Worldbeat Commons Series Co-ed

taiko drum

Every drumming style has its own traditions, techniques, and ways of teaching and thinking about rhythm. This hands-on workshop series gives participants skills they can apply to their "home" style, while taking in a fresh approach through trying new styles.

Japanese Taiko Drumming Techniques

Taiko as we know it today, Kumi-daiko, is a modern ensemble style of drumming, but with roots thousands of years old. Movement, voice, sticking, and small percussion are brought together with powerfully deep drum sounds that together excite the mind, ears, and eyes while reaching deep into the listener's core. You don't just hear taiko, you experience it.

In this four-part series we'll be looking at Sticking, Movement, Vocalization, and Composition/Soloing through the lens of Japanese Taiko drumming. No prior Taiko experience necessary. For those interested in an introduction to taiko, as well as learning new techniques to enhance what you already know about percussion, it is suggested you take all four parts.

Class prep:
Please wear simple, flexible attire you can move in — think Zumba class wear. For footwear you can play barefoot, or, wear close-fitting soft-soled athletic shoes (Chuck Taylors, aqua shoes, "foot gloves," yoga shoes, Japanese tabi, etc.). NO: Jeans, jewelry, or street shoes.

Rhythm and Sticking
MondaySept 22 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

While movement is one of the things Taiko is best known for, precision rhythm and sticking are at the core of what makes that work. This workshop offers new insights for the seasoned drummer, while providing a solid foundation to build from for the beginning drummer of any genre. This workshop will look closely at the main styles of Japanese Taiko play, the Chu daiko (the midsized drum) played flat or on a slant stand, and the Odaiko (the large drum on a vertical stand).

Rhythm and Motion 
MondayOct 13 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Taiko is best known for its movement. This not only looks powerful, beautiful, and spirit filled, it has a more practical purpose. Each movement helps with metering time, helping players fall into synch, and is really just plain fun! This workshop will help you break out of the confines of "playing from one's head" and use your whole body.

Rhythm and Voice
MondayOct 20 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Taiko is taught by using "Kuchi Shoga" (“mouth writing”). The simple idea is, if you can say it you can play it. While Kuchi Shoga is a handy way of learning songs, it also helps players get accustomed to using their voice as part of the song. "Kiai" is a term used to describe vocalizations that can be a formal part of a song, acting as another instrument, or, spontaneous shouts sent out to help impart "Chi" (energy force) to a fellow player. This workshop will look at using voice in a variety of ways to both learn the basics of taiko and percussion, while getting a feeling for how to add voice to any piece.

Rhythm and Composition/Soloing
MondayNov 03 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

This workshop, though using taiko drums, has universal appeal and is instantly applicable to any genre. Techniques from taiko teaching traditions will be employed to help you "rock it in the pocket" while still "busting a move" or two. Here you will get an opportunity to experience a variety of taiko percussion options to create a composition for the group, as well as learn techniques for developing your own solo style.

Instructor: Wendy Jedlicka / 651-636-0964

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm — Sept 22Oct 13Oct 20Nov 03

Class size: 10 (age 16 and older) open to women and men.

Fee: $20 per session or $60 for all four sessions,  prepaid registration required.

**Preregistration is required at least 2 days in advance. Preregistration can be completed by paying below or by emailing/calling us at / 651-206-7617. Payment will then be accepted during class.

Quantity:  Session  


Contact Us

(651) 206-7617

Women's Drum Center
2242 University Ave West
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114, USA

Music Partners