Lessons & Workshops

Holistic Taiko Drum Lessons

Would you like to work with a taiko master to improve your taiko drumming technique, fine tune your performance, or build a new repertoire of movement?  PJ has coached hundreds of taiko players over her extensive career.  Her approach to teaching is collaborative and interactive – combining years of perfecting inter-related elements of musical, technical, kata (form), and ki (energy).

PJ is available for private and semi-private taiko drum lessons for experienced taiko players with at least 3 years of playing and performing experience.  Single and series lessons on drums are available in the San Jose, CA area starting at $150USD per hour. Lessons outside the San Jose, CA area are possible if appropriate drums/stands and practice space are provided; travel and applicable expenses will apply. Please contact PJ to schedule lessons or to learn more.


Private Workshops for Taiko, Community, and Corporate Groups

PJ has led workshops for taiko, community, and corporate groups with rave reviews for more than 39 years.  Her workshops can be tailored to people with all levels of taiko experience and to all types of organizations ranging from taiko groups, corporations, schools, and community organizations. She offers hands-on workshops where participants are free to explore taiko drumming, movement, and vocals as well as movement/dance workshops without drums. Her teaching style is friendly, collaborative, inspirational, energetic, and fun!

Community workshops:

  • Ei Ja Nai Ka: Isn’t It Good? Composed by PJ as a Japanese-American taiko folk dance, Ei Ja Nai Ka literally means, “Isn’t it good?” in Japanese.  In this dance workshop, you’ll learn the entire Ei Ja Nai Ka dance – a series of easy-to-learn, exhilarating and symbolic movements combining dance, voice, and taiko (as accompaniment by workshop assistants).  Share the spirit of what’s GOOD in life with workshop participants. No taiko, dance, or music experience required.

Taiko drum workshops for taiko groups:

  • TaikoPeace: Becoming a Wholistic Taiko Artist. An inspiring mix of taiko drumming, PJ’s composition Ei Ja Nai Ka, Japanese Butoh dancing, chanting, haiku writing, community building, and journaling come together to awaken new channels of self expression.
  • Key to Your Ki. “Ki” means energy! Tapping into your ki, activities will build awareness, activate individual and group ki, and erase the boundaries between players and audience. Movement, rhythm, timing, and improvisational skills are enhanced, all without using taiko...the ki to becoming a better taiko player.
  • Master Workshops. For experienced taiko players, custom-built to meet your group’s specific goals and capabilities.  Gain insights into technique, body mechanics, energy/ki utilization, composition work, and performance readiness skills.
  • Public Domain Repertoire. PJ shares a selected repertoire of songs with the taiko community.
  • Build Your Own Workshop. Collaborate with PJ to create a 1-3 hour workshop that meets the needs of your group in a time frame that works for you. She’ll help you plan activities that incorporate the right mix of lecture, warm up, dance, and drumming.


How to Schedule a Private Workshop

For more information or to schedule a private workshop with your taiko, community, or corporate/business group, please contact PJ via the submission form on the Contact page.  Please include the following information (if known):

  1. name of your group
  2. website of your group
  3. type and length of workshop
  4. estimated number of participants
  5. requested dates
  6. what (if any) drums will be provided (if applicable)

PJ will be in touch with you to co-create a memorable and enriching workshop experience for your group.  Please note that taiko workshops will require a minimum number of players and the appropriate equipment (drums, stands, bachi, etc.), supplied by the requesting taiko group; minimum age requirements apply.  It is possible to schedule private workshops in the greater San Jose, California area where drums and equipment would be supplied.

All private workshops are fee-based and will include applicable travel and expenses. Pricing is dependent on number of participants, workshop time, and depth of content.


Featured Workshops, Demos, and Lectures (1983-2010) led by PJ Hirabayashi


Maui Taiko, Zenshin (Maui), Taiko Center of the Pacific (Honolulu), Hawaii Matsuri Taiko, Kauai Taiko Group, Taishoji Taiko (Hilo, Hawaii), Kona Daifukuji Taiko (Kona, Hawaii), Midwest Buddhist Taiko (Chicago), Mt. Shasta Taiko, Sacramento Taiko Dan, Fresno Gumyo Taiko, Zendeko Daiko (LA), Portland Taiko, New Mexico Taiko, St. Louis Osuwa Daiko, Sonoma Taiko, Odaiko New England (Boston), MuDaiko (Minneapolis), Fushicho Daiko (Phoenix); Odaiko Sonora (Tucson), O-Tatsu Taiko (Connecticut), Oberlin Taiko, Kyo Daiko (Philadelphia), San Jose Taiko's Weekend Intensives


Annual Collegiate Taiko Invitationals (at Stanford, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside), East Coast Taiko Conference (at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)


Kodo and Kodo Apprentice Program (Sado Island), Haguruma Taiko (Fukui), Ondekoza (Nagasaki), Kagemusha Taiko and UK Taiko Festival (Exeter, England), Canada: Hinode Taiko (Winnipeg), Katari Taiko (Vancouver), RAW (Toronto), Kita no Daiko (Edmonton)


KeithTerry’s “Rhythm Work” UC Berkeley Extension, Earth Celebration – Sado Island (assist. to Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Kodo), Cirque du Soleil ("Mystere" performers, Las Vegas), North American Taiko Conferences (1997-2011); Northwest Regional Taiko Gathering (Seattle, WA), Hawaii Taiko Convention (Honolulu), "Energy Workshop & Community Building" (Cleveland), "Taiko and Social Justice" (Minneapolis), "Taiko Reverberations: Healing, Community Building, Cultural and Social Activism" (Toronto), "TaikoPeace" @ Aldersgate Methodist Church (Los Altos), "Using the Cultures of the Valley to Strengthen and Sustain Us" (DeAnza College's Visiting Speakers Series) April 12, 2012