At Kodo, we pay a lot of attention to the sound of every beat we play.
We strive to create sound that carries, sound that is solid, sound with resonance…
When you play taiko, you use your body to produce sound. So we are constantly studying how to achieve a natural physical state and how to move our body efficiently.
At Kodo Taiko School, our online learning programme, the instructors share the knowledge and skills they have cultivated to date as taiko players and members of Kodo. We start with physical conditioning for taiko playing, and work on things like stance, strokes, tuning in to what is happening inside your body, and more.
Kodo’s performances constantly evolve, and the performers all continue to study and come up with new ways to improve their skills. While only a few of us teach at Kodo Taiko School, Kodo has many members who each have unique sensibilities and ideas, and different approaches to taiko playing and practice methods. If you likened it to mountain climbing, the summit you set out to reach is the same, but there’s a lot of different routes that lead there. The students at Kodo Taiko School all have different taiko environments, so to respond to their problems and questions, we instructors don’t rely on our own knowledge and experience alone. We ask around the other Kodo performers for their input, too, so we can draw on more experience and ideas.
From the middle of the course, the Kodo Taiko School students take on the challenge of learning a new piece that Kodo composed especially for this programme. We distribute practice tracks and videos with sheet music and everyone can enjoy practicing together in class. Students are welcome to play this piece with their taiko friends, too. We are also planning to create opportunities for the students to meet up on Sado Island to play it together in person.
We take a thorough, step-by-step approach as we progress through the course. We hope everyone has fun as they give it their all with their classmates.
While taiko has been around for centuries as an instrument, it’s only become a performing art in its own right in recent years. I believe taiko will develop as an art form if we encourage taiko lovers around the world to connect and share their different ways of thinking and doing things. I hope that Japan’s taiko culture will gain depth and continue to expand throughout the world through this kind of exchange.
Message from Yoshie Abe
Kodo Performer / Kodo Taiko School Instructor Team Leader