The Right Brain Initiative


2009-2010 Scrapbook: Portland Taiko Teaches Life Skills and Culture Through Drumming

September 15th, 2010 by Right Brain Team

We continue to post images from some of our 2009-10 residencies on Flickr. We’ve just created an incredible set taken by photographer Matt Kowal during Portland Taiko‘s residency at Beach PK-8 School (North Portland). Take a look!

Before the 2009-2010 school year let out for the summer, Right Brain sent local photographer Matt Kowal to document the collaboration between Beach Elementary’s students and Portland Taiko. Portland Taiko uses drumming as a catalyst to teach not only Japanese-American culture and history, but also the art form’s deeply rooted values of communication, respect and perseverance.

After watching a an exhilarating drumming performance, students begin their own adventure by learning taiko vocabulary and a feel for common rhythmic patterns, call-and-response, and drumming technique. Students learn to express themselves through highly gestural playing and singing and the importance in listening while playing with others.

While learning to play, students make personal connections to the historical and cultural aspects of taiko, slowly beginning to connect how their individual and group expression relates the concepts of individual and community.

Portland Taiko had a busy year in four Right Brain schools this year; visiting Beach (North Portland), East Orient (Gresham), Hollydale (Gresham), and Sunnyside (Clackamas).

Complete photo set on Flickr!

Portland Taiko on the Right Brain Artist Roster


Right Brain Team