Thursday, May 30, 2013


When you enter your dojo or practice space, in whatever form it might take, do you ever think about how much planning, how much money, or how much maintenance goes into giving you and your fellow players a place to practice?  Or is it just where you drive to a couple of times a week to have fun?

When you grab your bachi out of your bag/cubbyhole/locker/etc., do you ever think about how important they are?  How they are an extension of your body, how they allow you to make the sound that drew you to taiko in the first place?  Or are they just pieces of wood that you use to hit the drum?

When you play on a taiko – any taiko - do you ever think about how much effort went into making that one drum?  How much energy it takes from hundreds/thousands/millions of strikes and turns it into music, how the nicks and dents and flakes and tears all tell a story?  Or is it just the thing you strike with your pieces of wood?

When you play a song that someone else wrote, do you ever think how much work went into making it go from an idea to something that the group performs?  How many months someone spent fleshing out patterns and movements that needed so much time to teach, how much the composer had to deal with people pushing back when encountering difficulty, how the song gives the audience enjoyment?  Or is it just another thing that you do?

When you perform, do you think about how much was done to get you on stage?  That it took someone to talk to the presenter to work out pricing and spacing and technical details, that someone had to take into account the performer’s schedules, that it took years to build up the reputation of the group to the point where people wanted your group to play at their event?  Or is it just the thing you go to where you get to play songs?

For a lot of us who have played for a while, it’s easy to forget to appreciate these things because of familiarity.  We may not be able to appreciate them all the time, but we should be vigilant about trying.  Because if you don’t appreciate the things that matter, what DO you appreciate?

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