Japanese Taiko Drumming

Taiko, literally 'Big Drum', combines driving and dynamic rhythms with the strength and disciplined power of traditional martial arts. For centuries, Taiko have been used both in warfare and in Shinto and Buddhist temple ritual. The first modern kumi-daiko Taiko ensemble was founded by Daihachi Oguchi in 1951. Since then, the popularity of Taiko has spread throughout Japan and out into the wider world, with Taiko ensembles touring major concert venues across the globe.

North East Area Schools Orchestra's Taiko ensemble


Full and half days available, Fridays only

Playing as a kumi-daiko ensemble, students learn the traditional rhythms, movements and vocalisations that make playing Taiko such a physical experience. Everything is on a grand scale; the drums, the sound and the physical movements add up to an aural and visual spectacle for both the players and the audience.

Sessions will include a physical warm-up. Activities include work on posture, technique, and rhythmic development, all focused on successful teamwork. Over a number of sessions participants learn a range of pieces and drumming styles and can have the opportunity to compose & choreograph their own Taiko compositions if desired. Courses cover National Curriculum material for each Key Stage.

Due to the size of the instruments and the physical coordination and stamina required Taiko workshops are unsuitable for pupils below Year 4.

Workshop sessions need to take place in a large space, ideally the school hall. Please contact the Music Service for further information about accommodating Taiko workshops.