Taiko FUNdamentals (TaikOrff) – Professional Development for Taiko and Music Teachers

Studies have proven that our learning abilities are maximised within a fun and supportive atmosphere. Through the use of musical games and dances from around the world, (taiko, clapping games, songs, body music, etc.), participants learn music intuitively, while improving their rhythmic sense and creativity. The fundamentals of music are internalized through physical involvement and multi-sensory activities, then applied to the taiko drumming, all while having fun. This workshop will also cover how to research for songs and make it work for your classroom and/or age group.

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  • Creating an inclusive environment for learning
  • Explore new approaches to help keep students engaged
  • Utilize games, songs, & movement to teach taiko concepts
  • Create a fun and musical classroom
  • Inspire team work & collaboration
  • Enhance group cohesiveness
  • Develop rhythmic sensitivity & stage presence

“Taiko’s seamless blend of music and movement is at the center of the Orff aesthetic and is a powerful way to train children as musicians. Coming from a Japanese cultural tradition of precision and discipline, it is strong in training these qualities in children. At the same time, children enjoy the opportunities to improvise and create and feel a playful quality in their learning. ManMan has the potential of opening this aspect of the art form in new directions, both in finding creative ways to teach traditional material and expanding that material through new ideas of composition, improvisation and choreography.”

Doug Goodkin, Course Director of The San Francisco International Orff Course

Past workshops:

  • Madrid, Spain (Hosted by Isabel Romeo-Biedma Taiko) Apr 13-14, 2018
  • Newton Abbot, UK (Hosted by Kagemusha Taiko for Taiko Teachers and performers across the UK) Apr 7-8, 2018
  • Oberhausen, Germany (Organized by Silke Hanzen for the taiko community in Germany) Mar 31-April 1, 2018 
  • Portland (Portland Taiko Teachers’ Training) Feb 2018
  • San Diego (North American Taiko Conference) Jul 2017
  • Hong Kong (Hosted by Orff4kids) Jun 2017
  • Washington DC (Hosted by Mark H. Rooney Taiko) Dec 2016
  • Los Angeles (Hosted by Asano Taiko U.S./Los Angeles Taiko Institute) Aug 2016
  • Macau – Orff Drumming FUNdamentals (Hosted by Orff4kids) Nov 2015 
  • Honolulu (Taiko Center of the Pacific Summer Taiko Intensive) Aug 2015
  • Las Vegas (North American Taiko Conference) Jun 2015

Testimonials from workshop participants

Kris Bergstrom (Head Teacher of Los Angele Taiko Institute, Los Angeles) 

“We have hosted Manman at Los Angeles Taiko Institute multiple times to give workshops to our teachers and her work has been a major inspiration for me personally. After our last workshop, I taught a week’s worth of my classes (13 total) without words, using gestures and the well-organized musical structures demonstrated by Manman. It was an amazingly successful experiment. Manman has repeatedly made me think deeply and improve my teaching and we plan to have her continue to guide us for many years to come. I highly recommend studying with Manman!”

Jonathan Kirby (Kagemusha Taiko, UK; author of: “The Way of the Drum – Taiko without Borders”)

“Taiko is about more than “just drumming”, so it’s important for taiko players (and taiko groups) to spend some time exploring what “more than” really means: Why are you playing taiko? What are you trying to communicate through your taiko? In what ways are you limiting yourself with either conscious or unconsious barriers to creativity? I strongly recommend ManMan’s “Taiko FUNdamentals” workshop as a great way to explore individual and group creativity, to unshackle mind and body, and to have a great deal of fun while doing so.”

Mary Dagani (Orff Music Teacher, Los Angeles)

“I know quite a bit about Orff, but I didn’t know a thing about Taiko.  Thanks to Manman’s generous nature and her expert teaching skills, I accomplished something I had never dreamed of.  I now feel confident that I can go back into my classroom and introduce my students to the world of basic Taiko drumming.  I am very thankful to have had the chance to attended her TaikOrff workshop!”

Kirsty Oshiro (Professional Taiko Artist and Educator, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area) 

“TaikOrff has helped me feel more confident teaching taiko to toddlers and has inspired me to make learning taiko more fun for myself and all my students.”

Peggy Yamamoto (fourth grade teacher and taiko player, San Diego)

“Teaching the rhythm and movement of taiko through TaikOrff is a brilliant combination of pedagogy, music appreciation, and creativity. Manman knows how to nurture and motivate musical and creative expression with her TaikOrff curriculum. I strongly recommend TaikOrff to any educator, musician, parent, or curious soul.”

Akari Sunaga (Taiko drummer, Los Angeles)

“Taikorff taught me skills that makes learning and teaching taiko a really fun experience for everyone. I do not have a strong musical background, but Manman and Taikorff has made music education accessible even for someone like me! The games and exercises that we learned from TaikOrff actually came in handy for our own taiko practice for complicated shime daiko work!”

Derek Oye (Taiko Community Alliance Chair and Board of Directors)

“I had the privilege to taking Taiko FUNdamentals at the North American Taiko Conference in San Diego. Wow! What an amazing experience! I have never felt like I learned so much in one workshop, while being continuously engaged all throughout the 2.5 hours. The exercises and activities were so carefully planned and culminated into a special performance where everyone was able to play together in a fun, collaborative, and open atmosphere. The workshop not only taught me techniques to use for my own teaching endeavors, but allowed me to explore storytelling through taiko. I felt by the end, I got to know my fellow workshop participants and created a narrative about taiko and Japanese culture. It also allowed me to express the important values of taiko in a creative way.  I would highly recommend taking Taiko FUNdamentals!”

Sally Taylor (Tano Taiko, Hannah’s at Seal Hayne, Newton Abbot, UK)

“A packed and inspiring course full of fun and interactive participation. Couldn’t wait to incorporate what we’d learned into my teaching – effective and fun with both adults and children learning taiko.”

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