SVDSN Spring I Taiko Classes
3 Saturdays from 10:15-11:15 am:
May 7, 14, and 21, 2022
Starting on Saturday, May 7, SVDSN will be holding a series of 3 taiko classes for vaccinated self advocates, ages 12 and up. We held 2 series of outdoor taiko classes last year, and due to popular demand, our OT instructor, Sydney Shiroyama, will continue another series of 3 classes for SVDSN.
In these classes, self-advocates learn ensemble Japanese drumming. While taiko, the drum, has long existed in Japanese traditions, the ensemble style of taiko, a.k.a. kumidaiko, we play in North America only developed in Japan in the 1950's! This relatively new style of taiko evokes excitement and a celebratory atmosphere and is found in many festivals in Japan. In America, taiko was nurtured by the Japanese American communities during the Asian American civil rights movement in the 1960's and 1970's, and had particularly strong roots in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Churches (Buddhist Churches of America). As a result, taiko gained visibility and popularity as a vibrant performing art, inspiring groups to form across the U.S. in diverse communities, schools, and colleges, and even in Europe and South America. Taiko is an art form that lends itself to inclusivity and unity-- it gives everyone a voice and the opportunity to be heard. SVDSN is excited to be partnering with TaikoPeace, the Mountain View Buddhist Temple, and Sydney Shiroyama to bring taiko to our families.
In this series of 3 classes, Sydney and her instruction team will be working with self advocates, teaching them the foundations and fundamentals of taiko playing and performance. The students will start learning "Ei Ja Nai Ka" a taiko piece that was created by San Jose Taiko co-founder, PJ Hirabayashi. It can be heard at the local summer Obon festivals and is a part of the regular repertoire during the Obon dancing portion of the festival. We will use the standard "kuchi-shoga" method that taiko players use to teach pieces to one another, chanting the drumming patterns out loud as they are learning to physically drum the movements, using words or sounds that are assigned to certain movements and rhythms. We will introduce students to foundational movements and phrases that frequently appear in other pieces. Students will also have opportunities to work on performance skills and showmanship as some exercises around improvisation and solo work will be incorporated into the classes.
Because the classes are sequential and will build on the material and techniques learned the previous session, we ask that the self advocate attend all 3 classes. (Exceptions may be made if 1 of the 3 classes needs to be missed. Please let us know when you register.) Students new to taiko are welcome to join if they are able to commit to the classes.
We are looking into some performance opportunities later in 2022, pandemic-permitting. These will likely be open to participants who are enrolled in the summer and fall sessions (Summer session: June and July- dates forthcoming). Details will be provided to registered families.
SVDSN will follow the same protocols developed during the 2021 summer inclusive workshops and used during the fall and winter classes to keep our community safe:
- The instruction team and any volunteers are fully vaccinated and will wear masks.
- The instructor may switch to a face shield while giving active instruction to provide visual cues to the participants. Social distancing will be expected while the instructor is wearing a face shield.
- All participants are fully vaccinated, boosted, if eligible, and will wear a mask. (If the self advocate is unable to wear a mask, please let us know.)
- Drums will be socially distanced.
- Classes will be held outdoors.
- No food is permitted during class. (Water is permitted as we will take water breaks during class.)
- A fully-vaccinated adult must check in the self advocate at the start of class and must be available by phone if not staying on premises while class is in session.
- An online health check form needs to be completed before each class, and temperatures will be taken of all individuals who are on site.
Please note that our host location, Mountain View Buddhist Temple, is starting to open up to in-person activities, so we may start to see more people on site. We follow their in-person activity protocols. We will continue to monitor state, county, and local host venue guidelines throughout the class series and adjust as needed. Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep our community safe!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, but we hope to see you at taiko!
Dates: Saturdays, May 7, 14, and 21, 2022
Time: 10:15-11:15am PT
Location: Mountain View Buddhist Temple (outdoors)
Cost: $20/class for SVDSN members* ($60 for 3 classes); $30/class for non-SVDSN members ($90 for 3 classes)
*Note: scholarships are available to SVDSN families; signing up to join SVDSN is free! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.