Rome Hamner has been performing and teaching taiko for 20 years. Originally from Arizona, where she spent 13 years co-directing a taiko nonprofit, Rome relocated to San Jose in 2016, launching South Bay Beat Institute and its professional group KinAesthetic. She serves on the international Taiko Community Alliance board, as General Manager for San Jose Taiko, and plays in several ensembles. Her performance highlights include drumming while suspended 200ft above an audience of 20,000, performing at international taiko festivals, televised performances, and combining circus/fire arts with taiko.

In addition to extensive composing and performing, Rome teaches taiko in schools and community settings. She has developed lessons for thousands of students and provided trainings on arts education, arts integration, and teaching taiko using Orff methodology. She recently launched “How To Teach Taiko,” a resource for taiko players new to teaching and music teachers new to taiko.

ABOUT THE CLINIC: The Art of Storytelling

Taiko drumming is different from Western percussion styles in several ways: players engage the whole body in a specific way (Kata), learn rhythm patterns through an oral system (Kuchishoka), engage their voices (Kiai), and hold the drumstick (Bachi) in a way radically different from other percussion styles. The exchange of energy (Ki) between players and audience is complex, nuanced, and critical. Although the rhythms played in taiko tend to be on the simpler side, these other elements make playing and teaching taiko a rewarding challenge that calls upon mind, body, and spirit.

This session will give a hands-on crash course in how to teach this dynamic drumming style. In addition, participants will learn how US history has influenced the evolution of this art form worldwide, important context for anyone teaching taiko. They will also explore adaptations that can be made in classes to promote accessibility and affordable options for acquiring/making drums.


Posted on

August 21, 2019