Yohaku Seminar Series

SEMINAR #2 with TaikoIN’


Our intention is to bring together taiko drummers, mental health practitioners, art-based facilitators, and other interdisciplinary creatives to speak about the therapeutic power of rhythm.

In this video, Oliver Sacks speaks about the importance of rhythm in our lives. Very early on, we start to recognize rhythms and spontaneously play with them. How would it be to take this experience further and consciously engage in a deep play with the rhythms of taiko drumming? We offer this opportunity to all of you in March.

Join Eri Uchida (taiko artist) and Sydney Shiroyama (occupational therapist) as they facilitate an interactive seminar which will cover the history and basics of taiko and introduce TaikoIN’, an approach to designing a taiko experience that promotes interconnection, inclusion, being in the moment, and inspiration. No prior experience needed, all are welcome!

Taiko is a musical instrument that originates from Japan and an art form that is practiced around the world. With the right intentions, taiko can be incredibly empowering and can foster meaningful connections among the participants of therapeutic sessions, playful workshops, and community activities. It combines music, dance, theatre, and martial arts into an engaging artistic and physical practice.

Taiko is…

  • Resonating internally and with others
  • An exchange of energy
  • Practicing life skills
  • Learning about yourself
  • Transcending boundaries (country, shape and material, language, gender)
  • A philosophy rooted in history and culture

This interactive seminar will cover the history and basics of taiko as we introduce TaikoIN’, an approach to designing a taiko experience that promotes interconnection, inclusion, being in the moment, and inspiration. Please join us as we experience taiko and collaboratively reflect upon its therapeutic potential*. No prior experience needed, all are welcome!

*The speakers will also discuss considerations for respecting the cultural context of taiko while incorporating taiko-inspired activities into therapeutic practices.

The essence of TaikoIN’ by Eri Uchida

Sydney Shiroyama began playing taiko as a Dharma School student at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple under the guidance of Rev. Hiroshi Abiko. As an occupational therapist (OT), she currently uses adapted taiko in her OT practice and works with taiko artists to offer workshops for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other health conditions. In 2019, she and Eri Uchida collaborated on a taiko program for children at a sensory integration clinic and at a day camp for children with Down Syndrome. After many hours of discussion between Sydney and Eri about inclusivity and the art of taiko, TaikoIN’ was created as a reminder of the values they hope to carry into their TaikoIN’ workshops: interconnection, inclusivity, being in the moment, and inspiration. 

Eri Uchida was a performing member of Kodo, a professional Taiko ensemble for 10 years. After departing Kodo in 2019, she shared her ideas about taiko philosophy and workshop approach with Sydney and together they created the concept of TaikoIN’. Through TaikoIN’, Eri explores to share the skills and philosophies she has learned from her taiko career with hopes of expanding the possibilities of taiko and its community.


  • Learn new tools using basic taiko-inspired exercises
  • Become more conscious about how to engage with rhythm
  • Explore aspects of a new music-based practice and culture
  • Promote a feeling of social connectedness 
  • Practice skills that enable positive social interactions
  • Promote healthy activities and self-confidence 
  • Contribute to the group process while developing collaborative skills 
  • Increase self-esteem while in a social environment
  • Enrich your therapeutic practice with new and inspiring art modalities
  • Give yourself a chance to grow and use the arts as a resource in daily life

Above all, join a vivid conversation about how practices like taiko can change our perspective on mental health and offer people a place of belonging, acceptance, and deep connection with themselves, others, and the world at large.


  • Anyone who is curious about the practice of taiko
  • Artists, creatives, and other professionals who lack inspiration or feel blocked
  • Therapists, coaches, and counsellors who are interested in integrating new modalities into their practice
  • Taiko players who would like to look at their practice from a different, more interdisciplinary perspective
  • Individuals craving for a deeper connection with themselves and the world


Date: 20 March 2021, 5pm CET

Theme: Interconnection through Taiko

Speakers: Sydney Shiroyama and Eri Uchida [TaikoIN’]

Language: English

Duration:  between 90 – 120 min. depending on the participant’s engagement (the last 30min. will be devoted to a discussion, feedback, and an exchange of ideas)

Software: online [Zoom]

Materials: pillow or cushion and chair & drum sticks (that means any long object that won’t break; options include actual drumsticks, wooden spoons, cardboard paper towel rolls, long chopsticks, a rolled-up stack of paper or newspaper) >>> How others do it?

Contribution: 25€*

*The seminar will be recorded. Even if you can’t participate in person, you can still register and get a link to watch the seminar at your own time.

Moderators: Joanna Wróblewska | Ineke Hulselmans

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