Workshops

Chappa hand cymbals bring different form of musical expression to the taiko world.
They will make you lively on stage and will add another dimension among your team numbers.
Contrary to how they look, it is very difficult to produce a good sound from them.
Ringtaro Tateishi, former member of ONDEKOZA who performed daily at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World, and veteran workshop leader of the NATC, will share his Chappa skills for beginners.

A famous Chappa musician has said that he can create over 200 different sounds.
Ringtaro will introduce the most essential 7 sounds in this workshop.
After the workshop, there will be no limit to the sounds that you can make!
Please bring your own Chappa if you have them.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

This workshop presents a short arrangement of the movement-oriented piece, Itsuka. Inspired by the movements in the Japanese folk dance, Jongkara Bushi from Aomori prefecture, participants will learn how folk traditions can provide the foundation for contemporary taiko work. Everyone will learn a basic dance that will become the basis for learning space, intention and focus on the drum.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

This workshop will focus on strategies for composing taiko pieces. When composing for taiko there is a lot to think about. How do you incorporate movement? How do you structure your piece? How do you write rhythms that are interesting? How do you start? How do you end? Shoji will explain and demonstrate some of the strategies that he finds useful for composition. Hopefully this workshop will be useful for beginners and experienced composers alike.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Ei Ja Nai Ka (EJNK) is a public domain piece that has become a popular North American taiko folk dance. A sequence of exhilarating activities prepares participants to embody rhythms in movement, dance, voice, and taiko. In recent years, EJNK is being danced at many local obons. For this year’s EJNK workshop, a new component will be included in the curriculum---how EJNK can be used as a tool for community building within your own community. Share EJNK in the spirit of unifying people to play and dance with open heart and abandonment. Join the impromptu jam/dance that spontaneously erupts during the conference! Bring bachi.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Many Taiko pieces are arranged to be hitting two drums at the same time similar Sukeroku Taiko's Yodan/Nidan Uchi. This workshop will focus on movement and form between two drums inspired by Yodan/Nidan Uchi. One must look like they belong and are "one with the drum" and this workshop will help with that.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Since its inception, TAIKOPROJECT has striven to blend hip hop rhythms with taiko drumming. In this workshop, participants will learn hip hop taiko rhythms, kata and form, beatboxing (vocal drumming) basics, and movement.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Join the “Father of Taiko in America,” as he leads an intensive taiko class specially designed for beginners of taiko. Based on his experiences with taiko and added knowledge of martial arts and Qigong, he will lay down the principals and philosophies of natural form by using energy from within one’s body.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Started by middle school students in Hokkaido, Nanuchu Soran Bushi is a dance that has gained recent popularity through Japan as well as internationally. It is based upon Japanese folk dance movements, has a very quick tempo, and is quite physical. This dance is very invigorating and builds lots of team spirit.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

In this workshop, you will also learn some rhythms and technique to play in the chichibu style or Ondekoza style.
Learn how to put the rope on your shime and tie it to get it nice and tight. Learn a way to tie, using your body and protecting your back. This is one of the ABC of Taiko playing in Japanese professional groups such as Ondekoza: a daily routine that will help make your drums sound better.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Learn from barrel-taiko-maker Toshizumi Kato to obtain all the knowledges necessary to get a nice sound out of taiko made from wine/oak barrels and cow hide.

This workshop will focus on all aspects pertaining to skinning and re-skinning the taiko drum.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Our lives do not follow a linear path. So would you be curious about how to experience rhythm in a non-linear process? Can you imagine “accessing rhythm” not with bachi on taiko, but in an organic way that is radically different from the way all of us learn taiko? Like kumidaiko, taketina is a group process. It has often been described as a movement meditation. In taketina, your innate rhythmic ability is accessed, using the body as the main instrument. You will be guided into three different rhythmic layers - voice, steps and claps. Have you ever been curious about what a polyrhythm is? In Taketina, you will have a chance to encounter and experience in your body a polyrhythmic journey. Taketina provides an interesting complement to taiko instruction, as this rhythmic process reinforces a natural, non-linear, non-judgmental, "at your own pace" way of learning that can develop kinesthetic (body feel) awareness of rhythm. In the taketina process, musicians are as challenged as participants who may have no previous rhythmic experience or training.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Taking the Stage: An Actors Approach to the ‘Roll’
When you perform--no matter where, no matter when--every show is ‘on stage’. This workshop tells you everything you need to know about being a performer including:
• How to maximize your stage presence and reach audiences
• Introduction universal stage terminology
• Performance etiquette 101
• Stage fright toolbox: how to deal with nerves
• Vocal warm-ups and warm downs
• The right frame of mind: mental preparation and focusing exercises
• Fundamentals of good staging: top tips for a successful show
• Beyond the music: how to win an audience

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Beginning

One of taiko's major roles in traditional Japanese music is as an accompaniment for theater, dance, and other music genres. In kumi daiko the art of correctly propelling the music and supporting the soloists through solid ji playing (base beat) are often overlooked. Basic kumi daiko 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.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Learn how to say more with less. Workshop will begin with stance, grip, left and right hand strokes on the Odaiko, Chu-daiko, and Shime-daiko, and move on to concepts such as tonality and the textures of sound. Participants can expect to come out of the workshop with a broadened perspective of the various sounds a single drum can make, and how to produce them. The techniques covered in the workshop will be useful when playing a solo, playing the "ji" for a solo, and collaborating with non-taiko musicians.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Not to be confused with Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, Kaoru will focus on improving on and fine tuning the form used in Kodo's Yatai Bayashi. We will briefly touch upon the history of the piece, the differences between the traditional festival versions and Kodo's souped-up 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.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Over two years in the making, Bon Taiko Bonanza! presents the results of thought-provoking and fun experiments in slant drum form, movement development, and Matsuri solo arrangement. Bon Taiko Bonanza! debuts the exciting concept of “named phrases” for creating rich, dynamic solos and refining movement through collaboration. The workshop teaches advanced drills, exciting new movements, and asks hard questions. "What are practical techniques for improving form without a master teacher?" "What makes some slant-drum movements look 'natural', and others 'superficial'?" Bon Taiko Bonanza! attempts to answer these questions in a fast-paced, multi-media exploration of matsuri-inspired taiko.

Time slot: Workshop Session 1
Minimum experience level: Advanced

This workshop intends to share the Art of Kabuki-bayashi and Matsuri-bayashi through hands-on exercise, demo and lecture. You will learn rhythms and phrases of Kabuki and Matsuri music for each representative instruments composing "Hayashi (=Ensemble)". You will not only learn how to play each instruments and rhythms, but also learn about the instruments and the music. This workshop is open for everyone. Each workshops will cover different aspects of the topics.
Assisted by Yumiko Shigekusa and Issa Mochizuki, translated by Nobuko Nakajima.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

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 kane will be provided for use during the workshop.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Most taiko performers have at least a couple tricks up their sleeves as a way to spice up a solo or composition or to connect with the audience. This workshop is designed to breakdown bachi twirling and throwing (and catching!) while also touching on the ideas behind the tricks that make them pertinent to performance. Come have a good time while learning different ways to practice these tricks and perhaps share a few tricks of your own!

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

An introduction to the Wakayama-style of the Edo-Bayashi (Tokyo's festival music).
Edo-bayashi consists of an ensemble of two shime-daikos, one o-daiko, one atarigane, and a fue.

In this workshop, the main focus will be placed on the shime-daiko. You will learn technique, rhythms, and the basic concepts behind the Edo-bayashi along with demonstrations, history, and backgrounds of other instruments.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Explore improvisation/jamming as a key element of composing taiko pieces and solo or transition songs for a Taiko performance/concert. Will also touch on methods to improve fue playing- neiro, ma, and the use of various scales.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Learn to develop group and individual skills to build overall awareness, insight, sensitivity, strength, and confidence through basic exercises and practice with improvisation. The workshop will utilize various taiko, percussion, other music instruments, and body movement.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Kiriko Taiko is a style specific only to the Noto Peninsula. The taiko is played in an upright position, usually with two people (or up to five people) on a single drum. Unlike performance taiko where songs are performed, Kiriko Taiko allows for versatility - it allows the player to combine any of the Kiriko Taiko rhythms they have studied in any order. This freedom makes Kiriko Taiko a dynamic style to both perform and watch.

Brief Background Info:
The Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture is home to numerous “kiriko” festivals, one of which is the famous “Wajima Taisai” or Grand Kiriko Festival, held every summer in Wajima City on August 22-25. Kiriko are towering, sacred festival lanterns that accompany mikoshi, or portable shrines during the kiriko festivals. Kiriko can range in size from kids kiriko (1-2 meters), standard kiriko (4-5 meters), to massive kiriko (12 meters high). They are extremely heavy and many different varieties exist in different areas of the Noto Peninsula with the most elaborate kiriko doning elaborate carvings, sunken gold, sacred rice straw ropes, paper lanterns, and kiriko that are painted with Wajima-nuri, or Wajima lacquer.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

‘Katsugi-Okedo' refers to portable taiko that are worn on a strap and played laterally, allowing varying degrees of mobility. Drums of many diverse origins are played in this manner, and it is a common thread through the traditions of many countries: Turkey, Iran, India, China, Korea, and Japan. Whether worn on a strap or placed on the floor, this versatile technique can be applied to many different drums and playing situations. The Katsugi Daiko & Lateral Drumming workshop will give participants an intensive hands-on experience with lateral drumming. Participants will learn basic posture (standing and sitting), grips (various types of bachi), striking techniques, sound production, as well as an introduction to the care and tuning (rope tensioning) of various drums. Special emphasis will be placed on learning several rhythms, ranging from traditional Japanese patterns to traditional Korean and Turkish patterns, and how to consolidate these into a fluid, lateral technique. A printed workshop hand-out will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own katsugi daiko with strap (if possible), a pair of light bachi, and earplugs.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Tap into your ki (energy) with activities that will build awareness, activate individual and group ki, and erase the boundaries between players and the audience. The workshop will challenge participants in movement, rhythm, timing and improvisational skills, all without using taiko…the ki to becoming a better taiko player.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

A basic foundation for playing the big drum, including everything from selecting the right bachi to targeted stretching and warm-ups, comparison of stances/kata, some fundamental sticking techniques and tips on how to play with ease and natural power.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

As we become more deeply engaged in the technicalities of playing taiko, we tend to forget the subtle but important considerations which help in making it possible for us to play taiko for as long as our hearts desire.
Sometimes remembering just takes seeing, sometimes it just takes hearing, but for many, the best way is to experience it.

Objectives:

To learn/relearn basic care of bachi, simple techniques to increase longevity.

To learn/relearn basic care of taiko, simple techniques to increase longevity and improve sound quality.

To learn/relearn self care techniques for building and maintaining a healthy injury free body.

To learn/relearn self care techniques for building and maintaining a strong and healthy spirit.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Learn from barrel-taiko-maker Toshizumi Kato to obtain all the knowledges necessary to get a nice sound out of taiko made from wine/oak barrels and cow hide.

This workshop will focus on all aspects pertaining to building the body of the taiko using barrel staves.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Are you looking for a cool Taiko workshop for young people that's also taught by young people? Then this workshop is for you! Come and improve your Taiko skills through a variety of drills and games designed to challenge any ability level. Hang with other young players from across North America in a fun atmosphere created by two awesome workshop leaders who grew up playing Taiko just like you!

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

As individual artists it's wonderful that we have the freedom to play whatever we want but in kumidaiko there is the responsibility to make sure everyone else in your group sounds good. What does it mean to approach your playing from a listening standpoint and how can it be used to connect you with your fellow taiko players? This is an extension of Franco's "Groove Labs" workshop and will cover some essential listening tools while applying them to soloing/solo accompaniment and finding/maintaining a collective groove or ji. Give your hands a rest and get ready to use your ears!

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Join the “Father of Taiko in America,” as he leads an intensive taiko class specifically designed for intermediate players, and future leaders of taiko. Taiko in the US has taken on numerous directions, and the concept of movement has incorporated many different art forms from cultures outside of Japan. Although all of these are valid in their own right, in this workshop, Tanaka-sensei will introduce movement philosophies based on where his roots lie, Japan.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

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). Emphasis will be on timing, playing with precision, grip, sound, nori (groove), and relaxing.

Time slot: Workshop Session 2
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Drills, drills and more drills! Drills that make you sweat, drills that make you think, drills that make you take your Taiko skills to the brink! This will be a fun, challenging, and fast-paced advanced workshop. Come prepared to learn fast and play hard!

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

This workshop intends to share the Art of Kabuki-bayashi and Matsuri-bayashi through hands-on exercise, demo and lecture. You will learn rhythms and phrases of Kabuki and Matsuri music for each representative instruments composing "Hayashi (=Ensemble)". You will not only learn how to play each instruments and rhythms, but also learn about the instruments and the music. This workshop is open for everyone. Each workshops will cover different aspects of the topics.
Assisted by Yumiko Shigekusa and Issa Mochizuki, translated by Nobuko Nakajima.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Using the oldest instrument on the planet -- the human body -- we clap, slap, snap, step and vocalize our way through some very fun and funky, original and traditional rhythmic music. BODY MUSIC is an effective way of internalizing rhythmic work, which enhances the development of time, timing, phrasing, listening skills, independence, coordination and ensemble awareness. It is a useful tool for musicians, dancers and movers of all kinds, actors, DJs and film editors -- anyone interested in deepening their rhythmic skills. For more than three decades Keith Terry has developed a contemporary style of Body Music, based on his training as a jazz drummer, as well as his years of intensive study and collaboration with world rhythmic systems. Wear comfortable clothing and clean sneakers or jazz shoes. No previous experience necessary. (www.keithterry.com)

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Learn to play with a better sound andlearn how to play with the taiko. Some pointers to help you improvise to taiko rhythms and how to play in a way that you will be heard on stage even with many drums playing at the same time.
We will learn a new song, an original piece by Marco Lienhard inspired from a shinto festival in Aomori as well as simple japanese festival songs and melodies.
Some fues will be available for sale and for use during the workshop. You will also learn some more traditional fue melodies to help you widen your repertoire and your phrasing and your tone quality will improve.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

The taiko world has unlimited possibilities, and you can create a new wave with your passion!
“Katsugi-Okedo” will be become the best partner of your creativity.
It will give you the ability to move around the stage with Taiko, and will add a more aggressive and distinctive sound to your team.
Ringtaro Tateishi, former member of ONDEKOZA who performed daily at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World, and veteran workshop leader of the NATC, will share his Katsugi-Okedo skills for beginners.

In his workshop, you will learn to play one basic song on the Katsugi-Okedo drum, and take away ideas for creating your own unique sound.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Koshi translates as “hips” in Japanese, but it is more than just the side of your body. It is one essential key to understanding the power of playing taiko. In many Japanese activities – from dance to sports to agricultural work – engaging your koshi is at the heart of the action. This workshop will introduce short exercises with taiko and movement as a means to understanding how your koshi can make you a strong taiko player.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

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.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

This workshop will cover some techniques for effective group rehearsals. Topics include: pulse, listening, flexibility, balance, structure, dynamics, notation, and vision. We will examine and borrow ideas from various sources outside of the genre.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Participants will enjoy communicating through the vibration of each voice and will learn and sing Japanese lullabies and children's songs. Through this experience we touch and feel the emotion, passion, vibration and communication of Japanese songs that have been sung for many years.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Beginning

Writing a new song or improvising a solo follow 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.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

This class is for experienced fue players who want to take their playing to a different level. We will explore improvising and playing in various modes and styles (noh, gagaku, minyo, regional matsuri, Okinawan, etc), using extended techniques, getting a bigger sound, more dynamic control, various types of vibrato and more.

Equipment Requirement:
There will be a great deal of individual attention during this workshop. However, when we do play together as a group, we will primarily be using #8 fue.

Fue made by Ranjo will be available for sale by Kaoru during the conference for $200 (made using kashu- synthetic lacquer) or $400 (urushi- natural lacquer).
For information regarding purchase of a Ranjo Fue, please contact Kaoru Watanabe through his website: http://www.watanabekaoru.com/

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

An introduction to the Wakayama-style of the Kotobuki-Jishi (musical accompaniment to the festival lion-dance of Tokyo).
Kotobuki-Jshii consists of an ensemble of a shime-okedo player, one atarigane, and a fue.

In this workshop, the main focus will be placed on the shime-okedo set. You will learn technique, rhythms, and the basic concepts behind the Kotobuki-Jishi along with demonstrations, history, and backgrounds of other instruments.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

I was 13 when I received my first and only drum set. Inspired by many styles of music, I would listen and play along to a wide variety of recordings; recordings of songs that I really liked. This is how I practiced. All of my practice was devoted to learning beats. Coincidentally, I developed a great since of time keeping, an understanding of how my instrument can compliment a piece, an awareness of music dynamics and a rather broad repertoire of music.
Taiko can provide a solid rhythmic foundation to many musical situations. In this workshop participants will explore practical ways to apply the taiko to popular styles of music such as Hip-Hop, Reggae, Jazz and Rock. While listening, you will play along with recordings. Through this process you will learn the fundamental rhythms of the styles of music presented, plus alternative ways to compliment each song. ""Rock the Beat"" promotes sharp listening skills, timing improvement, creativity and a broader rhythm vocabulary. In addition, you will discover some really great music.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Kata describes the correct shape or form of the body while playing taiko. When we play taiko we not only play the rhythm, we show/share the rhythm with our movement.

“It’s About Time,” a song written by PJ Hirabayashi and Janet Koike was created to show a progression of time signatures. For example 2-4-8 and 3-6-9. Kata in different time signatures, sounds - looks and feels different in the body. Participants will explore taiko movement by learning basic components of “It’s About Time.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

Do you and/or your group have ideas you would like to turn into a polished composition? Explore seven ways to think about, around, in-between and against these ideas to create compelling taiko music. This composing for taiko workshop will provide tools to help you complete unfinished works or refine existing catastrophes. Together, we will expand the space between our ears with music that takes risks, develops material and engages your audience.

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate

This workshop for youth aged 8 and up will combine lots of taiko-based drills and activities into a fun and friendly competition where one team will win the NATC 2011 Taiko Olympics gold medal! It won't just be about how fast you play, but will incorporate kiai, creativity, listening and coordination. And most importantly - TEAMWORK. The workshop will challenge you, but it will also be fun!

Time slot: Workshop Session 3
Minimum experience level: Intermediate