Verdugo Woodlands is home to a thriving Japanese taiko drumming program. Taiko drumming teaches kids rhythm, movement, discipline and Japanese culture in a fun and engaging way. The program began in 2011 as enrichment for the FLAG/Japanese dual language immersion program and has since expanded to reach all students at the school. We currently have four different taiko drumming programs at Verdugo Woodlands.
Thanks to support from our generous WAVE foundation, students in grades K - 6and all FLAG Japanese classes can have the opportunity to learn taiko during school hours during a 6 week session. Please check with your classroom teacher to see if your child’s class is signed up for taiko this year.
After School Taiko for Grades 1-3
Students in grades 1-3 may take taiko classes in the spring to learn the basics of taiko and play a taiko drumming piece. The session culminates with a performance for parents, friends and family. There are no tryouts and anyone in grades 1-3 may sign up. Download the application on PeachJar, fill it out completely and turn it in to your child's teacher with the suggested donation.
After School Taiko for Grades 4-6
Also in the spring, this program is similar to the one for grades 1-3, but geared towards older students. Applications are also available on PeachJar in the spring.
Kinome Daiko (木の芽太鼓)
This is the performing group for our taiko program and also meets after school. Kinome means “tree sprout” symbolizing the children and their budding enthusiasm for the art of taiko drumming. Students must try out for this group (typically at the beginning of the school year), contributing to a strong sense of school pride. This year Kinome Daiko played at VW’s Fall Festival and the Shoseian Holiday Tea Celebration. In past years they have also had the rare opportunity to share the stage with the famed Oedo Sukeroku Taiko at the One Sound Concert.
All classes are taught by Chiaki Toda a member and co-leader of L.A. Taiko Ichiza. Ms. Toda has been playing taiko for over two decades and has developed our taiko program into what it is today. Our afterschool programs are also taught by Ms. Toda, and coordinated by Japanese Kindergarten Teacher Mike Jaffe, also a member of L.A. Taiko Ichiza.
Our taiko program would not be possible without a venue to practice in, which has been provided by the Dads’ Club since the beginning of the program. The WAVE Foundation is currently fully supporting our in-class taiko program and also pays the Dads' Club rental fee for the venue. Our PTA has also purchased taiko drums for our program as a gift in recent years. Thank you to all our supporters. Without you, VW would not have taiko to enrich the lives of our wonderful Woodlanders!
If you have any questions about our taiko program, please contact Mike Jaffe.