Last week our third graders enjoyed a walking field trip to the Hopkins Center for a matinee performance of Kodo: Evolution, which was generously funded by a Ray PTO Grant.
Based on Sado Island in northern Japan, Kodo has been dazzling audiences worldwide for over three decades, both preserving and reinterpreting traditional Japanese performance. Evolution showcases the group’s perpetual creative growth and the mesmerizing precision and endurance of the ancient drumming tradition, taiko. With synchronized power and grace, they play everything from small hand-held instruments to the five-foot-wide ō-daiko (called the “king of drums”). Kodo infuses the ancient form with fresh rhythms that move body and soul.
The Taiko drumming performance was perfectly timed to help kick off our 3rd grade study of Japan, which culminates with the Japanese Festival on April 11th. During this interdisciplinary unit, students explore Japanese culture, customs and geography, including learning about Hanover’s sister city relationship with Nihonmatsu, Japan.
Here is some feedback students shared about this experience:
- “It inspired me to try to learn about new cultures, because listening to it I noticed the music was different than the music I know.”
- "It was fun to learn about another culture."
- “I have been thinking about playing the drums for a string and band concert. Now I want to do it more!”
- “They inspired me by how they worked so well together.”
- “The sound went into my soul.”
As the weather gets warmer, we hope to continue to take advantage of field trips within walking distance that our town has to offer.