en Taiko

Handbook

for Students and Parents

1/1/2016- 12/31/2017

 

                         

 

Office: 4938 NE 15th Ave #E, Portland, OR 97211

 

Rehearsals:

 

St. Paul Church, 3880 SE Brooklyn St., Portland

Richmond Elementary School, 2276 SE 41st Ave, Portland

Lincoln Church, 5145 SE Lincoln St., Portland

 

www.entaiko.org

Contact: kazuyo@entaiko.org

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

I.     Welcome

II.     en Taiko and its Mission   

III.     Classes, Workshops, Summer Camps     

General Guidelines

Descriptions of Classes

            Workshop

            Summer Camps       

IV.    Rehearsals and Performances  

Expectations for Performing Students and Parents

V.    Tuitions, Scholarships, Internship Opportunities

 

 

l.     Welcome to en Taiko

 

This handbook contains information that will help you learn about en Taiko as you begin your adventure in the art form of taiko with us. We wish you good luck and let’s have fun together!

Your feedback and suggestions about our programming are always appreciated as en Taiko strengthens ties to its communities. Please contact Kazuyo Ito, Executive Director, at kazuyo@entaiko.org.

 

             II.       en Taiko and Its Mission

 

en Taiko’s mission is to foster a community where participants from various ethnic backgrounds work together to create music while learning the cultural traditions of others.

 

About Taiko

The word, Taiko” in Japanese literally means great or wide drum. It refers most commonly to a distinctive form of drumming that has its roots in ancient Japanese culture. But Taiko also describes the art form of modern Japanese drum ensembles, as well as the physical drums used by these groups.

Taiko is about community. Taiko, Japanese drumming, transcends all cultures and it is universal and anyone can do it. Participants from different ethnic backgrounds will work with each other to create music and learn to be open to the cultural traditions of others.

en Taiko was established  in 2007.  en Taiko played and practiced on old garbage bins. At first, en Taiko began as a means of teaching kids at schools, where music class was no longer offered. Drastic public school budget cuts continue to deprive students of the demonstrated benefits of formal music education. The practice and performances by en Taiko help fill this gap, by providing students with discipline, camaraderie, listening skills, and structure–all essential components of Japanese taiko.

Over the years, the quality of taiko has been getting better and better. The en Taiko students are ready for increased responsibility and more challenging songs. As a performance group, en Taiko plans to expand its repertoire and grow its membership.

The “en” in “en Taiko” is probably best translated as “happenstance,” as in the lucky bits of circumstance that bring people together. Even in ancient Japan, Taiko was not merely a musical instrument. Taiko played a vital role in strengthening community, whether in the schools, temples, or throughout the townships. Similarly, en Taiko aspires to create opportunity for strengthening and expanding community.

 

In April 2012, en Taiko became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.   Status number: 27- 2180026

 

The en Taiko performance group is a youthful, high-energy experience that fosters community. Taiko drumming strengthens individuality and creativity within the interplay of a group dynamic. The group performs at cultural events and music festivals throughout the city of Portland, carrying on a centuries' old musical tradition from feudal Japan.

 

About Kazuyo Ito, Executive Director of en Taiko

Kazuyo was trained by Taiko masters, Takemasa Ishikura in Florida and Jyotaro Yoshimura in Japan. Before starting en Taiko in 2007, she performed with Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble in California, Uzume Taiko in Canada, and Matsuriza at Walt Disney World for many years. Kazuyo teaches her students in a traditional, strict manner, which is typical for many Japanese martial arts, sports, and music lessons.

In addition to teaching all classes at en Taiko, she teaches a taiko class at Portland Community College      

 

 

                                            III.        Classes, Workshops, Summer Camps                

GENERAL GUIDELINES for Students and Families of ALL en Taiko Offerings:

 

  • All classes, workshops, and summer camps will be held at the St. Paul Church and Lincoln Church unless specific instructions are given by Instructor.

  • You can fill out the registration form and pay for classes online through the en Taiko’s website: www.entaiko.org unless Instructor has a special registration arrangement for certain workshops.

  • Please note that, by signing the registration form, you are understanding the contents of this handbook, authorizing en Taiko staff to seek medical treatment for your child in emergency situations, and giving en Taiko consent to use your child’s photographs, and video and/or audio of your child’s activities/performances for promotional purposes.

  • Contact Instructor immediately if you:

  • Have any urgent/emergency situation

  • Will be absent for any rehearsal/class

  • Will be late to a practice/rehearsal even for a few minutes

Note: We ask for your cooperation with your on-time arrivals for classes. There is only one instructor and she has to go to a locked door to let late students into the church building. Every time she does this, she has to stop the class and disrupts the flow of the class. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Check your e-mail frequently for information from Instructor about classes, performances or any schedule changes.

  • Check the website www.entaiko.org for updates on performances, events, and news.

  • Students and parents are responsible for arriving on time at classes, workshops, summer camps, and performances (if you are performing). You are encouraged to set up a carpool arrangement among families whenever possible. en Taiko staff is not responsible for scheduling such arrangements.

  • Feel free to contact Instructor via e-mail (kazuyo@entaiko.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

  • If a student’s behavior is too disruptive for the other students in a class, Instructor will give a verbal warning to the student. When a student receives a total of three verbal warnings, Instructor will schedule a meeting with the student and his/her family member in an effort to remove the problem behavior. Instructor may ask the student not to attend the class if that is deemed the only option. If the student is removed from two classes, the student will not be able to attend any remaining classes. There will be no tuition refund for the classes missed.

 

CLASSES

Kids Class I (kinder, first grade)

Wednesdays 50 minutes/class

Goals:

  • Begin to understand teamwork and be a team member

  • Demonstrate respect for self, other students, Instructor, and taiko/instruments

  • Perform at Richmond-based performances and en Taiko’s Annual Concert

  • Have fun playing taiko!

Expectations:  

  • Arrive at classes on time

  • Contact Instructor immediately if expected to be late or absent

  • Come to each class ready to learn

  • Participate in class activities actively

  • Ask questions to Instructor

 

Kids Class II (2nd-5th grade)

Tuesdays 75 minutes/class (2016)

Thursdays 60 minutes/class (2017)

Goals:

  • Understand teamwork and be a team member

  • Demonstrate respect for self, other students, Instructor, and taiko/instruments

  • Perform at Richmond-based performances and en Taiko’s Annual Concert

  • Perform at other performances if requested and interested/available

  • Get invited to audition for the Honki Class (if you are interested)

Expectations:

  • Arrive at classes on time

  • Contact Instructor immediately if expected to be late or absent

  • Come to each class ready to learn

  • Participate in class activities actively

  • Challenge self for advance skills and knowledge

  • Ask questions to Instructor

 

Sunday Class: (Currently closed)

Sundays 90 min./class

(This class is not currently offered but may be offered in the near future.)

Goals:

  • Focus on creative work with taiko playing

  • Rehearse for small local performances, based on performance requests

Expectations:

  • Actively participate in creative challenges

  • Attend all rehearsals

  • Contact Instructor if you will be late or absent

  • Pre-performance rehearsals are mandatory in order for students to be cast

 

Honki Class (elementary students) -  see Section IV for details

Tuesdays and Fridays 2.5 hours/class

 

Performing Group – see Section IV for details

Fridays 4:15- 7:00 & Sundays 4:00- 7:00pm (January -June 2016)

Sundays 4:00- 7:00pm (September 2016- December 2017)  *could be changed

 

WORKSHOPS

Workshops are offered when en Taiko gets funding for such opportunities for students. en Taiko staff will seek master teachers to teach a workshop when the teachers are traveling through the Portland Metropolitan area. en Taiko staff will notify all students and families whenever such opportunities become available.

 

SUMMER CAMPS

Summer camps are offered for children in kindergarten through 5th grade. No taiko experience necessary! Everyone is welcome to join this fun, educational, five-day All-Day Camps.

Session 1:     August 1 - 5, 2016    

                    9:30 am - 4:00 pm

                    “Learning Different Cultures”

        

 

Session 2:    August 8 - 12, 2016

                    9:30 am - 4:00 pm

       “Make Your Own Song!”

                   

*Children need to be dropped off at the St. Paul Church by 9:15 am each day.

*There will be a performance by the students on Friday at 3:15 pm for each session.

 

IV.  Honki and Performing Group Students and Parents Expectations              

 

For the safety of all students, the drums, and other equipment, each student is expected to follow the rules and expectations described below and the instructor’s directions. The staff at en Taiko will make every attempt to make the experience exciting and positive for all students and families.

 

 

Honki Description (Elementary students)

Students have to be invited to audition by Instructor to get into this class.

Goals:

  • Become comfortable with the 3 different styles of taiko and rhythm

  • Perform at the Richmond-based performances and en Taiko concert

  • Perform at other performances as requests come in

  • Learn challenging songs and techniques

  • Begin to learn leadership skills

  • Begin to learn how to be a representative of en Taiko at performances

  • Aim to become a performing group member (if interested)

 

Expectations:

  • Come to rehearsals on time and stay for the entire rehearsal period

  • Students are allowed up to two (2) absences or late arrivals to or early departures from rehearsals during each session with advance notice to Instructor

  • All other absences or late arrivals to or early departures from rehearsals required instructor’s approval

  • Four (4) rehearsals before a performance are mandatory

Because all students learn and are responsible for different parts of songs, a student’s absence or tardiness from rehearsals impacts other students.  For this reason, students who are absent from or late to rehearsals may miss their spots on songs and/or performances

 

It is up to each family to arrange transportation of students to and from classes/rehearsals if you have to be late or leave early.

  • Participate in all rehearsals actively

  • Practice at home 3 days a week with metronome (30 min total)

 

 

Performing Group Description (Middle/high school and Honki students with Instructor’s approval)

Goals:

  • Become a responsible performing member of en Taiko

  • Understand the mission of en Taiko and represent it in the communities

  • Challenge self with additional opportunities to learn advanced skills

  • Participate in more performances for both in and outside of the Portland Metropolitan area

  • Play more marimba and compose new pieces

  • Prepare to attend the taiko conference

  • Learn teaching skills

  • Apply leadership skills in group settings with younger students at rehearsals, performances, and other activities

Expectations:

  • Use limited rehearsal times well so that you can learn many songs and taiko techniques with advanced melody and structures

  • Ask Instructor if you have any questions

  • •Practice at home 60 minutes a week with metronome - Mandatory

  • Complete homework on time (e.g., Review your performance on YouTube and send comments/feedback to Instructor before due dates)

  • Older students are expected to lead and support younger students

  • Assist Instructor as Intern with a minimum of one week at summer camps

  • Arrive at rehearsals on time and participate in them until the end

  • Students are allowed up to two (2) absences or late arrivals to or early departures from rehearsals during each session with advance notice to Instructor

  • Four (4) rehearsals before a performance are mandatory

  • If you miss more than 2 time rehearsals without instructor’s’ approval, students will loose performance spots and not allow to be a performance during the session

Because all students learn and are responsible for different parts of songs, a student’s absence or tardiness from rehearsals impacts other students.  For this reason, students who are absent from or late to rehearsals may miss their spots on songs and/or performances

It is up to each family to arrange transportation of students to and from classes/rehearsals if you have to be late or leave early.

  • Non-performing students are highly encouraged to go to performances in order to observe the performances as learning opportunities. It also shows team spirit and respect for the performing members of the team.

  • Families are sometimes asked transport instruments or help loading and unloading instruments

 

IMPORTANT: Please understand that any absence and/or tardiness could affect your getting cast in certain performances, depending on the timing of your absence and/or tardiness. The final decision on casting for each performance will be made by Instructor.

 

•             

Communication

It is very important for both students and their parents to have frequent communications with Instructor in order to create a mutually respectful, professional relationship. Everything goes more smoothly when all of us know what to expect at rehearsals, performances, workshops, and/or summer camps.

Parents need to contact Instructor immediately if you:

  • Will be late to a practice even for a few minutes

  • Have any urgent/emergency situations  

  • •Have questions about classes, performances, or any other information sent to you by e-mail. You are expected to check your e-mail frequently.

 

 

Performances

For each performance, students are expected to:

  • Memorize performance transitions/maps by the next rehearsal day after receiving them

  • Arrive by the call time for each performance and notify your arrival to Instructor or the parent volunteer in charge at performance sites

  • Bring your own water bottle and snacks for each performance and rehearsal

  • If costume leader finds something missing upon inventory for each performance, contact Instructor immediately

  • Older students are expected to be excellent role models for younger students and help them during performances

  • •Even though a performance might not have started, once you put on your costume, it is time to be serious and act as if the performance has already started.

  • Students take turns to observe performances to support the whole performing group and to learn performance skills from audience perspectives

en Taiko cannot operate without the generous support from students’ families. For example, families are occasionally asked to transport taiko and other instruments to and from performance locations.

All performance fees en Taiko receives are used to repair and purchase instruments, provide snacks for rehearsals, and for other educational activities.

 

Consequences for Problematic Behaviors

 

All staff at en Taiko work hard to create fun but challenging experiences for all performing group and Honki students. At times an individual’s behavior becomes disruptive to the flow of classes and for the learning of other students. Instructor is expected to do the following to eliminate such disruptions:

  • A verbal warning will be given to the student who is exhibiting a problematic behavior

  • After a student receives 3 verbal warnings, a family meeting will be scheduled to discuss options. You could be removed from the class, if no better option is found.

  • If a student is removed from two classes, s/he will not be allowed to finish the rest of the term. (No refund of any tuition)

 

 

V. Tuitions, Scholarships, and Internship Opportunities

 

Tuitions are determined each term based on the number of participants and the cost of holding a class, a workshop, or a summer camp. en Taiko staff will provide information about the costs as soon as it becomes available prior to registration.

 

Scholarships may become available for eligible participants, depending on grant funding, sponsorship, and/or donations. Please speak with en Taiko staff to request for eligibility criteria and information on scholarships.

 

Internship Opportunities may be available for older, advanced students to assist with teaching Kids’ Classes, workshops, and Summer Camps. Instructor will send an e-mail to eligible students when such opportunities become available. The scope and expectations for each opportunity will be determined by Instructor and Student/Parent.
 

 

Tuition Refund Policy:

Class registration withdrawal requests that are received two weeks prior to the start date of the class are eligible for a full refund minus a $50 processing fee. Requests received after that time will be credited to your next class registration. Workshop and class refund requests are only eligible for credit. Credit expires one year from date of issue. All refunds and credits are subject to en Taiko’s approval. en Taiko will not refund/credit after the class starts.

 

Refund Policy for Workshops and Summer Camps will be provided as each one’s content and schedule are established.