TAIKO DRUMMING - BRINGING JOY TO SCHOOL EVEN DURING A PANDEMIC!
We visited Dartford Grammar School in November 2020 during lockdown 2, to bring Taiko drumming to year 8.
School Taiko workshops are educational, great fun and covid safe!
Katy Simpson, Japanese teacher enthused, “The Taiko workshops today were for year 8, and it was just so so important for their well-being, for their motivation and for them to really reconnect. They enjoyed it so much and just to see the energy that they put into the performances today and their focus was just amazing.
“The cross-curricular benefits of them putting together the music, the language and also the physicality – I think it really invigorated them and engaged them so much. It was fantastic.
I felt so confident in the way that it was run. It was appropriately distanced so there was plenty of space between each of the drums. And even with 36 students, holding it in a big hall meant that the students were able to space out. Between each session they would wipe down their sticks so they were completely sanitised. As the students walked into the room they used hand sanitiser. All of our students wear masks. Mark sensei was wearing a visor, so I felt absolutely safe and confident that it was appropriate in the current environment.
After the final performance, something with which we always aim to finish each workshop, Katy praised the pupils with, “Hontoni subarashikata desu! – That was absolutely fantastic. Watching that, I would have thought you’d been practicing for weeks and weeks! Not only your memories to remember the different sequencing, but your confidence in doing your solo performances, the way that you work together as a group and responded to the instructions.
“Can we say to Mark sensei, “Arigato Gozaimashita” (Thank you).”
The pupils all threw themselves in to their day of Taiko, and achieved far more than I thought they would in just an hour each, leaving happy and with a feeling that school is fun, they do great things here. And of course, they had a little bit of an introduction to Japanese culture as well!