Photo credit: Stephen Kimmel (April 2017 at Morris Arboretum)

Photo credit: Stephen Kimmel (April 2017 at Morris Arboretum)

Learn how to play Japanese taiko drums with our Beginner Taiko Classes!

Classes are open to adults of all ages, musical backgrounds and experience. In fact, no experience is necessary. We will teach you everything from proper stance, how to hold the drum sticks, striking technique, and the history and traditions of taiko. Children 12 and over are also welcome with parental supervision.

The class sessions run for 4 weeks and are held on Thursday nights from 6:30-8:00 pm. Each session focuses on one of four styles of taiko: beta, odaiko, shime or naname. New students can start with any style.

In beta style, the drumhead faces up to the drummer (is parallel to the ground). With the dramatic odaiko style, the drum is put up on a tall stand with the drumhead perpendicular to the ground. The small shime drum plays an important role as the timekeeper in a taiko ensemble, keeping the base beat or what we call the “ji.” In the shime session you will learn the basic “ji” patterns. With naname style, the drum is set at a slant, which opens up lots of opportunity for beautiful choreography.

Wear comfortable clothing and non-slip shoes like sneakers. It’s a good workout, so you may want to bring a bottle of water too.


2019 Beginner Taiko Session 2

Thursdays from 6:30-8:00 pm

February 6, 13, 20 & 27

Cathi Tillman, Instructor

This session will focus on the dramatic odaiko style of drumming where the drum is put up on a tall stand and the drum head is perpendicular to the ground.

COST & REGISTRATION: Instructional Fee is $60 for the 4-week session. Reserve your spot by emailing us at The fee can be paid by cash or check (made out to “KyoDaiko”) on the day of the first class. Maximum class size is 15 students.

LOCATION: Classes take place at our dojo in the Defensive Arts Center, located within the Greenbriar Club Apartments Complex at 3901 Conshohocken Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19131. Entrance to the complex is across W Country Club Rd.


Session 1 – Beta: January 9, 16, 23 & 30 (no class Jan. 2)
Session 2 – Odaiko: February 6, 13, 20 & 27
Session 3 – Shime: March 5, 12, 19 & 26
Session 4 – Naname: April 2, 9, 16 & 23 (no class Apr. 30)
Session 5 – Beta: May 7, 14, 21 & 28
Session 6 – Odaiko: June 4, 11, 18 & 25
Session 7 – Shime: July 9, 16, 23 & 30 (no class Jul. 2)
Session 8 – Naname: August 6, 13, 20 & 27
Session 9 – Beta: September 3, 10, 17 & 24
Session 10 – Odaiko: October 1, 8, 15 & 22 (no class Oct. 29)
Session 11 – Shime: November 5, 12, 19 & December 3 (no class Nov. 26)
No December session

For more information on classes, contact KyoDaiko at

Playing taiko is a lot of fun and is also a great workout, we hope you’ll join us soon!