Drum Lesson

My friend Daisy came to visit a couple of weeks ago. Before she arrived, she searched for goings-on for Saturday night and discovered that a taiko drumming workshop was being offered in my neighborhood. She asked if I was interested.

But of course!

This beginner’s workshop was being taught by a mother and daughter who are members of a local pan-Asian American women’s art and advocacy organization called Genki Spark. Kumiko and Mayuko were amazing teachers. So fun, kind, and patient.

There were nine of us taking the class, and we rotated among five taiko drums and four drums fashioned out of garbage cans.

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As Kumiko mimed our first hits to the drum, “Right, left, right,” I thought, “Shit.”

Here was yet another activity in which my left-handedness is a bit of a hindrance. I hit the drum using my right hand first = awkward! I ended up playing in a left-handed/right-handed hybrid for the rest of the workshop. I tried to listen to her verbal directions, but I found that when I stopped fully concentrating, I would slip into using my left hand first.

Although I was having trouble finding the “flow” of the drumming, I was still enjoying myself. We learned different rhythms until we were able to play five of them in succession. Then the group split into two, with one group playing a steady beat and the other playing the melody.

It was a fun way to spend a Saturday night, and I am glad to have learned about Genki Spark. See Genki Spark in action here!

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