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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.