On select Monday evenings throughout the year, Grand Vision Foundation (GVF) offers Team Taiko community drumming lessons to people of all ages and experience (or lack thereof!) at the Grand Annex Music Hall. The Fall 2023 Taiko Season begins on September 11 and ends on October 30.
Taiko is a Japanese group drumming style that has become a global phenomenon over the past few decades. With an emphasis on stress relief, community-building and a general sense of respect, Taiko has proven to be a worthwhile experience for seasoned musicians and drumming novices alike.
Team Taiko has been a part of GVF’s community outreach and music education initiatives since 2013 when it started as a Meet the Music (MTM) education program for English as a Second Language (ESL) adult students. This lasted until March 2020 at the start of the COVID pandemic when Team Taiko transitioned to a virtual lesson open to all. In the Fall of 2021, Team Taiko became the community class it is today, offering in person and virtual lessons, and remaining accessible to the ESL adult population.
Newcomers to Taiko can expect to be greeted by our teaching artist ManMan Mui and fellow students with a traditional Japanese bow and welcome, or aistatsu. ManMan then opens the session, encouraging everyone to leave their troubles at the door and honor their time together. This sense of spirituality and community creates a tightly woven bond between each student, even if they had never met beforehand.
According to the program’s facilitator Connie McOsker,Taiko drumming can be a very healing experience that can greatly benefit your mental health. In a recent interview, she even recalled the moment a recurring student said to her, “I used to have depression, but I guess I don’t anymore because of Taiko.”
Taiko isn’t meant to be complicated – it’s actually very basic and is meant to be a way for neighbors to come together to create music, so you can be as good as you want to be. Every technique learned in Team Taiko lessons can be modified for every ability and body type as needed, and participants are frequently reminded that if something hurts, don’t do it.
Anyone can do Taiko! Please stop by the Grand Annex Music Hall on Monday nights starting September 11 to join in the fun or even just to observe and see what Team Taiko is all about. Those interested are highly encouraged to register for classes on the Grand Vision website, but walk-ins are always welcome.
P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on making your very own practice drum