Kromrey band students get special treat

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Approximately 90 Kromrey band students participated in a virtual lesson with Junko Yamauchi and three other members of the Madison Japanese Taiko Group, Beni Daiko, on Tuesday morning.

The guest artists led students in taiko drumming, rhythmic patterns and even a little Japanese, Kromrey band teacher Kimberly Reynolds said. The students also had the opportunity to be percussionists in class and expand their knowledge of another culture, Reynolds noted. Students were asked to use pencils, wooden spoons, rulers or even drum sticks and use a surface, such as a chair, bucket, or desk, to participate.

"It went really well,'' Reynolds said. "Students provided a tremendous amount of positive feedback. It's been great getting to work with the band students so far this year and I am thrilled that we were able to provide a meaningful experience for them on Tuesday.''

Among the comments students shared with Reynolds were that they really liked the drums and appreciated learning another way to play, how excited they were about the performances, and grateful to learn more about another culture, Reynolds said.

The Kromrey seventh-grade band has been working on a piece called Bushido: The Way of the Warrior. This piece uses three different traditional Japanese songs to demonstrate codes of ethics that were important to Samurai warriors. The arranger of the piece writes that the drums are meant to mimic traditional Japanese Taiko drumming.  

Visit the Beni Daiko website to learn more.