Programs, Classes & Private Lessons

Taiko at Mount Royal Conservatory


Taiko is the art of Japanese drumming. Traditionally performed for religious, theatre, and communication purposes, taiko is developing into a popular performance art. Taiko is now seen in many countries around the world, and Canada's first taiko ensemble was formed in 1979.

Classes will focus on introducing and developing basic striking skills, proper stance and posture, and learning taiko ensemble pieces with basic choreography, with respect to all four elements of taiko: 

  • kokoro (spirit: self-control and playing from the heart)
  • waza (action: musicianship, skill, and technique)
  • karada (body: physical strength and endurance)
  • rei (etiquette: respect, courtesy and unity)

“Your heart is a taiko. All people listen to a taiko rhythm dontsuku-dontsuku in their mother’s womb. It’s instinct to be drawn to taiko drumming. In taiko, you can hear the sound through your skin” (quote from Oguchi-sensei).   

Instructor: Paula Midori Nieckar

CourseCRN Day Date RoomTime Fee
Taiko Intermediate (16+)CRN 91421 Sunday Nov. 18 - Jan. 20, 2019 ED20094 - 5 p.m. $150
Taiko for Children (4 - 9 yrs)CRN 91650 Sunday Nov. 18 - Jan. 20, 2019 ED20095:30 - 6 p.m. $100
Taiko Beginner Class (16+) CRN 91419 Sunday Nov. 18 - Jan. 20, 2019 ED20096 - 7 p.m. $150
Taiko Rep - Click it (16+)CRN 91415 Sunday Nov. 18 - Jan. 20, 2019 ED20097:15 - 9:15 p.m. $200
Children's Taiko (4-9)CRN 30743 Sunday Feb. 10 - Apr. 14, 2019 ED20093 - 3:45 p.m. $125
Taiko Intermediate (16+)CRN 30747


Feb. 10 - Apr. 14, 2019


4 - 5 p.m.


Taiko Technique (16+)CRN 30745 Sunday Feb. 10 - Apr. 14, 2019 ED20096 - 7 p.m. $150
Taiko Repertoire  (16+)

CRN 30741


Feb. 10 - Apr. 14, 2019


7:15 - 8:15 p.m.


Taiko for Children ( 4 - 9 yrs)
CRN 30744 Sunday  Apr. 21 - Jun. 16, 2019 ED2009 3 - 3:45 p.m.  $150
Taiko Intermediate (16+)CRN 30748 Sunday Apr. 21 - Jun. 16, 2019 ED20094 - 5 p.m. $150
Taiko Technique (16+)
CRN 30746 Sunday  Apr. 21 - Jun. 16, 2019 ED20096 - 7 p.m. $150
Taiko Ensemble (16+)
CRN 30742 Sunday Apr. 21 - Jun. 16, 2019 ED20097:15 - 9:15 p.m. $200

Class Descriptions:

No prior musical or drumming experience is necessary to learn and love taiko.

Intermediate Taiko (16+)

Students will be introduced to the art of taiko, including a brief history of modern taiko, basic taiko technique, proper stance and posture, and introduction to beta (flat) and naname (slant) style of taiko playing.  Students will learn a traditional taiko song in each style. Students who have prior experience can further develop their understanding of taiko technique and kuchishoga.

Taiko Repertoire Classes

Students must have prior taiko experience (for example, have completed a class), and be comfortable with basic beta or naname technique and kuchisoga. Students are encouraged to consult with the instructor if they have any questions.

Korekara ("from now on") was written by Michelle Fuji and Walter Clarke, with a spirit of deep appreciation for the taiko pioneers who have come before us, and excitement for the future. Korekara is intended to honour the generosity of these visionaries, building upon the foundation that they have laid for us, and encouraging taiko to go in exciting new directions.

Click-It is a fun interactive open source taiko piece composed by Kristy Oshiro. Using two naname-dai, students will enjoy playing in pairs with this unique piece.


Taiko ensembles are intended for taiko players who have 1+ year of experience, or at the discretion of the instructor. These ensembles will focus on mastering taiko repertoire with the intention to perform at local community events. Taiko ensembles have performed at MRU events in the Bella Concert Hall, NIckle and Leacock Theatres, in addition to non-MRU events such as the Mayor's Lunch, Globalfest and the Calgary Stampede.

Youth Ensemble: ages 9-15.
Prerequisite: Youth Ensemble members must have knowledge of basic taiko technique and kuchishoga

Adult Ensemble: ages 16+
Prerequisite: adult ensemble members must have knowledge of the following taiko repertoire:
Dokokara (Yuta Kato)
Korekaka (Fuji and Clarke)
Omiyage (Shoji Kameda)
Ready, Set, Kadon (Shoji Kameda)



MRU Taiko Drumming classes generously supported by: