to bring this in with you.

Workshop Block 2

Saturday, August 17th

10:00am - 12:30pm


Katsugi Okedo - Taking Care of the Drum and Your Body

For anyone who is wanting to get started learning how to play katsugi style (sling) or for those wanting to revisit some basics.  We will be covering fitting the okedo to your body, bachi grip, moving while playing the katsugi okedo, care for your okedo, and fun drills to take home.  San Jose Taiko’s philosophy of making your lower body work for you and relaxed playing will be covered, to take care of you!

ALL  LEVELS - some experience with any form of taiko


Odaiko - Bring Everything You’ve Got

After some drumming and skills work, get tailored instruction, learning as both you and your classmates receive hands on, experiential instruction on deepening your body’s ability to play this most powerful form of taiko.

ALL LEVELS - some experience with any form of taiko


Naname Fundamentals

In this workshop, participants will learn the fundamentals of Naname style drumming. Created by Sukeroku Taiko (Tokyo) and brought over to North America in the 1960s by San Francisco Taiko Dojo founder, Seiichi Tanaka, Naname is a distinct style of taiko drumming played on a slanted stand. It has become the most popular form of taiko drumming in North America, due to its expansive movement and expressive possibilities.

ALL  LEVELS - no prior taiko experience required

Workshop Block 3

Saturday, August 17th

2:00pm - 4:30pm


Solo Coaching for Naname

Learn how to craft a new Naname solo or refresh one you’ve been playing for years! This workshop will offer new approaches to solo composition, how to bring out your best solo-ing self, and performance coaching by an outside eye.

ALL  LEVELS - basic taiko experience in naname


Transformative Justice & Taiko

This workshop is an introduction to the abolitionist principles and practices of Transformative Justice, an approach to responding to violence and harm which seeks not to create more harm in the process. In the words of Mia Mingus, transformative justice “recognizes that we must transform the conditions which help to create acts of violence or make them possible. Often this includes transforming harmful oppressive dynamics, our relationships to each other, and our communities at large.” This space will invite us to consider the relevance of transformative justice in our taiko and/or personal communities and we will drum as a way to deepen our reflections. 


More details about our guest facilitator coming soon.

ALL  LEVELS - no prior taiko experience required


Miyake Fundamentals & Core Engagement

Miyake is both a style of taiko and the name of the festival piece where the rhythms are relatively simple, bringing the focus to the form and the sound produced. Through this workshop, participants will review the fundamentals of Miyake: stance, technique, and rhythm pattern. Participants will be able to practise these fundamentals through targeted exercises and drills, gaining an appreciation of how the fundamentals come together. Additionally, the concept of core engagement will be introduced, which enables a stronger form and improved sound. Adding core engagement further enhances the understanding of the fundamentals. This workshop is for all levels, including both fundamental concepts for newer players as well as some in-depth philosophies for more advanced players.

ALL  LEVELS - some experience with any form of taiko

Workshop Block 4

Sunday, August 18th

10:00am - 12:30pm


Drum Into Action

Drum Into Action is a workshop that emerged in solidarity with Palestine – a place where we could drum, rage, connect and take action together towards the demands of Palestinian liberation. In the space of Toronto Taiko Festival, we will engage with some of the original workshop activities, but with an attunement to the political demands of the moment we find ourselves in. 


We will:

-Tend to some of the activation in the body that can impact how we show up for political work (such as defensiveness, overwhelm, or helplessness) 

-Create anchors for ourselves so we can stay committed

-Make personal commitments to action, and consider taking action together in real time

ALL  LEVELS - no taiko experience required


Building Yatai Bayashi Dynamics

Yatai Bayashi is a festival piece from the Chichibu Yomatsuri that is characterised by a unique seated playing style. Through this workshop, participants will be introduced to various concepts and exercises aimed at improving the dynamic range of both the form and musicality of the piece. This will be accomplished by focusing each rhythmic section of the piece on technique and use of the full body. The workshop will also have a body strengthening element, bringing participants through a series of targeted exercises to strengthen specific parts of the body, that will in turn enable stronger performance. This workshop is geared towards intermediate/advanced players, therefore experience in playing Yatai Bayashi and knowing the rhythmic pattern will help participants maximise what they can learn.

INTERMEDIATE - experience playing Yatai Bayashi rhythm pattern as played by Kodo


Narimono - Chappa, Hyotan & Atarigane

This workshop will cover technique, terminology, San Jose Taiko history/use/philosophy on chappa, hyotan and atarigane. Our goal will be to deepen your understanding of how playing these instruments can enhance taiko compositions, and also overall musicality and listening/grooving skills. We will also do an overview on other narimono sometimes used with taiko (e.g. hyoshigi, uchiwa taiko, binsasara) and discuss exploring the use of other world music instruments with taiko.

ALL  LEVELS - some experience with any form of taiko

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