Taiko at Ohana
Today we had an amazing time in our Taiko Drumming Workshop. We didn’t know what to expect because most of us have not played a taiko drum before. The taiko drum is made out of wood from a tree and the skin comes from a cow. The skin is dried and then stretched over the wood. Special nails are hammered into the wood to secure the skin on the top and the bottom. Today we played with a big black drum which is an “oke” drum; small rope drums called “shimedaiko” and flat drums called “hira-daiko”. When we played on the different drums we could hear that the sound was different too. Moko sensei has so much energy and she did fun exercises with us. We all received a pair of sticks called “bachi” and then learnt some patterns to play on the taiko. The first one was don, don, don, don, alternating hands. We hit the taiko in the middle of the skin. Then we hit faster and faster and faster and at the very end we raised our hands and “bachi” in the air and shouted “yah”. We made a pose with our hands apart, in the air. You will see from some of the photos how skilled we were and how quickly we were able to learn the patterns.
Then we learnt don, don, ka, ka, which is a rhythmn where we hit the skin two times and then the rim, two times. We did this a few times and then we hit the sticks in the air and said, “o, ha, na”. We played a game where we went around in a circle, hitting the sticks together in the air and then we stopped at a new spot and played the same rhythmn. We loved having our mums and dads with us and we think that they too had fun learning how to play the taiko this morning.
At the very end of our lesson, we had a performance with Moko sensei, Einat, Reina, Lanah’s mum and Shelley, playing. They played a composition called “Echo of the Ocean”. Shelley and Einat played the small wave part and Moko sensei and Reina played the big wave and at the very end they came together and made a dramatic pose and shouted “yah”, just like we did, when we were playing. Darren and Ayaka’s class, did the second session today and they walked all the way from school, up the very steep hill to the hall. When they arrived, they learnt how to hold the “bachi”, how to stand and how to use the “bachi” safely. Our older friends were a lot more skilled than we were and while we needed our parents to help us, they could do everything all by themselves.
We want to say a huge thank you to Moko sensei, for teaching us how to play the taiko. Some of us would love to go to her classes and learn more; and some of our parents too. We loved learning how to play the taiko!
We did “shodo” in both classes today. We made the word “uma” which means horse. Downstairs we made it in hiragana and upstairs, we did the “kanji”. Downstairs, we made our names on the side in hiragana. Our teachers attached our work to bamboo and they are hanging up in our classroom now. We will learn how to make more strokes with the black ink and special paint brushes and create some “kanji” words with them.
Thanks for a great day of fun and learning with our beautiful Ohana community.
Love Shelley, Darren, Hisami, Ayaka, Liezel, Nanako, Goh, Christine and Maryna