College music students enjoy taiko drumming workshop
Newton Abbot College year 8 students were treated to an incredible Taiko drumming workshop on December 15.
Using traditional Japanese Taiko instruments, the students (led by workshop leaders from Kagemusha Taiko based at Hannah’s at Seale Hayne) were put through their musical paces, learning the basic techniques of posture, attitude, movement and attention in order to create Taiko rhythmic compositions and drumming soundscapes.
Relatively new in this country, Taiko drumming is being championed by Kagemusha Taiko, who are among world-leaders in Taiko education. The group has performed in Japan and USA, and host the annual UK Taiko Festival at Seale Hayne. Leader, Jonathan Kirby, is passionate about bringing Taiko into the college environment: “Both teachers and students recognise the benefits of Taiko workshops; it is rare that anyone has participated in a workshop before and, as a result, students enter on a level playing field. Taiko requires both mental and physical attention, allowing students to clear their minds and entirely focus on breathing, moving and being still.”
Music Team Leader, Rob Wilkinson, was thrilled with the workshops: “Taiko drumming is a fantastic way of encouraging mutual respect, dispelling egos and creating teamwork amongst students. The participating students all had a fantastic time and, as a result, Taiko will be incorporated into their musical education in the academic terms to come.”