The San Jose Junior Taiko program began in 1985 and is the oldest continually running children's taiko program in the country. Serving students from ages 8 to 18, the program consists of classes taught by members of San Jose Taiko's professional company who provide young players not only with instruction in taiko but also with opportunities for building creative expression, self-esteem, cultural awareness, and group cooperation.
In 1985, San Jose Taiko began its very first Junior Taiko class. At the time, the program lasted 3 months and had 13 students who learned taiko twice a week. At the end of the session, these students performed the first song that is still taught today, Renshu, a practice piece utilizing basic taiko rhythms.
Junior Taiko Today
The Junior Taiko program has grown to over 70 students learning in 6 different class levels. Classes are held September through May, and the season ends with a program-wide recital.
With the increasing number of collegiate taiko groups, San Jose Junior Taiko becomes fertile ground for skill development and relationship building within the taiko community. Junior Taiko alumni have gone on to play in collegiate taiko groups at Stanford, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, USC, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, and in professional groups such as Portland Taiko, TaikoProject, and San Jose Taiko.
*** Any student interested in joining the Junior Taiko Program must first complete the INTRODUCTORY CLASS. ***
Enrollment for the INTRODUCTORY CLASS is first-come, first-served. The class is limited to 16 participants. From this class, 8-10 students will be selected to join the Junior Taiko Program. The students who show the required rhythmic skills, maturity, and enthusiasm for taiko will be selected. Class info, fees, and online registration can be found here.
If your child would like to take a different taiko class, he/she can sign up for the Youth Recreational Class (ages 8-14) or the Adult Recreational Class (ages 15+). Enrollment is open to everyone of all skill levels, and no previous taiko experience is necessary. More info and online registration are available at the links. These classes are not affiliated with the Junior Taiko Program.
Learn more about taiko and San Jose Taiko here.