SVDSN Winter I Taiko Classes: Taiko Jams
4 Saturdays from 11:30-12:20 am:
February 25, March 4, 11, and 25, 2023
Starting on Saturday, February 25, SVDSN will be holding a series of 4 taiko classes for vaccinated self advocates, ages 12 and up. We are pleased to continue with our taiko instruction team, Sydney Shiroyama, pediatric OT, and Mallory Shiroyama.
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 4 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 4 classes. (Exceptions may be made if 1 of the 4 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.
We will be having a performance on Saturday, March 18, to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. 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 to keep our community safe. Please note that during the winter sessions, our classes will be held indoors, so we will request that everyone in attendance wear face coverings.
- The instruction team and any volunteers are fully vaccinated and will wear face coverings/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.
- 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 their 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, February 25, March 4, 11, and 25, 2023
(Note: March 18 will be a performance.)
Time: 10:30-11:20am PT
February 25 class ONLY: Palo Alto Buddhist Temple (indoors), 2751 Louis Road, Palo Alto, 94303
March 4, 11, and 25 classes: Mountain View Buddhist Temple (indoors- Sangha Hall gym), 575 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View
Cost: $20/class for SVDSN members* ($80 for 4 classes); $30/class for non-SVDSN members ($120 for 4 classes)
*Note: scholarships are available to SVDSN families; signing up to join SVDSN is free! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.