I just love to watch the Kodo drummers. THey perform with military precision. See what you think.
The apprentice program runs for two years, beginning in April. The application period seems to be in October. In order to apply, one must submit a resume, a statement of health from a physician, and two essays entitled, "What I hope to accomplish at the Kodo Apprenticeship centre" and "What I hope to do upon completion of the apprenticeship program". Applicants who pass the initial selection process are then invited to Sado Island for personal interviews in January, after which the final decisions are made.
There is a cost involved if one is selected. Apprentices pay 50,000 yen a month (slightly less than $500) to cover room and board (quite reasonable, for the training one would be getting). Some scholarships are available, but only for the second year of the program.
The curriculum is also listed on the site. During the first year, all follow the same program. The general description says you will be learning to live communally (no easy task) learning basics of Japanese traditional culture, and how to develop your body for playing taiko and dance. This includes music lessons, lectures on the island’s traditional culture, such as singing, dancing, farming, tea ceremony, and more, as well as assisting Kodo during festivals (especially Earth Celebration) and workshops.
The second year curriculum continues to develop skills learned in the first year, but also splits into two courses of study, depending on whether one desires to be a stage performer with Kodo, or work as a staff member. Those wishing to become staff members will receive practical experience assisting the Kodo office. It seems that the curriculum for those wishing to become performers seeks to provide more practical performing experiences. Apparently, acceptance into the apprenticeship program is not an automatic guarantee that you will be able to complete the full two years. The website says that everyone is evaluated at the end of the first year and it is then decided whether or not you will be able to complete the second .