Consulting Occupational Therapist
Sydney Shiroyama, OTR/L began playing taiko at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple when she was 7 years old. While studying psychology at UCLA, she joined the intercollegiate group Kyodo Taiko. After college, Sydney moved to Japan for two years to teach English and played with a local community group on Awaji Island. Inspired by special needs taiko groups she observed in Japan, Sydney explored the therapeutic potential of taiko drumming while obtaining he Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University. While working in an inpatient rehab setting at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, she helped design and build a modified taiko drum and used it with her patients with stroke and brain injury to address skills such as sequencing, timing, attention, and bilateral movement. Sydney has designed and led taiko workshops for children, adults with disabilities, and for adolescents and adults seeking mental health services. She now works with San Jose Taiko as a consulting occupational therapist to offer inclusive classes for children and adults with disabilities.