SPACES are filling up fast for the Taiko drumming workshops that start again at Pocklington Arts Centre on May 18.

Earlier this year, PAC teamed up with the York Tengu School of Taiko to launch a new six-week course. Of course it went with a bang and now the organisers are drumming up support for the next set of Saturday sessions.

Arts centre director Janet Farmer says: "Taiko drumming has really hit the right note here, with our first ever six-week course proving to be incredibly popular with drummers of all ages and abilities.

"I took part in the Taiko drumming workshop we held to pilot the course, which was a complete sell-out, so I know first-hand just how energising, fun and popular this is. We’re looking forward to welcoming the return of the Tengu School of Taiko but spaces are already selling fast so I would recommend that you book your place promptly.

"The course is suitable for beginners and improvers, aged 12 years and over. All equipment is provided."

Taiko drumming is an energetic Japanese performing art that has been an important part of that country's culture for hundreds of years. Taiko performances use different styles and sizes of Japanese drum – the Wadaiko – that can be played in many different positions and ways.

Playing Taiko is not only requires hitting a drum to make a sound; it also involves body movement, balance, energy, stamina, co-ordination, self-control, self-awareness and unites mind, body and spirit akin to many martial arts.

Course leader Jared Hardwick says: "Everyone did really well on the last course and had lots of fun learning the piece.

"Even those who started by saying 'I have no rhythm' were playing along well by the time we got to last few lessons. I think everyone liked the fact that it’s good exercise as well as a group effort.

"For the next course we'll be learning a new piece: one to which past participants can apply their skills, but is still suitable for complete beginners to get involved and experience this exciting style of Japanese drumming."

The course will run from each Saturday from May 18 to June 22, from 10am to 11.30am; the cost is £45 or £39 for concessions and spaces are limited. For more information or to book a place, call the box office on 01759 301547 or visit pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Charles Hutchinson