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Taiko Lesson with On Ensemble PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Leong   
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
ImageOn Ensemble is now preparing for their fourth session of taiko courses and private lessons, this time with FOUR NEW COURSES!

Beginning Sunday, December 3, Maz and Kris will be teaching the next session of our in-depth taiko courses and private lessons!  Designed specifically for taiko players, On Ensemble's taiko lessons provide hands-on instruction and in-depth exploration of taiko technique.

Four of the five courses are taught Sundays in Glassel Park (north of downtown LA) and the remaining course (Composition for Beginners 101) is taught Friday evenings in Torrance.

Each course is $150 and class sizes are limited.  Each class is 90 minutes.  Participants are provided with weekly between-class exercises.

Contact Kris today ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , 310-350-8825) to reserve your spot!


  Slant-Drum Technique 101       NEW!
  Multi-Drum Taiko 101
  Ji-Keeping 101                 NEW!
  Multi-Drum Taiko 201           NEW!
  Composition For Beginners 101  NEW!



     Sundays 10am - 11:30am  Glassel Park
     December 3 - January 28

Maz continues his focus on basics with this in-depth course on slant-drum fundamentals.  Participants learn the basics of stance and strike, and are given the drills and feedback necesary to make empowering steps toward a more relaxed, powerful, fluid slant-drum technique.


     Sundays 12noon - 1:30pm  Glassel Park
     December 3 - January 28

Multi-Drum Taiko 101 is On Ensemble's most popular course ever!  Back by popular demand, MDT 101 will be taught again this session, giving participants another chance to master the challenging drills and patterns of this fast-paced course.  Students are introduced to the techniques related to playing rhythms across multiple taiko.  "Taiko-set" drumming benefits from particular techniques that enable faster playing and quick hand movements.  Multi-Drum Taiko 101 presents these techniques along with drills to improve comfort and speed with two or more taiko.


     Sundays 2pm - 3:30pm  Glassel Park
     December 3 - January 28

This brand-new course focuses on the all-important task of playing "ji-uchi", or the base-beat that underlies much of taiko music.  Playing a solid back-beat requires substantial technical skill, as well as strong timing and listening skills.  Ji-Keeping 101 introduces these concepts, along with the drills and practice patterns necessary to become a better ji-keeper.


     Sundays 4pm - 5:30pm  Glassel Park
     December 3 - January 28

On Ensemble's first 200-level taiko class (intermediate-level) continues where Multi-Drum Taiko 101 leaves off.  Students are presented with intermediate and advanced techniques for playing between multiple drums and piece together a challenging two-drum pattern over the six-week course.  
     Pre-Requisite: Multi-Drum Taiko 101  Participants must be able to complete, without error, the Multi-Drum Taiko 101 Challenge Pattern or must demonstrate similar ability to instructor.


     Fridays 8pm - 9:30pm  Torrance
     December 8 - February 2

This all-new class provides a gentle introduction to writing taiko music.  Participants learn the "literal composition" technique for overcoming creativity blocks, as well as a number of tried-and-true musical concepts that can easily be applied to taiko.  Individuals prepare short pieces, presented to the rest of the class at the end of the course.



Interested in focusing on an aspect of your taiko not offered this session?  On Ensemble now offers private lessons and workshops on all things taiko.  Private lessons are $25 for 30 minutes and $40 per hour.  Groups of two or more can schedule a workshop at $25 per person, per hour.  Topics include:

    Shamisen    NEW!
    Shinobue Flute
    Betta Technique (upright nagado)
    Rhythm and Timing
    Shime Playing
    Shime Tightening

Private lesson and workshop dates and times are scheduled individually.


To register for a class or private lesson, email Kris Bergstrom at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 310-350-8825.


   Masato Baba started playing taiko at age six with Shasta Taiko, founded by his parents, Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer.  He has studied, performed, and recorded with renowned taiko artist Kenny Endo and taught extensively at the Taiko Center of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He has recently returned from an extended stay in Japan where he studied Japanese flute and taiko and now teaches and performs with On Ensemble, Taiko Project, and Bombu Taiko.

   Kris Bergstrom began his taiko career as a member, composer, and leader of the university group, Stanford Taiko.  He spent three years in Japan where he studied and performed traditional dance and nagauta shamisen.  He has taught taiko in northern Japan, at Taiko Conferences, and at Cal State University Northridge.  He has developed the TIASOU Method for shime tightening which he teaches in private and group lessons, along with shimedaiko playing technique.
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