Teaching taiko, teaching music- it's not about 'gracing' the students with your expertise; it's showing them a path, providing good shoes, and walking with them as far as they want to go.
Rome discovered her life path while teaching English in rural Japan. Fresh off earning her Master's in Public Administration, she took a year to live and work abroad, never suspecting those 12-months would alter her life trajectory.
Within her first week of arriving in Kawasaki-machi, Rome saw the local taiko group perform. She connected occasionally with them while in Japan, but truly took off with taiko upon her return to Tucson. There, she connected with Stan Morgan and his group, MoGan Daiko.
Rome played with Mr. Morgan until his retirement two years later. Inspired to keep playing taiko, she teamed with a fellow MoGan Daiko member to launch Odaiko Sonora.
Over the next 14 years, Odaiko Sonora grew from 2 women with 2 drums to one of the premiere small arts and education nonprofits southern Arizona. Rome pioneered the group's education programs, eventually growing them into a full partnership with the Tucson Unified School District's Opening Minds through the Arts arts integration program.
Rome has developed hundreds of taiko and music education curricula for populations ranging from autistic children to deaf adolescents to underserved youth in poverty-stricken rural areas- to adults who claim they have no sense of rhythm. She relocated to the Bay Area in 2016.