Saturday, November 13, 2010

Music and Stories from Japan

Each year, the Mount Baker Theatre invites students to one of several performances. We thank the Frank King family for their generous donation to help cover a major portion of the cost of these events. Many of our students' only experiences with music, theatre, and dance of this caliber come from their annual trek to Mt. Baker Theatre with their classes.

The teachers selected Portland Taiko this year because it mixes fantastic drumming and other percussion with storytelling, history, and culture. Our class joined all of the other 3rd and 4th classes at Sunnyland along with hundreds of students from around the county for this spectacular show. I asked students to write about their experience and thought I would showcase a couple of examples of their work because of vivid use of language or thoughtful descriptions of what they observed. My students right now are working to improve their use of strong, powerful verbs, relevant details and rich, colorful descriptions. Please enjoy what you read and feel free to leave comments and constructive criticism. If you are interested in reading more of the students' work, please visit the Sunnyland Room 12 Google site.

Here is a 4th grader's account of the trip:
            The Taiko Drummers!

            Yesterday, my class and I went to the Mt. Baker Theater to watch the amazing Portland Taiko Drummers!

            First I'll tell you about what Taiko is. First of all, Taiko is Japanese drums. It also requires respect, cooperation, and perseverance, to do Taiko drumming. I also noticed there were many Taiko drums.

            Now I tell you somethings I learned about Taiko. They used to communicate with Taiko drums for celebrations on someone's birthday or on a holiday. Or they played they're drums during evacuations in times of danger. I also learned and saw different sizes and sounds of different Taiko drums.

            And now some of my favorite parts of the Taiko drumming. I first noticed the catchy rhythms and beats they played. I didn't think they would play a flute, but they did. And later on I learned that it was made from bamboo but it sounded like the metal ones made here but better and smoother sounding. And the BOOM! CRASH! And CLANG! They made with the Taiko drums. The boom was made from the extraordinary strength and the stick pounding onto the huge drum. The crash was made from the two Japanese cymbals colliding into each other. And the clang was from the stick hitting the rim of one of the smaller Taiko drums. Another of my favorite parts was when the Taiko drummer told a story about a boy who found the rain gods Taiko drum. If you hit it in the center it makes someone's nose tune bigger, if you hit nit on the rim, it makes someone's  nose turn smaller. Then the boys nose turns super big, reaches the heavens then the rain god pulls his nose up and then starts a ridiculous chase.

            I just want to say thank you to the King family for paying us to see the amazing Taiko drummers!  

And this is from one of our third graders:
Taiko Drummers  
        On Wednesday morning we wher just starting the day my class walked out side to get on the bus to go see the Taiko Drummers at the Mt. Baker Theter for a field trip.
        When we got there it was kidov loud. All that was on the stage was drums. Flat drums, round drums, small drums, big drums. The bigger the drum is the louder the drum is. One of my favorit drums is the ones with the ropes. The ropes wher white and purple. To tune the drum you have to tighten the ropes that what I thought was cool about that drum.
        A little after, they picked people to go on stage. They picked my friend Dominique. She is in in 4th grade. Dominique picked the 2nd littlest drum.
        My favorite part was when they told they storys. They acted out one of the storys. One of the storys was about two people hwo got stuck in camps. They worn’t fun camps they wher jail camp. The people who got stuck in the camps for about 2 years. The other story was about a girl who was playing tricks on other people. When she got cought by the rain gods they took her up to the clouds the most pouworful rain god told them to make shure she stas there. When the clouds had no rain left one of the clouds said “lets go to Fred Meyer to get some more rain”
        Thank you for the field trip I had a blast!

Thanks again for visiting the room 12 class blog. We hope you enjoyed your visit and that you will return again soon!


  1. Those were great Taiko stories that other people made! from sillyband

  2. I'm so happy my writing is up there! And I'm glad it's not in just plain old black, I think blue is more colorful!

  3. What great descriptive writings done about the Taiko drummers. Wish I could have made it there!
    Alexandria's Mom

  4. Dear Mr.Pahl
    I think that Dominique is lucky she got picked to go on stage. I wonder if Dominique got scared and had fun. I wish I was Dominique!
    Little Animal


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