Day One of Our Taiko Drum Residency- Foundations

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On the first day of our four-day residency with Portland Taiko, the class was introduced to Michelle and Toru, both members of the performing troupe. Michelle and Toru went through the basic procedures for using the drums using the principles of perseverance, respect, and cooperation. When we returned from the first session, I gave the students 35-40 minutes to reflect on what they did during their time with Michelle and Toru and the Taiko drums.

“Bam!!”
I hit the drum with might. The bachi shook in my hand. We were drum rolling. Man it was loud. I loved the sound of the drum. The words they taught us are Doko, Don, Kara, Ka, Tsu, Tsuku, Su, Hai and the three principles are Perseverance, Respect, Cooperation. My favorite part was the part where we played on the drums. By Sean A.

Taiko mens drum. It is also Japanese. Toru is the leader. Michelle is the teacher. I like Taiko. We had fun. I hope we can do more. By Alex

We just got back from Taiko drumming! We had two teachers, Michelle, and Toru. Toru was very full of energy. I learned lots of new Japanese words. Here are some of them.
Bachi are the sticks that you play the drum with. Hai means yes. Tsu is a small soft sound you make on the center of the drum. Don is a loud sound played in the center of the drum. Ka is a tap on the rim of the drum, and Arigatou means thank you.
These are their three principles: Respect, Perseverance, and Cooperation. By Emmy

Taiko means drum in Japanese. Here is a video of third graders doing Taiko. Lewis Taiko Drumming Taiko drums have been used in Japanese warfare to motivate troops for hundreds of years. I learned some of the sounds in Taiko which they use to name the sounds you can make with the drums. Some of them are  Don (one loud beat), Doko (two loud beats), Tsu (one quiet beat), and Su which is like a rest, but the people are strong and just make no sound with the drum, but inside their bodies are constantly moving.  There were three types of drums. One looked like a barrel, one was like a small barrel with a little stand, and the last looked like a green can. I learned a lot from them and can’t wait to see them on Monday.  by Simon

 I just got back from Taiko. It was so much fun. I’m happy to be doing it again. Our teachers are Michelle and Toru. They are strict, but fun.  I thought our classroom did really good. We were  drumming so loud that it hurt my ears. By Faith

Today we did Taiko and the two leaders are named Michelle and Toru. At the beginning they play a song with their gigantic drums. They did a little talking about what do we know about Taiko drumming. After that they split us in groups by telling you if you got number one or two, then group two went on first to play the drums. I was in group two but I couldn’t play much because I got hurt at recess. Don means play loud but you only can play once. Doko means hit the drum loud but hit twice this time they were way more Japanese words about Taiko drumming. The three principles are cooperation, perseverance, and respect. By Brittany

The people that help us were named Michelle and Toru. They were really nice. The music was full of energy and it was really intense and  it made you vibrate. They used a lot of cool words to describe the different kinds of drum beats. They split the group in half so every person got a drum and so you got to see the person play the drum. The drum sticks we used were called Bachi and when they say Su it means Rest. After I played I felt really weird because it vibrated when I played the drum. After we all stopped playing the drums we all said Arigatou which means Thank You. By June

Taiko means drum in Japan. It’s still the same day but know  a lot more about Taiko. Like I know a ton more words in  Japanese that have a matter with Taiko. Some of the words are Don, Tsuku, Doko, and Tsu. Don means hit the drum hard and Doko means hit the drum hard twice. Tsu means hit the drum soft once as Tsuku means hit the drum soft twice. There are two more words like Ka and Kara. Ka means hit the farthest edge from you once and Kara means hit the farthest edge of the drum twice.
There are some other words but I want to teach you them a different time. Right now I want to teach you how to pronounce the words you already know. Don has the O possessive. Doko also has the O possessive. Tsu when you say it it sounds like you do not have the T in it and the O is possessive. Tsuku sounds like it has the T in it and both Os are possessive. By Gabriel

You learn how to play the drums and you learn a few Japanese words.I learned in Japanese Taiko means drum. Taiko was LOUD!! Toru was one of the teachers and he had lots of energy on the Taiko and he taught us Doko, Hai, Kara, Tsuku and Tsu. Michelle taught all the instructions for the drum and the rules of the drum and what some Japanese words mean. I felt like a lot of songs were happy or intense. Su=rest Hai=yes Arigatou=thank you. They had a very powerful hit on the Taiko. By McKela

My first day at Taiko was great, we learned the words for Taiko.  I got to play the drum for the first or second time and I’m just saying it’s not as easy as it looks. The names of the people that taught us are Michelle and Toru and that’s what I did at Taiko today.
They taught us they how to drum and frankly the drum is extremely LOUD!!! By David

In Taiko I learned words like tsuku (su-ku) which is 2 quiet hits in the center of the drum. Or kara (ka-da) which is two hits on the rim of the drum. Ka is one. Don is a large hit in the center of the drum. Doko is 2. Hai (hi) is yes. Arigatou is thank you. by Kellen

OK, we just finished the first session of Taiko! The rush, the attitude, the excitement, it was awesome and I mean awesome!
But with everything supposedly awesome there comes a price and we found this one within the first five minutes: LOUD!!! Super loud.
They talked about the symbols  like Tsu is quiet, Tsuku means two quiet, Don means loud, doko means two loud beats. By Kennedy

Taiko is a kind of drumming that the Japanese play. It is a instrument that has wooden sticks that makes very loud sounds when you hit the drum very hard. TheJapanese are very good at playing Taiko drums. I have never played the taiko drums, and I am very excited that I am going to play the Taiko drums. I think that the people that are going to teach us how to play Taiko are professional.
When we actually got to play Taiko Michelle and Toru were very good. They thought us words that make you play the drum and we got to play the drum. First we did the drum roll. They did it very fast. I liked it a lot and it was really fun.
I can’t wait until Monday. By Joseph

Taiko is a really cool drumming thing where you get to play drums. Tsu means hit quietly, Ka hit the front of the drum once. By Tanner

I did my first session of Taiko today with Toru and Michelle. We learned that kiai is a spiritual shout.  By Sean S.

(Before the first session)
Today I am starting Taiko drumming. It is a type of drum that the Japanese use, it is a cool drum. I played it when I was in first grade.  The teachers teach us how to play and they make us play songs at the end of the session.
(After the first session)
We are back from Taiko drumming and we just got to use the drums. It was awesome!
I know a lot of more things about Taiko now. I know some words and some drum actions.  They have the three principles. They are respect, perseverance, and cooperation.  When I got to the drum I was really excited.  When I played the drum my arm felt like it was on fire. By Lawson

(Before the first session)
Today is the day! Yep, after days and days of waiting, it’s finally here! So, I’ve got to cut to the chase now, so I’m going to tell you about what I already know about Japanese Taiko drums. First of all, Taiko in Japanese just means flat-out drum, I know it is a drum in a group of percussion instruments known as Dadaiko.
(After the first session)
That was so awesome! When we started drumming, my heart was pounding! By Tate

Today we had our first class of Taiko. It was really fun. They taught us lots of Japanese vocabulary words. Some of the words we learned were Tsu, (a quiet tap on the drum), Tsuku, (two quiet taps on the drum), Don, (a loud hit to the center of the drum), Doko, (two loud hits to the center of the drum), Ka, (a small hit to the side of the drum), and Kara, (two small hits to the side of the drum). When they do songs, they put those sounds together, and play them on the drum. To remember the sounds, they repeat them to each other, and then play them on the drum. Like for example: Tsuku, Doko, (two small taps on the drum, and two loud hits to the drum).
The three principles of Taiko are: Respect, Perseverance, and Cooperation. By Franny

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About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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