Term 2 | Hachijo
Offered to students with taiko playing experience, Extensions focuses on specific styles and types of taiko, and the technical and musical skills that make them unique. Designed for players who attend a weekly class*, Extensions is both challenging and fun.
It goes without saying that music is at the centre of all musical instruments, but learning and developing technique is vital in achieving a satisfying degree of expression, feeling and flow. Therefore, in each 90-minute Extensions session, emphasis is given to exploring in detail, basic stances, grips and strokes, specific techniques, sound production, rhythm, history, cultural context, and much more, rather than working towards learning a complete piece of music. Having said that, there will be some music to learn and play – and enjoy! – along the way.
* While we encourage players to also enrol in a weekly class – which helps in overall development of playing – it is not a prerequisite for joining Extensions. However, please be aware that Extensions classes are focused solely on a single style and their techniques, and so other instruments, styles and techniques will not be covered at all throughout the term.
Hachijo-daiko is the unique drumming style of Hachijo Island that uses a single mid-size nagado-daiko upon which players beat on both sides. According to the venerable player from Hachijo Island Hiroo Asanuma, “Hachijo Taiko is seen as an important tool for the indigenous people to express their language, history, and individual identity and emotions.” Hachijo-daiko is at once powerful and graceful to play, watch and hear. Throughout the term you will be introduced to the basics of the style – stance, bachi-grip, and the distinctive leg/hip/arm movements. Short practice phrases will also be taught.