Although taiko drumming in America has been investigated by various researchers, from many different lenses, research is absent in this field that studies taiko ensembles at an amateur level. This ethnography aims to discover the meaning and values within the music-making of people who participate in Tora Taiko, a group of amateurs that specialize in Japanese taiko drumming, on the Princeton University campus. This study analyzed the actions and words of this amateur taiko ensemble as a lens for music education, through participant observations, interviews, and artifact collection. Themes of group identity and environment building emerged that showed the strength of the group as a cohesive unit. The ensemble represents a fusion of Japanese and American values that use music as a medium for musical, cultural, and social engagement. The success of the group in its ability to execute complicated musical patterns, without any prior musical training, in a meaningful way, points to a bigger picture, for music education, of people's innate musical ability and their desire to make music in social, supportive contexts.
"Meaningful Music-Making in a Casual Social Environment:
An Ethnographic Study of an Amateur University Taiko Ensemble,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 37, Article 2.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol37/iss1/2