Tomoko "Tomtom" Yokota
Tomoko is based in Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan. She is co-founder of a country-wide drum circle group, OrangeBoomBoom, with two other leading facilitators, covering Northern, Central and Southern Japan. As a response to the success and increasing demands for her drum circle work, Tomtom is dedicated to delivering the joy of music making and working energetically towards building a healthy community. Tomtom has founded her own music studio ‘Tomtomny Music’ for rhythm and percussion related music and drum circle facilitator training.
Since 2002, Tomtom has worked with people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles both in Japan and internationally. Her work with children has encompassed circles for working mothers and their infants, kindergartens, elementary, junior-high, high school and college students, as well as learning-challenged students. She has organized successful drum circles for mental health programs, physically challenged groups, hearing impaired students, elders in day care and pregnant women through maternity clinics.
Tomtom has conducted drum circles in corporate settings in order to encourage employees to adopt team building and stress reduction techniques.
She has completed the Remo ‘HealthRhythms’ program in 2002; ‘Change Your Life Through Rhythm’ in 2013, and ‘Music Medicine’ certificate provided by UCLArts & Healing in 2017. Tomtom presented the concept of a drum circle for pregnant women at the first Asian Facilitators’ Conference in Malaysia. In 2016, Tomtom introduced her own Melody into Rhythm event ‘Unwind Your Mind through Rhythm’ for the 3rd the Asian Rhythm Facilitator Conference. Since then, she has successfully conducted the event in a number of therapeutic and community drum circles.
Tomtom has organized, facilitated and participated as a trainer at Village Music Circles (VMC) ‘Playshop’ events with Arthur Hull in Japan, and is a VMC Certified Facilitator. In 2014, she translated and published a Japanese edition of Arthur Hull and Nellie Hill's Drum Circle Facilitator's Handbook. She continues to promote drumming as a means of empowerment, communication and a dynamic force for healing.
She is a student of Tsuzumi, a traditional Japanese drum used in Noh drama, and a keyboard arranger. She is an endorser for REMO drums.