Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the course?
The fee for the ten-week course (90 minutes per session) is currently $260 plus a one-time cost for the drumsticks (bachi) of $15.
How do I register for the course?
In order to run a course, we require a minimum of seven registered students. Therefore we ask that students register and prepay for the entire course at least one week prior to the start date. You can prepay the course using PayPal (service fee applies) or by sending a postdated cheque (dated for the first class) payable to “Nagata Shachu” and sending it by mail along with the registration and liability waiver forms.
What will I learn in the beginners course?
Basic drills, form, technique and a traditional song for taiko will be taught. The course is a lot of fun, a great workout, and helps to improve musical skills.
What should I bring to class?
Participants should wear workout/athletic type clothes for physical activity and sweating. It is also advisable to bring a bottle of water. There is a washroom for changing. We ask that students go barefoot when playing taiko. If this poses a problem, students may wear socks or indoor shoes with permission from instructor.
Where are the classes located?
All classes are held at the Nagata Shachu taiko studio located at 112 Hymus Road (one block east of Warden between St. Clair and Eglington).
By TTC, the studio is a 12-15 minute walk north from Warden subway station or a short-bus ride. There is also plenty of free parking on the street.
Are there make-up classes if I miss a class?
We do not offer credit, refunds or make-up classes if a student misses a class or drops the course. If the instructor cancels a class, a make-up class will be offered following the last scheduled class or credit will be given for the cancelled class.
Do I need to have previous musical or taiko experience to join the beginners course?
You do not need to have any previous musical or taiko experience to take the beginners course. All material is taught through example and repetition.
Ability to read music is not a requirement.
Can I skip the beginners course and take the intermediate/advanced classes if I have previous taiko/drumming experience?
The intermediate/advanced courses assumes students know the form, drills and songs taught in Nagata Shachu’s beginners course. We therefore highly recommend that everyone starts in the beginners classes. Otherwise we suggest that you come and watch a class and be assessed by an instructor.
I have my own drumsticks (bachi) that I have from another group/course. Can I use those?
Every group uses different drumsticks of various lengths, diameters and type of wood. For this reason, we ask that students use the drumsticks issued specifically for our course and for the style of drumming that we teach.
What kind of physical shape do I need to be in?
Although playing taiko can be physically demanding, we respect everyone’s abilities and limitations. Classes begin with light stretches. Please consult with an instructor if you have any concerns of prior injuries or physical impairments that may limit your movement or range of motion.
What is the minimum/maximum age requirement to take a course?
The minimum age requirement is 16. There is no maximum age limit.
Do you cancel classes due to bad weather?
We normally cancel classes if a snowstorm alert is issued. One make-up class per course is reserved in such an event.
Are there performance opportunities for the classes?
Currently there are no performance opportunties for the classes. However, we are planning to organize student recitals in the near future.
Can I continue studies after I complete the beginners course?
Yes! Our studio offers intermediate I, intermediate II and advanced courses where students learn more challenging repertoire and different styles.
How often are courses offered?
Courses of all levels are offered throughout the year in the spring, summer, fall and winter.