Learning Shimabayashi

This video is from the 2001 VHS video production: Introduction to Taiko, Volume 1. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to play the main theme of Shimabayashi, taught by Jonathan Kirby and demonstrated (from two different angles) by two young members of Kagemusha Junior Taiko Group.
In order to give beginner groups something to play, particularly school groups in the UK, this composition is freely available to all, with a request only for accreditation when used.
This training video is clearly popular, because it has been viewed more than 6,000 times.

Shimabayashi (2006)

2nd UK Taiko Festival took place in Exeter in July 2006. The Festival included two National Youth Taiko Concerts, featuring groups from all over England – and Scotland. The finale of both the matinee and evening concerts was an arrangement of Shimabayashi, with a base provided by Kagemusha Junior Taiko and representatives from all the other groups involved joining in. By the end of the evening concert, the finale of which is presented here, the whole audience was joining in with the song as well. Taiko is great to play, and it’s even better to play together.

Shimabayashi (2014)

Furthering the idea of playing taiko together to build community, at 10th UK Taiko Festival, we organised a special Sunday lunchtime performance of Shimabayashi, played by no fewer than 133 taiko drummers. They came from the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and USA – and there may even have been other countries represented somewhere in the crowd.
It had rained earlier in the morning, and just 5 miles away there was a torrential downpour at the time we were playing. Somehow, the sun managed to shine on us.


Shimabayashi (2016)

Shimabayashi has been taught in many schools all over the UK. Besides featuring in Introduction to Taiko, Vol 1, it was the featured composition in the Drums for Schools publication, Jonathan Kirby’s Taiko Drumming Book, which has been bought by over 100 teachers in the UK alone.
In 2016, Kagemusha Taiko were invited to perform some special concerts at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, for schoolchildren from North Devon. The group performed Shimabayashi and many of the children joined in.

Some historical notes follow the initial video.

Taiko for Schools, Volume 1, Fundamentals

Published in February 2018, this is a new book by Jonathan Kirby. It provides support for a set of 21 short instructional videos, designed for use by school teachers in the UK, and suitable for showing in the classroom.

The suite of short videos was produced in consultation with teachers in North Devon, and was commissioned by Devon Music Education Hub, Taiko Outreach Programme for Schools, working in partnership with Kagemusha Taiko.

Purchase of the book will provide the buyer with the password needed to use the videos. The videos cover taiko foundations, base rhythms, simple taiko motifs and some extras. The videos can be found here

Please go to our Taiko Store if you would like to buy a copy of the book.