Friday, June 5, 2009

Taiko Teaching Materials

Have you been searching for new information to make you a better taiko teacher/player? Information in English is not in abundance, but here's something that's worth checking into.

Earlier this year, Jonathan Kirby artistic director of Kagemusha in the UK, published a series of 4 instructional DVDs plus an instruction manual. I've yet to get my hands on them as of yet, but here's a posting from the UK taiko forum through the Mugen Taiko Dojo website.

from IanB:

"Since we often get posts here from people looking for training or teaching materials, I thought I should share this. I have just taken delivery of the new teacher training materials released by Kagemusha a few days ago. If anyone is running a group, thinking about it or even wants to add to their knowledge or is training on their own, I can’t recommend these highly enough.

Jonathan Kirby has put together a 220 (!) page manual (Teaching Taiko: Principles and Practice) which contains years of material covering everything…drills, base rhythms, teaching tips, pieces to play, problems, philosophy, stance, movement, composition, performance , … etc etc. There’s nothing like it anywhere else – (and I’ve been looking for a long time!) - it has got to be the definitive guide for teaching and learning Taiko. There are also 4 dvd’s that go with the manual to make it a complete set if you want to get the lot……..which I did!

For the price of a workshop it looks like you get months and months of material to work on personally and to use with your own group. There are more details on the Kagemusha website."

Here's the direct link to the page with the manual and DVD information. You can purchase the manual, Teaching Taiko: Principles and Practice, and all 3 DVDs for £95.00+ shipping.

Teaching Taiko: Principles and Practice itself is £35.00 and DVDs are £20.00 + shipping.

Do you already own Jonathan Kirby's publications? Drop a note in the comments with your opinion!


  1. I just noticed that the DVDs are PAL, so check your DVD player's capabilities before purchasing!

  2. Yes, the DVDs are PAL - the video format for most of Europe and Australia. Domestic DVD players in USA may not be able to cope with them, but they will play just fine on computers.

  3. I've read Jonathan's text and recommend it highly. One really interesting thing is that it gives a perspective on taiko that is clearly non-Japanese, non-Asian. It's a way to look about think about taiko that most people never even consider. Overall, it's very well thought out and very well-written!