Taiko Baka 2014


2014-01-21 12.55.19Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, flap, flap, flap
Wiggle, wiggle wiggle, flap flap flap
This is the constant refrain I heard as Tiffany sensei began to deftly take apart my drumming technique so that I can play more efficiently and with less strain. During the weekend long workshop, we wiggled and we flapped with visions of spaghetti arms floating in and out of my consciousness. The technique worked because how else could I have lasted 4 days of daily drumming, sometimes up to 45 minutes at a stretch without acquiring a single blister on my hands. Lots of sore muscles. No blisters.
Four days of taiko intensive workshop with Tiffany Tamaribuchi, an internationally known taiko master is first and foremost a lot of FUN! Yes, we did learn to play the Odaiko but a funny thing happened before we played our solos. I learned to overcome my self-doubts, my fears. (Play a solo? Oh no. Not me.) I learned to relax and enjoy the moment. I felt connected and balanced. So what if I made a mistake. So what if I couldn’t play a pattern after the first or fifth repetition. So what if after learning a drill one day, I couldn’t remember how to play it the next. All I know is no one is keeping score (maybe me, still). No one will remember how badly or how well I played my solo except me. And in my mind at that moment, I was flawless. The corrections, the do overs….those can wait until the following day.
I still have plenty of challenges to work on and who doesn’t? But after Taiko Baka, I am less intimidated. It isn’t as daunting a task anymore. True, I still get nervous. But it’s all relative. At the very least, I don’t feel like Sissyphus pushing a big boulder up a steep hill all the time.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, Flap, flap flap.

— Mary Ann


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