Mark H offers several different workshops for a diverse range of abilities and experience. Mark can design workshops to fit your specific need, event, organization, or taiko group. Drums can be provided for additional fee. Workshop space should ideally be largish with high ceilings and not in a place where noise would be a disturbance to others (*special space requirements listed with workshop requirements).
WORKSHOPS FOR ANYONE
Introduction to Taiko
[min 2 hr; designed for those with little to no taiko experience.]
Taiko is a dynamic art-form based on traditional Japanese drumming practiced all over the world. Often described as “full-body drumming,” taiko goes beyond that to engage one’s ki (energy), kata (form) and koe (voice) in the act of drumming.
A comprehensive overview of taiko, this VERY hands-on workshop will start from the basics of taiko form and technique and move into more advanced group-playing as well as traditional song-learning. Workshop includes: fundamentals for playing taiko, background and culture of taiko, use of one’s voice in taiko, kumidaiko drilling (playing as a group), learning taiko music. No experience required! Come hit loud drums with big sticks!
Introductory Taiko for Youth
[min 1 hr]
This dynamic workshop is a fun and exciting way to introduce taiko to children of all ages! Learn the basics for kumidaiko (group drumming) as well as cultural context through interactive exercises and games. Aimed at specific age groups or a wide range, Mark can adjust this workshop to suit the abilities and intentions of the group.
Open to ages 7+ (or by instructor’s permission)
WORKSHOPS FOR TAIKO GROUPS
Basics for Beta-uchi (or Naname-uchi or Odaiko) Playing
[min 2 hr]
This will cover the basics of the style and is a good launching point for people who have either played very little taiko or for groups who lack extensive instruction. Or for those who just want to see another approach!
Requires: at least one drum per every two participants (one for one preferred); be sure you have enough drums for the style you want to play.
Basics for Katsugi Okedo Playing
The okedo daiko is a tied drum with a barrel-shaped body that tends to be lighter than taiko made from one piece and is, therefore, portable. The katsugi okedo refers to the okedo that is slung on a strap over the shoulder and allows for the versatility to move about while playing the drum. This style based on Korean drumming and made popular by taiko artists like Leonard Eto and Ryutaro Kaneko has become very popular for its ability to cover a lot of area and perform complicated rhythms on both sides of the drum.
An introduction to this exciting style involves various techniques for hitting the okedo, exercises to practice with and tips on how to move while playing. Available to any level of player with little to no experience playing this style.
Requires: at least one okedo per every two participants (one for one preferred) a lot of space to move!
Build Your Own Practice Katsugi Okedo
[contact for timeline]
Learn how to make a practice okedo from very simple materials that you can decorate, tighten and play like the real thing!
Requires: space to construct drums
Drilling: Simple to Challenging
[min 2 hr]
This would be an overview of various drills a group can use to improve their playing. A large range of ability can be covered.
Requires: one drum per person (almost any kind)
Double Drum Drilling
Twice the drilling fun! Drilling on two drums is a great way to work on speed, coordination, ambidexterity, bachi control, set playing and connection with fellow players. Fun and challenging, this series of drills has been either collected by or created by Mark to form a comprehensive drilling process to touch upon many areas of taiko technique.
Requires: one drum per participant +1 (ex: 14 participants = 15 drums)
Bachi Maneuvers Workshop
[min 2 hr]
Find out why this is Mark’s most popular workshop! Learn how to spin, throw and catch your bachi as a way to spice up your solo, performance or composition. Learn basic and advanced tricks as well as exercises for how to practice them. Mark H will also reveal the secrets to making simple tricks appear more impressive and the deeper universal philosophies behind these (seemingly) superfluous skills.
Requires: largish room with high ceilings, if possible, and NO concrete floors (tile, carpet, wood, grass, etc.); one drum per participant (beta uchi or naname uchi)
ADVANCED WORKSHOPS FOR TAIKO GROUPS
[min 2 hr]
This workshop emphasizes the connection and communication between taiko players while giving groundwork for improvisation and soloing. Exercises are designed to increase one’s skills in interacting with, listening to, and being aware of your fellow taiko drummers as you play. We will explore listening skills, passing energies, vocabulary expansion and other aspects of soloing within a kumidaiko context.
Requires: one drum per person and hopefully, a large drum to play odaiko (though this is not absolutely necessary)
“Open Source” Song: Shin-en
[min 3 hr]
One of Mark’s most often-requested workshops! This original Mark H Rooney piece is a simple yet dynamic song that teaches a number of skills useful for every taiko drummer. Learn fun festival rhythms, cool choreography, and engaging stage presence. Become part of the worldwide community of drummers who play this open source song, which can be easily adapted to fit any taiko group’s style or repertoire.
Requires: ideally, one drum per person and somewhere to write and display (whiteboard, large paper)
Mark H Rooney’s Approach to Matsuri Soloing/Creating
[ideally, full day]
This workshop breaks down Matsuri soloing (the song inspired by obon rhythms) and also gives a framework for creating your own version of this festive and fun piece.
Requires: at least one drum per 2 participants on a naname stand
Masterclass Workshop: Improve Your Current Repertoire
[min 2 hr]
By observing your existing songs, Mark can offer feedback on how to improve the players’ individual playing, how to work on the presentation and arrangement, how to design drills for specific techniques beneficial to the song or even, suggestions on original compositions.
Contact Mark if you have any variation of these workshops or something else entirely in mind – we can work together to custom design a workshop for your group!