Kodo Taiko School

Cohort 0 Trial Course Dates: May–Sep. 2021 (19 lessons)

The Spirit of Kodo Through Online Learning

Take online group lessons taught by Kodo members.
The programme is being launched in 2021, when the ensemble celebrates its 40th anniversary, as a way to thoroughly share the spirit, physique, and technique that Kodo has cultivated over the past four decades with people who want to learn from Kodo firsthand.

Form a team with taiko friends from around the world in a small class of 5–6 people.
Watch the YouTube lesson archives as many times as you like during the course.
Ask questions with ease about anything you don’t understand via online comments and chats.
See updates about lessons and talk with fellow participants, instructors, and staff in a class chat forum.
Get together to play taiko on Sado Island at a taiko camp held during the course.


“Opening the Doors to Kodo Taiko School”
Message from Atsushi Sugano, Managing Director, Kodo Cultural Foundation

Kodo Taiko School Framework (Cohort 0 Trial Course)

  • Kodo members will teach one 2-hour online group lesson per week over the course of five months. (Total of 19 lessons)
  • Lessons will take place on Zoom (video meeting app). Participants will take part remotely and can use a taiko drum, drum practice pad, cushion, or similar item.
  • Each class will have 5 to 6 students. Lessons will be offered in Japanese and English. *If one language suits all participants, classes may be held in that language only.
  • Participants and staff will communicate using Discord (group communication app). This is where everyone will share course information and chat together online. 
  • Details about each lesson will be shared via Discord in advance. When required, instructors will share YouTube links for video content that participants will use to prepare for the next lesson.
  • There is an optional task for participants who wish to receive advice from the instructor(s) about their playing. Anyone wanting tailored advice will be invited to submit a performance video.
  • There will be a Taiko Camp held once during each course to bring the participants together to play taiko. This event is an optional extra that is only open to course participants. The camp cost is not included in the course fee.

Participant Requirements:
Participants must be senior high school age (minimum of 15 years) or over with at least one year of experience playing taiko.

Equipment Required:
1) Something to use instead of a taiko

  • a drum practice pad or cushion for taiko practice (also ok to use taiko/electronic taiko [TAIKO-1])
  • bachi (taiko drumsticks)

2) Online lesson setup

  • Computer or mobile device with video capabilities (PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.)
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Zoom app (free)
  • Discord app (free)
  • YouTube account (free) *Only for participants who wish to submit video tasks

[For Optional Activity] Bachi (Taiko Drumstick) Making
Participants who wish to make bachi (drumsticks) will need to prepare materials and tools such as timber, a plane, gloves, etc. Detailed info will be provided closer to the time.

Kodo Taiko School Cohort 0 Curriculum Plan

Cohort 0 is the trial version of Kodo Taiko School that will help us prepare to launch the full-scale program from Cohort 1. For this version, we are planning a range of content for everyone to experience.
The first phase, “Get ready to create sound,” focuses on sharing Kodo’s know-how about the fundamentals, such as every taiko player’s best friends: their drumsticks. We’ll also incorporate content to help taiko player’s develop their physique. During the next phase, we’ll reacquaint ourselves with the fundamentals of playing taiko. Practising the basics involves a lot of repetition, and requires persistent effort. So we’ll tackle this practice as a class, cheering each other on.

From the middle of the course, we’ll start working on playing a piece. Kodo is currently creating an original piece especially for Kodo Taiko School. As you learn the piece, one by one you’ll learn the important things to focus on every time you play taiko. The final phase is designed for everyone to enjoy performing. Each unique group of classmates will become a team that performs a piece together. We’re sure this serendipitous encounter will take you to new places.

Lesson Schedule 

For the Cohort 0 intake, we are seeking participants for three classes. Please choose the schedule that best suits you.
*Note: Dates/times are Japan Standard Time/GMT +9

  • Team Keyaki (Saturday 15:00–17:00)
  • Team Hinoki (Saturday 18:00–20:00)
  • Team Atebi (Monday 10:00–12:00)


Fees (Cohort 0 Special Price)

All fees include tax.

Kodo Taiko School Enrolment Fee: 11,000 yen
Kodo Taiko School Cohort 0 Course for Individuals
Course Fee (5 months/19 lessons): 80,000 yen (Kodo no Kai Members: 75,000 yen) 

Kodo Taiko School Taiko Camp (Optional Extra)
Camp Fee: 55,000 yen (Kodo no Kai Members: 50,000 yen)
*To be held on Sado Island (includes lodging and meals)

Fee Payment

  • Fees are due by April 23 (Fri), 2021.
  • Payments can be made by bank transfer (within Japan only) or Paypal.

About Kodo no Kai
To join Kodo’s Japanese-language supporter service,
Kodo no Kai, please contact us by email or see our website for details (in Japanese only). http://www.kodo.or.jp/friends/index_ja.html 

Email: friends@kodo.or.jp

Application Method

Apply for Kodo Taiko School during the application period via this form
Application Period: Feb. 1 (Mon)–Mar. 31 (Wed), 2021

Process from Application to Course Start
If there are more applications than spaces, participants will be selected by lottery. Staff will contact all applicants on Apr. 5 to let them know if they are able to attend. We will send course information to all confirmed participants. Please pay your course fees by Apr. 23 (Sat). Before the course commences, there will be communications between staff and participants and an online lesson technical check (date and time TBA).
Inquiries: Please contact Kodo Cultural Foundation using this inquiry form.

Kodo Taiko School Cohort 0 Instructors

(From left to right)

Jun Jidai
Yoshie Abe
Kenta Nagagome
Taiyo Onoda

*Each instructor’s lessons will be announced on the Kodo website at a later date.
*Instructor lineup may be subject to change.

Interested in Kodo Taiko School? We also recommend “Kodo Taiko Exchange Forum 2021 Spring”!

Live-in Workshop on Sado Island for Experienced Taiko Players

Immerse yourself in taiko on Sado Island with Kodo. Three instructors will lead experience sessions, focusing on their fields of expertise. From drumstick making and the fundamentals to creating and enjoying a performance as a group, this camp promises to give your taiko life a real boost.

Dates: Mar. 18 (Thu)–21 (Sun) [Four-day/three-night camp]

Instructors: Yoshie Abe, Kenta Nakagome, Shogo Komatsuzaki (Kodo)

Participant Requirements: Participants must be senior high school age (minimum of 15 years) or over with experience performing taiko as a member of a taiko group (or similar) for 5 years or more.

Mar. 18 (Thu)–21 (Sun), 2021 Kodo Taiko Exchange Forum 2021 Spring (Sado Island, Niigata)


Kodo Taiko School Cohort 1 Applications

We are planning the full-scale launch of Kodo Taiko School for Fall 2021. Along with group classes for individuals to join, we will offer a new course for taiko groups where their members can learn together about creating performance works.
Applications Open: June 2021 (TBC)


Kodo Cultural Foundation