Taiko Drums from Sandy Creek
Sandy Creek Primary School’s Mary McMaster with some of the Taiko drums they use in their performances
If you were at the Village Fair on the weekend you might have seen the kids from the Sandy Creek Primary School belting out the rhythms with some Taiko drumming. But what exactly is Taiko Drumming?
In Japan Taiko drums have a mythological aura about them, but historically they were probably introduced to Japan from mainland China and Korea around the 6th Century. They have had many uses over their history, including communication, military uses, theatrical roles and religious and ceremonial functions.
Mary McMaster, a Student Support Officer at Sandy Creek Primary School taught English in a small village in Japan in 2001, and there she studied and learnt to love Taiko. When she returned to Sandy Creek she made a set of Taiko and began teaching anyone interested.
The Sandy Creek Primary School now has 3 Taiko groups, and about half the school participates in lunchtime lessons to learn Japanese traditional festival drumming. Even better, SCPS has developed a Cultural Exchange program with the Japanese village that Mary taught in, and every second year students can choose to visit the village as part of the SCPS’s Japanese curriculum.
The Sandy Creek Primary School students have lots of energy and enthusiasm for Taiko, and they build their rhythm skills from Year 3 through to Year 7 – after all, most children love making noise and apart from being a creative, skilful and fun type of performance, Taiko’s LOUD!!