Where are you located?
The Ultimo Centre
42-46 Wattle Street
Ultimo, NSW 2007
67-77 Epsom Road,
Ambrose Treacy College School Hall
Indooroopilly, QLD 4068
Frequently asked questions
What if I can’t find the studio and it is after hours?
If you are lost, please refer to our Ultimo studio directions here.
If you are still having trouble, you can reach our Ultimo studio on 9552 3836.
However, please note that if the class has already started, we may not be able to hear the phone ring.
For Brisbane classes, please contact Kevin Man on his mobile 0400 390 969.
Can anyone join a taiko class?
Our oldest student is 70 years old and our youngest, 3, so age should not prohibit you from joining one of our classes. Sessions can be quite physical, so before joining, please check with your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical condition. Our classes are designed to cater for beginners through to experienced taiko players.
What can I expect at a class?
If you are considering joining a class but are not too sure of what to expect, you could start by trying our Play Taiko: Intro Workshop. To find out more, including the date of the next workshop, click here.
Otherwise, we generally begin with a range of flexibility and breathing exercises that are performed to your own level of ability, and which are designed to prepare both body and mind. Depending on the class, we then move into various rhythms and techniques that progress throughout the term.
What do I bring to class and what should I wear?
Along with your bachi (drumsticks), you should bring a bottle of water, earplugs and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing so you can move around with ease. We recommend you eat 60-90 minutes before attending class. A towel is also handy, especially in the summer months! And be prepared to take off your shoes in our studios – all taiko practice is undertaken either barefoot, in socks or tabi (Japanese split-toe socks).
What else can I learn?
In addition to our Weekly Classes, we also offer extension classes. Extensions explores all areas of taiko practice and is designed to broaden your experience of taiko by extending you in technical and musical areas. The focus of Extensions changes from term to term; examples of topics covered include odaiko (grand drum), katsugi okedo (slung drum), as well as shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute), dance and movement. Click here to read about our current Extensions class.
What if I would like to perform or practice with other students?
If you would like to meet other taiko enthusiasts, practice and perform – even compose your own music – then our student ensemble Taiko no Wa is for you. Click here to find out more about Taiko no Wa.
Are all the teachers Taikoz performers?
The majority of our teachers are members and performers of Taikoz. A few teachers are associate members, meaning they may perform with us from time-to-time, but are not full-time members of Taikoz. All of our teaching staff are expected to maintain a high level of proficiency and to ensure that our standards are maintained, teachers are regularly assessed by Artistic Director Ian Cleworth.
What is taiko?
Taiko drumming originally hails from Japan where, for centuries, the instruments have been used in Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, the classical noh theatre and the popular kabuki theatre. However, modern taiko performance has grown out of the folk tradition of matsuridaiko or festival drumming: ancient rhythms, melodies and styles of playing have migrated out of their localised contexts and been transformed into modern concert hall pieces. Taiko performance is by nature physically active and exciting: it’s almost dance-like in its approach, where one can’t separate movement from sound. This has to do with the story-telling roots of festival drumming and the use of taiko as a vehicle for celebration and ritual. With the onset of international travel and collaboration, groups like Taikoz have added their voice to the tradition, too.
There are over 8,000 groups in Japan alone, ranging from traditional regional groups to amateur mixed taiko instrument ensembles, as well as professional, contemporary concert hall soloists and groups. While Taikoz comes out of this tradition, it sees itself as a contemporary Australian ensemble, not an imitation of a Japanese one. With taiko and shakuhachi at it heart, Taikoz is committed to creating and performing music at the highest level.