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Kids’ Taiko Workshop!

Published on April 22, 2016, in Workshops.

Did you and your family go to the Sakura Matsuri and see lots of cool taiko? Do you have an aspiring young musician at your house who wants to hit the big drums? Are you ready for our KIDS’ TAIKO WORKSHOP?

Mark H Taiko is thrilled to announce that we have a workshop coming up that’s just what you’re looking for! We provide the drums. You provide the excitement and energy!

What’s a taiko? What are bachi? What’s all the shouting for? Find out the answers to this and more in our taiko workshop designed just for kids!

Join Mark H for a fun and exciting introduction to Japanese drumming. The workshop will cover the basics of kumidaiko (group drumming) and provide some cultural context – all through fun, interactive exercises and games.

Learn how to use your whole body to play a drum . . . AND HAVE FUN!!! Enroll your aspiring musician today! Parents most welcome to observe!

You can sign up right here on Mark H’s website. Our spring introductory workshop for adults has sold out, so sign up today so your kids don’t miss out!

Kids Taiko Workshop: May 9, 2016

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4th Annual Sakura Taiko Fest!

Published on March 3, 2016, in Performances.

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Sakura Taiko Fest will be part of the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival!


2016 Sakura Taiko Fest
The Sakura Taiko Fest will feature Japanese drumming performances from a variety of East Coast taiko groups. This energizing show explores a range of different drumming styles, and celebrates Japanese cultural and artistic traditions from professional, community, and Buddhist taiko groups.

Performers include Kyo Daiko (Philadelphia, PA), Nen Daiko (Fairfax Station, VA), ShinDaiko (Boston, MA), Miyako Taiko (Washington, DC, and Kizuna/Mark H Taiko (Washington, DC). We hope you can enjoy us for a dynamic and family-friendly afternoon of Japanese drumming!

This event is free and seating is first-come first-served.

The Hoff Theater is located inside the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland. Garage parking is available for a fee on campus, and a free shuttle runs from the College Park Metro station.

For more information, please call (202) 503-4587 or email

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Here’s to a great 2016!

Published on December 8, 2015, in Workshops.

Yes, we realize there are still a few weeks to go until Christmas (don’t panic if you still have some shopping and decorating left to do!), but we thought we’d give you something to look forward to once the holidays are over.

Whether you’re the kind of person who does the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing, or you just want to work off some of those sugar cookies and peppermint mochas, we can all agree that kicking off 2016 with a healthy dose of taiko is a great way to go!

With this in mind, Mark H Taiko is proud to present our schedule of January Workshops!

First up: a trio of workshops on January 9 & 10 open to any and all taiko players interested in joining us in Takoma Park, MD for the weekend.


Saturday, January 9 is all about Katsugi Okedo!

Make Your Own “Faux-kedo” Workshop (2:30 – 4:30 pm): build yourself a practice drum to use at home!

Introduction to Katsugi Okedo Workshop (6:00 – 9:00 pm): join Mark H for one of his most popular workshops!

These two workshops are open to ALL taiko players!

The Ties that Bind 2014
Then, after a good night’s rest, join us again the next day for another great workshop!

Sunday, January 10 is all about helping you develop your own “take” on traditional Obon festival rhythms!

Matsuri Soloing and Song-Building (1:00 – 4:00 pm)

This workshop is for players who already have some experience with naname-uchi.

MArk H playing Naname uchi

And if you’re local to the DC area, there are also some other great opportunities later in the month!

Mark H will be teaching Introductory Taiko Workshops for those who are brand-new to taiko or who want to brush up on fundamentals:

Wednesday, January 20, 6:30 – 9:30 pm @Great Falls Elementary School in Fairfax County

Sunday, January 24, 5:00 – 8:00 pm @Dance Exchange in Takoma Park

(pssssst! Intro Workshops make great holiday gifts!)

And of course our Adult Recreational Classes will be starting back up for the winter season at the end of the month, so if you or someone you know wants to get in on the action, be sure to register for one of those Introductory Taiko Workshops!

Adult Recreational Class 2015

Happy Holidays and Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu from all of us at Mark H Taiko!

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BIG NEWS! Mark H Taiko is coming to VA!

Published on September 25, 2015, in Classes, Workshops.

Even if you’re not into pumpkin-flavored-everything, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about fall. Cooler weather. Beautiful autumn leaves. Halloween candy.

And – let’s not forget – lots and lots of awesome taiko. Including…

At long last and by popular demand: an Introductory Taiko Workshop and Adult Recreational Taiko Class for all of you taiko fans in northern Virginia!

Rec Class Summer 15
That’s right: Mark H Taiko is coming to Fairfax County! (the Great Falls Elementary School cafeteria, to be exact.)

So, how do you get in on the action and become one of the very first Mark H Taiko School students in NoVA?

First step

Sign up for the Introductory Taiko Workshop happening on Wednesday, October 7 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. This workshop (or previous taiko experience) is a prerequisite for joining one of Mark’s ongoing classes.

Next step

Sign up for the Fall Rec Class, which begins on October 14 (also at Great Falls Elementary). The class will meet for 8 weeks (check the page for more details – there are a couple of “off” weeks in there due to holidays and such). The class meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 – 9:30 pm.

Final step

Show up! Come dressed for a workout, be prepared to meet some cool people, and (most importantly) have FUN hitting big drums with big sticks!
Kokyo @ 2014 Sakura Taiko Fest


What if you can’t make it on Wednesdays? Or you live in Maryland?

Never fear! We’ll still be running our popular Sunday classes at Dance Exchange in Takoma Park. There will be an Intro Workshop on Sunday, October 11 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm and the Fall Rec Class starts on October 18.

Please note that all of these workshops and classes are appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Questions? No problem. Just contact Mark H.


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Kaoru Watanabe Workshop & Performance

Kaoru Watanabe, one of the world’s leading taiko and shinobue (Japanese flute) artists is coming to DC!

Mark H Taiko is proud to present a workshop and special performance with Kaoru in Takoma Park on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27.


Kaoru Watanabe Shapeshifter Lab Odaiko

Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn based composer and musician who specializes in both taiko and shinobue (Japanese flutes). A former member and artistic director of the internationally renowned taiko ensemble Kodo, Kaoru is an instructor for kaDON (an online taiko and fue resource presented by Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten of Tokyo) as well as the founder of the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center in New York. He has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University since 2010 and has taught courses at Wesleyan University as well as Colby and Dickinson Colleges. He also has extensive training in Western music, having earned a BFA in jazz flute and saxophone performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

Kaoru Watanabe


Workshop: Form and Function – Body Mechanics for the Taiko Player ($75)

Saturday, September 26, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

This workshop will help participants develop greater body awareness in order play taiko with considerably more power, efficiency and grace.

More information about the workshop

Register for the workshop

Performance: Meet the Artist ($10 – $20 Suggested Donation)

Sunday, September 27, 7:30 pm

In this special evening, Kaoru will share current pieces and share his methodologies and influences in an intimate, informal setting. This unique opportunity is perfect for everyone – from experienced taiko players to those who will be seeing taiko for the very first time.

More information about the performance
Kaoru Watanabe looking awesome

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