Esther Vandecar, Taiko

Taiko Drumming

Esther Vandecar, Taiko Drumming


Taiko is the ancient art of drumming in Japan. Esther discovered, studied, performed, and taught taiko during the seven wonderful years she lived in Hiroshima and Matsuyama.

After returning to the United States in 1992 she started the Michigan Kodomo (child) Kai, and Phoenix Taiko Kai (team). The Phoenix Taiko Kai still exists, in Phoenix, to allow budding taiko students a training/performance avenue. She created a professional performing group, Fushicho Daiko that still exists in AZ. She is now training MI Hiryu Daiko to take the reins here in MI.

Esther teaches taiko to thousands of children every year in Arizona through the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Arts-in- Education Programs. She now teaches taiko at Kalamazoo College, and at Western Michigan University on demand

Esther teaches all over the U.S. including a week in Branson, Missouri for the Tabuchi Theater, the largest in Branson. She has taught workshops for Austin Taiko, in Texas, Dublin Taiko, Ohio, Michigan State University, Traverse City, Kalamazoo College, and Western MI University. She does school residencies and adult introduction to taiko classes in Michigan, Ohio, IN, TX, AZ, and other states, as funding permits.

She continues to train with Japanese masters in Japan. Maintaining and sharing the spirit of taiko she learned in Japan is a primary goal. She had a taiko stage at the Phoenix Matsuri to showcase all of her groups and visiting taiko groups from the U.S. and Japan every year in February. Esther and MI Hiryu Taiko will be guest stars in 2012.

In addition to being a teaching artist and a professional performer with her groups Fushicho Daiko, and MI Hiryu Daiko, she performs in Japan almost every year.