Fox Cities PAC and San Jose Taiko host drumming workshop for kids who are hard of hearing

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Some kids who are hard of hearing in the Fox Valley got to drum up some music with the help of a music group at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The hard-of-hearing students, ages 5-18, from the Fond du Lac School District played Taiko drums with the San Jose Taiko through a workshop.

Artistic Director for the group Franco Imperial says, “Taiko, in particular, is something that you can hear. You can feel. You can touch. It’s very tactile. Taiko is such a multi-sensory experience that it’s accessible to everybody.”

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Fond du Lac High School Freshman Alec Johnson was feeling the music when Local 5 caught up with him.

As a drummer with his school’s band, Alec says, “I thought it was really cool because I got to see the different drummings, so I have a lot of respect for the people who do that because you need a lot of energy and strength.”

Even if not all students could hear the drums, teacher Nicci Hess-Bengsch says feeling the vibrations and learning the Taiko techniques is a worthwhile experience for everyone involved.

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“I think it’s really opened up a different world for them. They were able to hold a beach ball and really be able to feel the sound rather than hear it, so I thought that was really neat for them,” Hess-Bengsch says.

San Jose Taiko is also performing at the PAC on Thursday night at 7:30.

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