#TaikoTuesday Insights: February

Throughout 2020, we’ll be asking questions on #TaikoTuesday with a goal of learning more about our taiko community. We hope you’ll feel inspired to share – who knows how many other people think like you or what new ideas you might find?

How will it work?

Each month, we’ll choose a theme and ask questions based around that theme. Want to participate? Follow us on Instagram and check out our stories on #TaikoTuesday to submit an answer to our question of the day, or keep an eye out on Facebook for questions posted on our page and in the Taiko Community group.

Have any questions?

We’d love to hear from you about what you want to know. Submit a question through our Contact page and you may see it pop up on a #TaikoTuesday in the future! And if you have any feedback about our #TaikoTuesday Insights, we’d love to hear about that, too.

Here’s what happened in February! This month’s theme was Taiko x Technology, prompting us to ask the following questions:

(1) How often do you film your taiko practice?
(2) What inventions have impacted your taiko life?
(3) How do battery-powered tools power your taiko practice?

Here's What We Learned:

When asked How often do you film your taiko practice?, 81 individuals answered our poll between Instagram and the Taiko Community FB Group. Of those…

13.5% said they always film their practice.
76.5% said they sometimes film their practice.
9.8% said they never film their practice.
Those who sometimes film their practices indicated that they do so for a variety of reasons. Some do not have mirrors in their practice space, so video is their only personal visual aid. Some record their progress on pieces to be reviewed by outside parties, or internally when learning a new piece or preparing for a performance. Some use their videos for personal reflection, and some use it as a supplement in lieu of an artistic director, so the full group can review and make educated decisions together. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure – video recording has proven to be an incredible resource for a resourceful community!

On National Inventors’ Day, we asked the community what inventions have impacted their taiko lives. Several mentioned the innovation the the wine barrel taiko, which opened the door to easier access to bringing taiko into our local communities. Others pointed out the many areas in which sewing machines (and the associated skills) support their groups in making and tailoring happi, hanten, accessories, and even bachi holders and drum cases. There was of course mention of our precious taiko mobiles, which serve to transport even the heaviest of taiko, and finally, we chose to highlight a particularly important innovation for taiko players: the earplug.

Did you know…

The first recorded use of earplugs was for protection not from loud sounds, but from alluring ones – particularly those from alleged sirens at sea. These earplugs were made from beeswax, a practice that was standardized in in 1907 by German inventor Max Negwer. Today’s earplug have been explanded to utilize materials such as clay, foam, and silicone.

In our community, 84% of those who responded to our online poll have used earplugs during taiko practice, while the other 14% have not. But, the overwhelming majority of those who do (95%) prefer reusable earplugs when they do, and 69% prefer to air on the side of caution with more protective earplugs, rather than their less-protection, more-clarity counterparts.

As to whether or not using earplugs is important, this depends on the level and time of noise exposure. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is permissible to be exposed to up to 90 dB of noise for up to 8 hours. When noise levels reach 110 dB (the level of some taiko practice and performances), unprotected exposure is “permissible” only for up to 30 minutes. For this reason, gauging the noise level of your practice and the amount of time you spend in that environment can help you decide if and what level of noise protection is right for you.

On National Battery Day, we asked how batteries can power your taiko practice. Want to see what the community came up with? Check out our survey in the Taiko Community Facebook group!