Taiko Classes Offered

Taiko Class

Community Classes

Classes at Kalamazoo College on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-9:00 PM. Call Esther for directions. $125 per 10-week term.

Introduction to Taiko

Introduction classes began in June 2011 in Kalamazoo, (Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, and other locations on request). Please contact Esther or Carolyn Koebel if you are interested in hosting an Intro class.

INTRO to TAIKO classes are offered periodically. They are a one class opportunity to see if they fit your needs. They can happen in your community by request. Call Esther.

Beginner Taiko Classes

CHILDREN 4 -5:30 p.m.
BEGINNER ADULTS 7:30-9 p.m.
Held at: 225 Parsons, Kalamazoo, 49007 -- entrance door is on Edwards St ("Upper Deck") the studio is on the 2nd floor. (If the door is stuck to the upper deck, please call 269-491-7071)

Japanese Drumming For Adults

Try your hand at a wonderful, ancient art form of Japan with Esther Vandecar. The class covers: good basic form (kata), Taiko manners, elementary tunes, Japanese/North American Taiko History

Weekly Class Begins on June 18th, 2014, 7:30-9 p.m.M
Held at: 225 Parsons, Kalamazoo, 49007
Weekly Class $50/month

Drums and Bachi (sticks) provided. Please bring water and wear loose clothing. For more information Contact Esther: 269-491-7071 or Email esther.taikomi@att.net

School and Community Residencies

Master Classes

Esther teaches Master Classes to percussion departments and existing Taiko Groups in Fort Wayne, IN, Western MI University, Kalamazoo, MSU, East Lansing, Dublin, and other locations in OH, Austin, Texas, Sun Radius Music, Intíl, Traverse City, Tabuchi Theater, Bronson, MO, and other locations upon request.

Other Classes

MI Hiryu Daiko will offer ongoing classes, one time workshops, artist in residencies in schools/universities/organizations, and innovative specialty programs. Esther has worked with numerous schools and community groups in the U. S., Japan, and the U.K. Ask and we will design a program to suit your needs.

Residencies in schools are available upon request. Residencies are usually 30 days but can be designed for any time period that works for the school. Prices will be given on request. Details are given below.

One-month residency

A one-month residency provides a school and its students a memorable musical/cultural experience. Every child in the school has the opportunity to spend 40-50 minutes with an artist. Usually the first 20 minutes is spent on Question & Answer about Japanese culture and the last 20 minutes is spent at the drums. Kindergarten and first graders are often given 1/2 a class because of the height of the drums and the attention span of this age group, but it is at the discreation of the school. The school usually selects a grade level; 4th, 5th, or 6th are ideal, but 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders are options too. The core groups usually meet 3-5 times a week in order to learn a tune to perform in the culminating presentation. Japanese art projects in all classrooms are encouraged at all grade levels to decorate the school during the residency and for the culminating event. An introductory performance by MI Hiryu Daiko at the beginning of a residency is highly recommended. It inspires the whole school to participate in the residency in some way.

One-Week residency

You can choose to use the 20 classes in any number of ways. For example, one grade (five 3rd grade classes) can meet with the artist 4 times in a week. Or five 4th grade and four 5th grade classrooms and can have 2 classes each and the remaining 2 class periods can be a teacher group, or a music class.

A Michigan Hiryu Daiko performance at the beginning of a residency is highly recommended.It inspires the whole school to participate in the residency in some way.

Michigan Hiryu Daiko performances are availalbe to schools without residencies as well.

One day to one week residency

This residency is just a demo of taiko with each target class, and if time permits we can do a brief hands-on, and Q & A. A day is considered to be four 40-60 minute classes.


Grants available for School Taiko/Japanese Cultural Residencies and/or taiko assemblies beginning in June, 2012 through the Michigan Humanities Council. Call Esther Vandecar for more information: 269-491-7071.



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