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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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Get your summer taiko on!

Published on July 29, 2015, in Classes.

Summer taiko is the BEST!

Our latest Recreational Taiko Class is underway and it’s clear we’ve got a FANTASTIC bunch of taiko players on our hands!

Look at those smiling faces!

Look at those smiling faces! You can just tell this class is awesome!

It’s not too late to join in the fun – if you’ve got taiko experience, you can drop in on a class when you’re free (just contact Mark H first). If you are new to taiko, Mark can arrange a private lesson for you. Or, if you just want to see this new class in action, come out to the Reston Multicultural Festival on September 26 and cheer them on as they perform!

Rec Class Summer 2015

Have a great summer!

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Taiko for Movers Workshop – CANCELLED

Published on June 30, 2015, in Workshops.

FEAR NOT!  We will DEFINITELY be presenting this workshop in the fall!  Watch this space…

WHEN: Saturday, July 25, 10:00am – 12:00 pm
WHERE: Dance Exchange, 7117 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD
FEE: $40 per person to support Dance Exchange


Since it was founded by Liz Lerman in 1976, Dance Exchange has produced more than 100 innovative dance/theatre works, presented thousands of performances and conducted innumerable community encounters. Their studios in Takoma Park, MD provide a home for dancers, tai chi practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, and of course, the Mark H Taiko School!


Now, Dance Exchange needs our help to continue to serve the DC area’s vibrant arts community. Mark H is offering a workshop as a fundraiser for Dance Exchange. Your $40 registration will go ENTIRELY to help support this long-standing institution in the dance community!

Just what is this workshop? In a word: AWESOME! This is a taiko (Japanese drumming) workshop geared specifically for movers! Dancers have always been some of the best taiko players because of their acute body awareness and rhythmic training. Now, after many years of collaborating with dancers, Mark H wants to invite all dancers to try taiko for the first time! This workshop is not just for professional dancers – it is for everyone interested in exploring the relationship between rhythm and movement.

Registering for this workshop will help ensure that Dance Exchange has a home to create their work; community artists have studios in which to rehearse; intergenerational artists have a place to connect and collaborate; teens discover the magic of movement; and more!

Don’t miss out! Sign up here!

Can’t make the workshop, but still want to support Dance Exchange? You can donate here.



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Ready to try taiko? Take Mark’s next introductory taiko workshop!

Published on June 23, 2015, in Workshops.

Summer is the perfect time to take a break from our usual routines and try something new! Regardless of what’s on your agenda this summer (taking a great family vacation, relaxing by the pool, perfecting your sangria recipe…), don’t forget to make time for taiko! If you’re ready to hit the big drums for the first time, sign up for Mark H’s next Introductory Taiko Workshop on Sunday, July 19 from 5-8pm in Takoma Park. This workshop is appropriate for ages 13 and up and is easily accessible via Metro.

Learn more here, or go ahead and sign up through the House of Musical Traditions!

Kokyo @ 2014 Sakura Taiko Fest

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