Stephen Kimmel Morris ArboretumLearn how to play Japanese taiko drums! Beginner classes and workshops 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.


Due to Coronavirus concerns, this workshop has been cancelled.


Class sessions run for 4 weeks. Each session focuses on one of four different styles of taiko: beta, odaiko, shime or naname. Although a different style is taught each month, 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 bring a bottle of water too.

Day/Time: Thursdays from 6:30-8:00 pm

Location: Defensive Arts Center, located within the Greenbriar Club Apartments Complex at 3901 Conshohocken Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19131.

Cost/Registration: $60 for the 4-week session. Register at this link. Maximum class size is 15 students.

Next Session Dates: Due to Coronavirus concerns, Beginner Taiko Session 4 (originally scheduled for April 2020) has been postponed. We will update this site once we know when classes may resume. No class registrations are being taken at this time.

This session will focus on the “naname” or slanted style of drumming. This style opens up lots of opportunities for beautiful choreography!


Session 4 – Postponed – Naname: April 2, 9, 16 & 23 (no class Apr. 30)
Session 5 – Postponed – Beta: May 7, 14, 21 & 28
Session 6 – Postponed – Odaiko: June 4, 11, 18 & 25
Session 7 – Postponed – Shime: July 9, 16, 23 & 30 (no class Jul. 2)
Session 8 – Postponed – Naname: August 6, 13, 20 & 27
Session 9 – Postponed – Beta: September 3, 10, 17 & 24
Session 10 – Postponed – Odaiko: October 1, 8, 15 & 22 (no class Oct. 29)
Session 11 – Postponed – 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!