- FROM : USA
Rome Hamner has been performing and teaching taiko and world music for nearly 20 years. Co-founder and former Director of Odaiko Sonora, southern Arizona’s premiere taiko ensemble, she relocated to the Bay Area in 2016. She currently works with PJ Hirabayashi through her TaikoPeace initiative and performs with 2KDaiko in Palo Alto. In a career that includes well over 1,000 performances, highlights include playing for a crowd of 20k+ while suspended 200 feet in the air, a nationally televised appearance, and combining poi training and pyrotechnics to play with lit bachi (i.e., drumsticks that were set on fire- intentionally).
In addition to extensive composition and performing, she has taught taiko in school, after-school, and community settings, working with thousands of students ranging in age from 5-85. She excels in creating clear, linear curricula and activities that walk students from complete beginner to accomplished levels. From 2012-2016 she worked with the Tucson Unified School District’s Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) program, collaborating with classroom teachers to develop 30 unique curricula ranging in length from 4-36 weeks. These lessons guided 3,000 K-8 students at 24 public schools in developing music skills and improving academic success through arts integration. While with OMA, Rome also provided trainings on arts education and arts integration to artists and classroom teachers.
Rome holds a Level 1 Orff certification and also teaches basic music for younger students (K-4) using the Orff approach. Her teaching is anchored in the belief that, given some basic tools and direction, any person of any age can tap their inherent creative potential.
Rome greatly enjoys collaborating with classroom teachers in the creation of curriculum that develops music skills and improves academic success for students. In Rome's experience, integration of taiko and math concepts are the most fruitful for student learning. After all, music is math! The concepts of subdivision, fractions, ratios, skip counting, and others fit very naturally into percussion-based music lessons. ELA connections such as musical storytelling and analyzing musical works (as one would analyze literature) are also organic connections.