SVDSN Fall I Taiko Classes: Taiko Jams
5 Classes from 11:00-11:50 am
Saturdays: September 16, 23, 30, and October 7 and 14, 2023
Starting on Saturday, September 16, SVDSN will be holding a series of 5 taiko classes for vaccinated self advocates, ages 12 and up. We are pleased to continue with our experienced taiko instruction team: Sydney Shiroyama, pediatric OT; Mallory Shiroyama; and self-advocate, Gabe Selaya.
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 5 classes, Sydney and her instruction team will be working with self-advocates, teaching them the foundations and fundamentals of taiko playing and performance. 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. In this class, students will have opportunities to work on performance skills and showmanship through exercises around improvisation and solo work.
In the Taiko Jams classes, we will focus on movement and taiko, incorporating an element of dance, inspired by traditional summer festival (Obon) dances. We will be emphasizing taiko as a joyful form of self expression and creativity, enabling class participants to gain confidence as they develop skills in performance and solo work in a supportive group atmosphere.
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 5 classes. (Exceptions may be made if 1 of the 5 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 all of the classes.
The class series will culminate in a group performance on Saturday, October 21, at the BuddyWalk at Lake Cunningham Park in San Jose. Information is forthcoming to families who register.
SVDSN will follow the protocols developed during the 2021 summer inclusive workshops and used during classes in 2022-23 to keep our community safe. Please note that our classes are now indoors. If Covid prevalence changes, we may ask participants to wear face coverings. Anyone who wishes to wear a face covering is welcome to do so. At this time, it is not required.
- The instruction team and any volunteers are fully vaccinated.
- All participants are fully vaccinated.
- Drums will be socially distanced.
- Participants will be provided with a dedicated pair of bachi (drumsticks). We ask that they bring them to class each time. Replacement pairs will be $5/pair.
- 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.
Please note that our host location, Mountain View Buddhist Temple, is holding in-person activities, so we may see people on site who are attending other activities. We follow the temple's in-person activity health-and-safety 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 continue to keep our community safe!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. We hope to see you at taiko!
Dates: Saturdays, September 16, 23, 30, and October 7, and 14
(Dates to hold: October 21 will be a performance in the morning. The morning of December 9 will be our end-of-year celebration.)
Time: 11:00-11:50am PT
Location: Mountain View Buddhist Temple (indoors- Sangha Hall gym), 575 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View
Cost: $110 for SVDSN members* ($100 for 5 classes+ $10 for new bachi plus bachi bag); $160 for non-SVDSN members ($150 for 5 classes+ $10 for new bachi and bachi bag)
*Scholarships are available to SVDSN families; signing up to join SVDSN is free! Please email email@example.com with your request.