“Swansea Year of Taiko 2016” is a project that was developed out of our realisation that without professional taiko drummers around we lack the mentoring and teaching that groups who play with a ‘sensei’ (experienced drummer and leader) enjoy.
Therefore, we set out to bring to Swansea some of the best and most inspiring taiko drummers/teachers available in the UK to give workshops to the general public and to our group in the course of a year, starting 30th January 2016.
We had very helpful discussions with and support from Karen of Swansea Council for Voluntary Service who helped us to translate our vision into a grant application.
We are very pleased that the Arts Council of Wales have decided to fund this project as with this funding we can offer the community best quality taiko tuition at an affordable price. Anybody who has seen a taiko performance and has always wanted to try, anyone who likes rhythm and dance, and anyone who would like to be physically active and meet new people or challenge themselves can attend these workshops.
Inviting teachers enables us to make this art form and its many benefits accessible to a wide audience and allows us to improve our artistic level. We would like to see more people playing and enjoying Taiko, joining our practices and performing with us.
Workshops target young people 11-18, parent and child 5-11, adult beginners and adult improvers. Sessions start with the basics – stance, playing style, movements and rhythms – as well as the aspect of group playing and team work to achieve a musical performance pleasing to ear and eye. We learn new pieces and drills.
Workshops normally take place at St Paul’s church in Sketty, Swansea. The venue is accessible to both people and drums with ample parking facilities.
When we described the project to local musicians and teachers we had very enthusiastic responses, which manifest in the letters of support.
We are hoping that more people will join Aber Taiko and that we will flourish and become more sustainable. One of the reasons for playing taiko is to inspire by showing how much fun it is to play, that we take our drumming seriously and put a lot of physical and mental effort to play well.
Swansea Year of Taiko was kindly funded by: