Why do I play Taiko?

Playing Taiko — Michael de Groot

First of all the headline is that Taiko was a happy accident for me!

I learnt kit drumming when I was in my teens and even played in a punk band in London for a while, but the band never amounted to anything. I had a wish to be playing the drums in a band since I was about 13.

Here’s one of the songs that we recorded with a make shift reel to reel recording equipment and microphone.

But then I got a girlfriend in my late teens and she wasn’t so happy about me being away drumming at the weekends and so regrettably I stopped. They say you should have no regrets in life, but actually if I had to think of just one, giving up drumming is my only and a massive regret!

My wife and I attended a personal development workshop in Bristol in 2018 and we met a guy who was on his own in the queue going into the workshop. He was from Devon and we became friends. A few months later we went to stay with him in Devon for a weekend and he shared with me his passion for Taiko.

I had never ever heard of Taiko and when he showed me a video of him playing in his group at an Exeter Chiefs rugby game, I was hooked. When I got back to the Midlands, I searched for Taiko high and low and there wasn’t anything near me, but that didn’t stop me. Eventually I found James and Taiko West in Church Stretton, Shropshire, signed up for a weekly course and after the first lesson I was hooked. It meant travelling for an hour there and back, but it was and is totally worth it. After 40 years of not being able to drum, I feel that I have come home to Taiko.

When I play Taiko, I am totally focussed in the moment, it is my meditation, my yoga, my music and the vibration of the drums fill my whole being. I know that I will be playing Taiko for the rest of my life now. To have drumming back in my life after a 40 year absence is quite incredible and I never expected it. Thank you to James, Taiko West and all the Taiko students that I have the pleasure of playing with.

Taiko Central Group at Leamington Spa — Beer and Music Festival 2019

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Michael de Groot

Michael de Groot

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