From Destination to Journey: Appreciating a New Type of Music

by Timicia Brooks, Maine East High School, Class of 2017

Scholars tried sushi at lunch after the Taiko drumming exposure.
On a seemingly drab and moist Sunday morning, a few Scholars and Scholar Coaches piled into two vans. We were off to an unknown experience that would soon be etched into our memories. From my prior knowledge of field trips, I found that the ride to the destination is half of the fun. Although the skies were smudged with grey, the atmosphere was anything but.

For most of us, Taiko was something unknown and anticipated. We shared our excitement with each other. When we reached the Museum of Science and Industry, we had some time to kill, which we filled with photographing the beautiful pines strung with lights and other ornaments and trinkets. Our time was also spent exploring the Storm Exhibit near the area where we would see the Taiko drumming. When this long-awaited time came, we drifted towards the seating area and settled ourselves.

That day, we saw the youth portion of the Taiko Legacy Company perform various songs from traditional Japanese culture. When the bachi (sticks) made first contact with the hara (center skin of the drum), the sound was like thunder cracking and reverberating along the horizon. I could feel the sound everywhere.

Throughout the performance, I instructed myself to study the drummers. The expressions on their faces were ones of pure indulgence and immersion in their task at hand. They broke out into a smile every now and then.  While we were walking back to the vans after the performance I could still feel sound of the Taiko drums wriggling up my spine and ringing in my ears.

Before that day, Taiko had been a destination to me. It was just some place we were driving to on that dreary Sunday morning. But on the way back, it had become, for me, a journey: a journey I had trekked through to come out on the other side with an appreciation for something I had previously known nothing about.  I am lucky to get a chance to have this realization and an experience of one of the things that binds us all: beautiful music.


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