Bamboo Music Instrument Making Workshop for Kids


The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is proud to bring the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) master, John Kaizan Neptune from Japan and present a bamboo music instrument making workshop for kids. Participants can learn the craft of making a bamboo instrument and also enjoy playing it with master John Kaizan afterwords.   


Date & Time:

Sunday, June 4 / 3:00-5:00pm



Echo Park Film Center
(1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90026)



$10 (per household)



- Kids aged 10 - 16 may participate in this workshop.
Guardian supervision required

*Workshop requires the use of power tools. 

- Registration is limited to 1 child per household
*You may bring more than one child to the event.
However, workshop materials are limited to one per household.
Sharing of materials is welcomed.




About the Event

One of the most interesting aspects of bamboo is that it is mostly empty on the inside.  This makes it a natural choice for instruments.  The hollow part acts as a resonating chamber for instruments like flute, drum, and the current workshop's focus: shaker and guiro.

By using the natural hollow chamber between two natural nodes (bamboo membranes), it is very easy to make a shaker by drilling one hole, and putting various material inside the hole, like beans, pop-corn (un-popped!), and rice (un-cooked!).  Each material creates a unique sound when you shake the bamboo and the material rattles against the bamboo walls.

The guiro is created with only one end of a bamboo tube closed.  A series of ridges are filed into the outside surface of the bamboo, and when a bamboo chopstick is scraped across these ridges, it creates the distinctive guiro sounds often heard in Latin music.

The bamboo used for this work shop is called “madake” (Phyllostachys bambusoides Sieb. et Zucc), one of the three major timber bamboo found in Japan.

It is used for making many things like woven baskets, kitchen utensils, fencing and other construction, shakuhachi, and was even used by Edison for the filament of a light bulb!



About Instructor


JohnKaizanNeptune_profile_official_for_Web.jpgJohn Kaizan Neptune brings to the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) a new and dynamic sound and feeling entirely his own.  A California-born American, Neptune received his master’s certificate in the Tozan School of Shakuhachi in 1977, at which time he was awarded the name “Kaizan” (“Sea Mountain”).  He is the author of the book SHAKUHACHI, and has performed and recorded in many countries around the world.  His second album, BAMBOO, was named Outstanding Record of the Year by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese Ministry of Education; subsequent albums (24 to date) and his concerts throughout Japan, Asia, Australia, America, and Europe have made his original music, from traditional Japanese to contemporary jazz, widely know and loved by people of all ages.  Neptune, who is acknowledged to be among the top masters of the instrument in Japan, now lives in Kamogawa, Chiba-ken, where he continues to make, write for and experiment with the instrument he had adopted as his own.

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