Introductory Weekend Workshop – 2-3 Dec 2023
The introductory weekend workshop at the Mugen Taiko Dojo is an immersive experience in the world of taiko drumming, opening the door to this ancient art form. Learn Taiko in a supportive and friendly environment, guided by highly experienced tutors. Taiko is uplifting, energising, helps develop coordination and internal rhythm, is fun & accessible for all ages, and a great stress-reliever.
Beginning with the fundamentals, the stance and the grip, progressing step-by-step over the course of the weekend, participants will learn several short pieces composed of different traditional rhythms from around Japan, including the opportunity of learning a short rhythm on the big Odaiko drum.
The workshop will be led by the senior members of Mugenkyo at our base in the South Lanarkshire countryside: the Mugen Taiko Dojo, UK's only purpose-built Taiko Centre. Throughout most of the year the Dojo serves as the base & rehearsal space for the professional touring Mugenkyo group and the Dojo team, with the doors opened to workshop participants at certain times of year, providing a unique insight into life at the Dojo, and an opportunity to meet & learn from the members of Mugenkyo.
The rhythm will be taught in the traditional way - verbally, so don't worry if you can't read music. The introductory workshop is suitable for anyone aged 16 and over and of any level of fitness and ability, whether you're an experienced drummer, or have never held a pair of drumsticks before. We encourage everyone to try as much as they can, at their own pace. These are primarily hands-on workshops, but will also provide the opportunity to learn about the background of Taiko, through demonstrations & presentations. The workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn to play on these beautiful traditional instruments, and a fascinating insight into the world of Taiko drumming.
£190 non-residential - (includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday)
For residential rates, please see accommodation info below
As you may know, we have been renovating the "Dojo House" in order to make the workshops at the Mugen Taiko Dojo fully residential, with accommodation for all of the participants who require it. This project started at the tail end of 2020, and has been quite a journey resolving the challenges of renovating a 100+ year old farmhouse: dry rot, subsidence, rerouting the water supply from the spring, overhauling the heating system etc. We are very very close to completion, and we're happy to announce that you'll be amongst the first participants to stay at the Dojo. We DO have heating, hot water, freshly filtered drinking water, a fully functional kitchen, carpeted bedrooms with beds, bathrooms & showers. But there are still some rough edges, with floor coverings in hallways missing, furnishings & décor not completed, and we haven't yet started on phase two of the project: overhauling the garden, building the fire pit, picnic area etc.
Prior to our relaunch in 2024, for these upcoming workshops we are offering the rooms at an introductory price of £50 per room per night, the same price whether they're single / double / triple - simply divide the cost of the room by the number of people sharing. So for example, a twin room is £25 per person per night. All room bookings include a simple continental breakfast.
We prefer for participants to share if possible, as we only have 8 bedrooms in the house. The rooms are not en-suite - there are 4 bathrooms in the house shared between the 8 bedrooms. If you prefer to stay in a more plush environment, there are en-suite rooms at Strathaven Hotel or Bammflats, both just 15 minutes drive away. However, in addition to the convenience of staying at the Dojo, the advantage of staying on site is the opportunity to socialise on Saturday evening with us & get to know the other participants of the workshop in a relaxed atmosphere.
The workshop fee includes lunch on the workshop days. All meals are vegetarian, and freshly prepared. We are able to cater for special dietary requirements - but only with 3 days notice, so please do indicate requirements on your application form. It would also be helpful for us to know whether this is a food preference, or a strict allergy which we need to take extra care about, e.g. a nut allergy.
For this upcoming workshop we will not be providing evening meals - you can either bring in something to cook yourself in our self-catering kitchen, or for those without their own transport, we will also offer a lift into Strathaven on the Saturday for a supermarket run or pick up a takeaway. The kitchen is fully equipped with hob, oven, microwave, pots & pans etc. for those wishing to make their own food.
The Taiko Dojo is in a rural location - just off the M74, 30 miles south of Glasgow - and is only accessible by car. Travelling time from Glasgow is approx 45 min, and from Edinburgh is approx 1 hr 20 min. If you live in Central Scotland but don't have your own transport, please do contact us, as it may be possible to arrange lifts for you each day.
For residential participants arriving by train, bus or plane, there will be a pickup from Glasgow Central Train Station at 8:30pm on Friday evening. If you do arrive early on the Friday, there are left luggage lockers at Glasgow Central Station. On the Sunday after the workshop, there will be return transport, arriving at Glasgow Central for 5pm.
If you are interested in staying with us on Sunday night, you are welcome to do so - there is a local taxi company for transport on the Monday, or we may also be able to offer complimentary lifts to nearby Larkhall train station, for connections to Glasgow & Edinburgh, if there are enough people.
There is an upper limit of 18 participants per workshop.
Age & Accessibility:
The weekend workshop is suitable for adults of all ages & abilities. The focus in the introductory is on fun & teamwork, however each participant will be responsible for knowing their own physical limitations and for working within their own capabilities. We have disabled access and a disabled toilet. Please can you let us know in advance of any physical disability or any other condition which may be relevant.
All equipment is provided - drums and "bachi" drumsticks. A variety of taiko drums are used, some of which are especially imported from Japan - the genuine article. Carved from single tree trunks with thick cowhide skins, they are truly magnificent instruments.
Please arrive wearing loose and comfortable clothing. According to Japanese tradition, outdoor shoes are not allowed in the Dojo itself. Please bring "indoor shoes" - tabi, slippers, martial arts slippers, dance shoes, or "totes" socks, (no trainers), if you have any. If not, we can provide footwear when you arrive. No outdoor shoes of any kind, and no bare feet are allowed in the Dojo.
SCHEDULE FOR PARTICIPANTS
Check-in at Dojo 5 pm onwards (own transport)
Pickup from Glasgow Central Station 8:30 pm (if lift required)
Arrival at the Dojo 9:30 pm (if lift required)
Morning session 10am - 1 pm
Lunch 1 - 2 pm
Afternoon session 2 - 5 pm
Morning session 10 am - 12:30
Lunch & meet members 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Afternoon session 1:30 - 4 pm
Departure from the Dojo 4:15 pm (if lift required)
Arrive at Glasgow Central Station 5 pm (if lift required)
On receipt of the application form and payment, we will send confirmation of your place on the weekend workshop. Unfortunately we are unable to hold workshop places without full payment of the workshop fee. The accommodation cost can be paid closer to the workshop date.
Please be aware that due to the limited number of places on our workshops, in the case of a cancellation, we are unable to give refunds, unless we are able to fill the space with another participant (which we would always endeavour to do, but please be aware that this cannot be guaranteed).
Contact us on: email@example.com or 01357 522 008 to receive the booking form, to check if there are places, or to join the waiting list.