Taiko, a Japanese instrument that will hit into your heart and soul.
It is very popular and you can find it on Play station or any game center. It`s called the Taiko Master.
I bet most people have experienced the computerized taiko, but how about real life experience? You rarely have right?
So last week, we visited a Taiko experience school near Ryogoku (両国）station. This school is run by an English speaking Taiko master.
The Taiko school is really different and unique from other Taiko schools in Tokyo.
Why do I say so? It is because this Taiko school welcomes any student that has the will to learn Japanese drumming skills. He does not care where you are from or how old you are.
If you`re willing to learn, he’ll give you his best shot to teach!
Quick Profile of the Taiko Master :
Mr Yukihiro Miyauchi
Born in Ryugoku Area.
The person in charge of Wakon Wadaiko
Specializes in Taiko, Japanese instruments etc.
Studio ( The name of the school )
Graduated from Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music 1972
Formed Taiko group ‘Wakon’ in 1986
Currently the group is active by performing taiko in Japan, Asia, America, Europe etc.
The school is a 5 mins walk from the station. It is nearby McDonald`s. We had a quick lunch at McDonald`s then we headed toward the school.
As you can see on the entrance, it has the schedule of the month and also states Observing for free [見学自由]. If you are interested in this class, you could phone up and ask for a free observation session. The phone number is written on the board.
[PS the teacher is a English speaker, so don’t worry about language problems ><]
We visited the school during a class session, therefore we were able to observe the class.
These are students of Mr. Miyauchi. They are having their practice session.
On that day, a person (probably from Australia) came to Mr Miyauchi’s class to experience taiko.
Mr Miyauchi taught him from scratch. Starting from the basics of drumming Japanese Taiko.
Basics of the Day – Basic Knowledge /Hitting
First, Japanese drums only have 2 sounds
– Sound of the center (inside)
– Edge (outside)
1st Lesson :
Mastering hitting with right hand by hitting towards the center of the drum.
2nd Lesson :
Mastering hitting with left hand by back hitting to center of the drum.
How to make 2 different sounds
-Big sound by hitting the drum
– Small sound by tapping the drum
Intermediate of the Day – Drumming style
Sounds like something rolling down from the mountain. And the beats gradually become faster and louder.
Hear many sounds of hittings
As you can see it`s a one to one teaching. So you won`t feel stress at all if you are a beginner.
Once you are ok with the basic techniques, Mr Miyauchi will allow you to join the big group for even more exciting sessions.
At the end of the lesson, everybody is required to give a bow to the taiko as an act of respect to the drum.
Last but not least,
As a token of appreciation, Mr. Miyauchi also gives a special performance for the participants.
Dancing of the lion!!!!!
That`s the end of the 90 min taiko experience.
And I bet the participants will come back for more.
‘Japanese drumming is not about remembering via brain, but remembering the feeling’ Quoted by Mr Miyauchi
Details of the class
– 90 mins per session
– Instrument that you wish to experience can be arranged (with the availability of the instruments in Mr. Miyauchi’s taiko school)
– Max 10 people per session
Location : 4 F, Shirai Building, 3-25-6, Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
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