Bullfrog Arts

Kagemusha Taiko & Bullfrog Arts

“Taiko teaches courage.”

When people play taiko, all kinds of learning can happen. This is because playing taiko involves a lot more than simply hitting drums. When taiko is taught in an appropriate way, the process of learning can really help transform lives – especially the lives of vulnerable young people.

Kagemusha Taiko Group once performed a series of concerts with a brilliant shakuhachi player, Adrian Freedman. At the end of the concert run, Adrian spoke with us, saying “I have been watching, listening, and wondering what it is that taiko teaches.” Having studied shakuhachi in Japan for 7 years, Adrian was familiar with the East Asian concept of Art as something that teaches the practitioner rather than something that is done for its own sake (ars gratia artis). Adrian then said he had decided that “taiko teaches courage”. It’s a brilliant insight that has stayed with us. We all need courage to face life, and some people need more courage than others because they face far greater challenges – that are not their fault.

It has been our immense privilege to work with a wonderful group of people in Leicester who seek to inspire looked-after and vulnerable children and young people. They do this through a range of projects, including taiko.


Taiko concert performances can be highly gratifying experiences, but nothing comes close to the experience of witnessing young people develop courage and resilience through playing taiko. We are hugely grateful for our partnership with Bullfrog Arts, and through it, the opportunity to help improve the lives of the young people they work with.