Stephen Kimmel Morris Arboretum

Photo credit: Stephen Kimmel, Morris Arboretum April 2017

“Doro Kara Don Don Don”:  If you can say it, you can play it!

Learn how to play Japanese taiko drums with our Beginner Taiko Classes! Stay tuned for the 2020 class schedule which will be posted in late December. Or contact us at to ask to be put on the class email list to get the registration link once it goes live.

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.

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.

COST: Instructional Fee – $60 for each 4-week session

REGISTRATION: 2020 Schedule and registration link coming soon!

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!