Posts Tagged ‘taiko practice’

Matsuri Aces Workshop #1

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Developing and Refining Movement Phrases
by dancer and choreographer, Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen has prepared a workshop at my request for the Matsuri Aces crew entitled Developing and Refining Movement Phrases, to be held next Tuesday, August 24. Although spaces for participation are full, if you would like to observe, you are welcome to join us. Send me an email and I’ll give the details!

About Rachel Cohen

Rachel’s strong proclivity for the arts led her to a career as a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator, earning two degrees from UCLA, and performing and choreographing professionally. She has taught dance at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, and El Camino College. Seeing a necessity to create national visibility for local dance companies, Rachel founded Cadence Arts Network, Inc., in 1989, which now includes an international roster of artists in dance, music, and theater. She frequently lectures in universities, and serves as a consultant, mentor, and mediator for a variety of performing artists.

Long-term taiko project: Matsuri Aces

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

For a few years now, I’ve been feeling like On Ensemble’s performances would benefit from the addition of a movement-focused taiko piece. The problem is, I don’t have the choreographic vocabulary to utilize convincing movement in my pieces. So I’ve started a long-term project to improve my movement and choreographic skills. I’m developing a series of bon-taiko-inspired movement phrases, a methodology for practicing and teaching them, and games and exercises for arranging phrases in convincing ways. If all the parts miraculously come together, the end result will be a deck of 52 playing cards, each featuring a movement phrase, along with a guidebook of games and practice challenges. The project is called Matsuri Aces!

I’ve arranged a performance at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Carnival on June 27 2011, as a way-point for the project. The goal is to develop a series of movement phrases and try working them into an actual performance piece. I’m arranging a series of workshops with non-taiko artists with the hope that taiko can benefit from different perspectives. I have a small group of great taiko players joining me to explore the possibilities and I’ll be blogging about our findings here!

12-month practice review – June ’10

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

On June 22, 2009, I started the 10,000 hours of practice project. 365 days into it, here are the stats and some reflections after the break on a year of monitoring my practice.

Hours practiced (June 22, ’09 – June 22, ’10) – 463.59

Average daily hours (June 22, ’09 – June 22, ’10) – 1.27 (1hr 16.2min)

Current total hours (since 1995) – 4681.59

Estimated date of 10000 hours achievementSunday, Dec 5, 2021
(Assuming I maintain this year’s average daily hours.)


6-Month Practice Review – Dec 09

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Today marks six months of closely tracking my taiko practice time.  Here’s a status report and some thank you’s!..


Howto: Track your practice with WordPress and gnuplot

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Here’s how to set up a system with pretty graphs to track your practice time and display it at your WordPress site!  I’m using mine to track the time I spend each day on four different categories of practice, and also show my progress toward the goal of 10,000 hours of total practice.  Every day I add my practice times to a log file and the system generates updated graphs nightly.  When you visit my blog site, the running tally is given in the header (or anywhere else I want it on the website… like here! (5045.95).  And the graphs at my “10,000 hours of taiko” blog post are also automatically updated every night.


10,000 Hours of Taiko

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

A great test of taiko science is now under way!

The book Outliers (review here) proposes the “10,000 hour rule” — mastering anything requires 10,000 hours of practice. As an experiment, I’ve decided to try and track my taiko practice time. I’ve conservatively estimated how many hours completed thus far, and am now carefully recording my daily practice. Watch this site to see when I cross the 10,000 hour mark (probably somewhere between Apr 8, 2017 and Aug 14, 2026) and then we’ll decide if I’ve reached “master” status. :)

Current total:



Graph generated:


Last chance to sign up for 30 Days to Better Shime Round 3!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


We will be starting our group practice session of 30 Days to Better Shime this coming Saturday! Download your free workbook and CD here, or order your printed copy today. Add your name to the email list to receive daily encouragement – starting on Saturday!

First batch of 30 Days printed sets sent!

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I’ve just returned from sending out the first batch of 30 Days to Better Shime printed sets! In preparing the mail-out, I also discovered how to convert apple boxes into mailing containers!


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