Taikoza introduces students to the rich festival traditions of Japan. Accompanied by thunderous taiko drums and Japanese flutes, students take a journey through different regions of Japan as they explore traditional folk song and dance.

Setup Requirements:

  • The stage: 20 feet wide and at least 12 feet deep; the group is flexible.
  • 2 microphones: 1 high stand and 1 low, if possible.

Artist Arrival Time:  30 minutes prior to performance


Suggested Introduction:  

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, let’s give a warm welcome to Taikoza presenting… Japanese Drumming and Dance!


Inclement Weather:  DON’T WORRY! Artists will follow school closings/delays, and will work with you to reschedule the performance if necessary.


Young Audiences Contact Number:  410-837-7577


After Hours / Emergency NumberCall 410-837-7577 and follow the prompts to be connected with a staff member on call. 


Artist BioThis Japanese taiko drum group has dazzled audiences worldwide with its electrifying performances since 1995. Taiko means big drum and Taikoza draws from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance, and is inspired by the many festivals and rhythms of Japan. “Beginnings,” Taikoza’s first album, was nominated for a 2004 Just Plain Folks Music Award. Taikoza has appeared on ESPN at the Sumo Tournament held at Madison Square Garden, and have toured internationally. You can also hear Taikoza in the Nintendo game “Red Steel.”

Common Core Standard:  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Maryland State Curriculum Standards For Fine Arts

Fine Arts Content Standards in MUSIC 2.0 Historical, Cultural, and Social Context: Students will demonstrate an understanding of music as an essential aspect of history and human experience.

1. Develop the ability to recognize music as a form of individual and cultural expression through experiencing music as both personal and societal expression


  • Arigato – Thank you
  • Bachi – Japanese word for Taiko drum sticks
  • Bon Odori – summer festival involving dances
  • Fue – horizontal bamboo flute
  • Kimono – Japanese costume worn by men and women
  • Happi is a shorter coat worn nowadays for festivals (Taikoza members wear them).
  • Konnichiwa – Hello (daytime greeting)
  • Matsuri – Japanese word for festival, can happen in any season, but is usually a dedication to gods to thank them for a good year
  • Ohayo – Good morning
  • Ongaku – music in Japanese, each character that forms the word, meaning sound and enjoyment/fun
  • Shakuhachi – name of the long 5-hole vertical end blown bamboo flute
  • Taiko – Japanese barrel shaped drums
  • Tokyo – capital of Japan

List of additional resources:


  • Taikoza: Beginnings
  • East Winds Ensemble CDs


  • Simple Flutes: A Guide to Flute Making and Playing by Mark Shepard
  • The Drums of Nohto Hanto


  • “The Last Samurai”


Pre-Performance Activities:  This will help the teacher prepare the class for your arrival.

  1. Look at a map of the world and place Japan. Look at a map of Japan and point out the four main islands, the capital, Mount Fuji and Okinawa.

Post-Performance Activities- with assessment: 

1. Use the Vocabulary Resource Sheet to define and discuss key concepts from the program.

2. Taiko music is frequently played at Japanese festivals or “matsuri.” Research other customs and traditions of “matsuri”, and choose a Japanese festival to have in class.

3. Have students create a vocal symphony or rhythm. Each student chooses a sound or melody to repeat, and other students will attempt to harmonize.

4. Ideas/Questions for Discussion

.Classroom Discussion Questions:

  1. A.     How are different cultures expressed through rhythm?

B. Why do you think there are similarities in the instruments and rhythms from around the world?

C. How are drums and other percussion instruments used in our culture today? Compare and contrast their use in our culture today with their historical use in other cultures. 

In-depth sample lesson planShould be provided for a follow up lesson given by the classroom teacher after the performance/ workshop.  This should be one full complete lesson with all the elements included.  (see attached lesson plan template) 

Classroom handout: 


“Japanese Drumming and Dance”

Vocabulary Resource Sheet

Name: ______________________________ Date: _____________________

Taiko – _____________________________________

Matsuri – ___________________________________

Bachi – _____________________________________

Shakuhachi – _______________________________

Fue – _______________________________________

Tokyo – _____________________________________

Ongaku – __________________________________


Kimono – ___________________________________


Bon Odori – ________________________________

Ohayo – ____________________________________

Konnichiwa – _______________________________

Sayonara – _________________________________

Arigato – ___________________________________

Background/ Additional Information:  This group personifies power, grace, pulse, and driving rhythms. The electrifying aural and visual display consists of three drummers and a dancer. The huge Taiko drums were originally used in Japan to purify and drive away evil spirits and today they keep audiences glued to their seats. Taikoza draws from Japan’s rich tradition of musical performance to create a new sound using a variety of instruments. The combination of drums, shakuhachi, and fue (both bamboo flutes) is a rare and unforgettable treat for American ears.

What’s missing?   We have the opportunity to create anything for these guides.  How do we make them incredible?  Be sure to include any additional elements that will enhance and personalize your teacher guide to make it more useful and appealing to teachers. 







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Taikoza and East Winds, Inc knows the arts are a critical component of every child’s social, intellectual and personal development. To maintain the arts’ essential role in the lives of all young New Yorkers, we present unique performances and creative collaborations that support learning through the arts for children, schools and families throughout New York City. You can support the power of the arts and learning by clicking on the Donate button and making a gift to East Winds, Inc. through our secure donation site.

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