Taiko drums for Orkney

Published on Sep 16, 2022

Young Taiko drummer with instructors Martin and Shonagh from Tsuchigumo Daiko at Kristin Linklater Voice Centre, March 2022

We have an ongoing project to introduce Japanese style Taiko drumming to the Orkney schools and community and have reached a stage where we have purchased 10 drums for that purpose. The next stage will be to train local folk to be Taiko instructors, primarily from the music community, but open to all.

To that end, we plan to engage Tsuchigumo Daiko to do a series of teacher training workshops in Orkney. We are already working with them, and our plans for taiko in Orkney include performances with local participation. We intend to see how far we can develop different aspects of Taiko in Orkney. We will need several visits by Tsuchigumo, spread over a period of years, to attain the basic instructor level.

We know that Orkney has responded with great enthusiasm to the notion of Taiko, and that this is not just another welcome addition to the Orkney music scene, but also provides social and health benefits and contributes to the quality of life of the Orkney community. We have held school workshops at both primary and secondary level and also had public workshops and a concert on different occasions.

It was particularly the response when we did the general public workshop that we realised that the physical workout and the mental focus required to play the drums as instructed, and as part of a group, had the potential to very positively impact the wellbeing of all taking part. An hour’s drumming at the end of the day for KGS teachers was a great way to release tension and have a laugh and the same was seen when a wide cross section of folk from young children to older folk, some of whom had some physical or other challenges, all clearly came away feeling better and smiling.

Families enjoying Taiko drumming workshops at Kristin Linklater Voice Centre, March 2022