Online Instruction

For those of you who are interested in studying with Kaoru but aren't in feasible proximity to the studio, please consider these two options:

Kaoru is one of the featured instructors on KaDON, an online resource for studying taiko and fue, presented by one of Japan's most prestigious taiko makers, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten.  All information can be found at

Also, Kaoru has been teaching both fue and taiko via Skype to students in Australia, Brazil, Japan and across the US and Canada.  While there are limitations to remote instruction, with experience he has developed ways to keep the student focussed and progressing.  Please e-mail with any questions.

Kaoru Watanabe Professional Development Residency

In the past few years many individuals have come to study with me in New York City including performers from all over the US, Canada, Japan, Europe as well as two members of the professional taiko ensemble TaikOz in Australia.  In order to create a more formalized scholarly experience, so that both the student and myself have a clearer idea of what to expect from each other, I have outlined what studying with me in New York could entail.


  • Body mechanics: posture, flexibility, stamina training, body awareness, unbendable arm, breathing, safe and efficient performance protocol
  • Rhythm: metronome work, accidents, polyrhythms, etc
  • Taiko repertoire: Miyake, Yatai Bayashi, Odaiko, Kaoru's compositions, improvisation (free and structured)
  • Knowledge: lectures, viewings and readings on traditional Japanese music, contemporary music
  • Fue: fundamentals - breathing, volume, dynamics, singing, etc


  1. Lessons: $100 for one individual lesson which, depending on schedule and budget, could be anywhere from one to five a week.
  2. Participation in my professional ensemble rehearsal: $20 per rehearsal (approx 2-3 hrs, 2 or 3 times a week)
  3. Classes: you may audit all the regular Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center (KWTC) classes you like during your stay. $20 a class - usually students sign up for a seven week session but being accepted in this program allows you more flexibility in commitment to the class.
  4. Performance opportunities (non-paying): participation in school shows, community events and other types of performances with either my professional ensemble or one of my student ensembles.
  5. Studio time for practice: $5 an hour

Work/barter opportunities - in order to keep costs down, potential jobs include studio maintenance, babysitting, website maintenance, facilitating drill sessions. etc. Depending on your ability and comfort, acting as teaching assistant, etc.

All fees and bartering rates are negotiable.


You have to find room and board on your own although we are happy to help any way we can.