Shakuhachi Lessons

Note: This page is about teaching shakuhachi. As a senior member of Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers I teach taiko as well. If you are interested in taiko instruction, please get in touch with MTD Productions (Mugenkyo's agency) or just send me an email.

Why. Why shakuhachi? The shakuhachi has a twofold nature: Over its long history it has been used as a musical instrument (gakki) and as a religious/mediation instrument (hokki). While today the hokki tradition is all but extinct, shakuhachi repertoire and technique are a unique blend of both traditions.
Why have a teacher? Many techniques and nuances are needed to play shakuhachi. These essential elements are neither notated nor can they be learnt without one-to-one instruction from a qualified teacher. While learning without guidance is possible up to a point, it is slow and difficult, leading to most students giving up after a short while.

Who. Everybody can learn to play the shakuhachi! (Everybody. No exceptions.)

How. The ideal is face-to-face, one teacher to one student, but video chat (Skype, FaceTime) works well too. Whenever possible, I encourage passive learning, meaning observing other students' lessons, which is hugely beneficial, because most of shakuhachi practice and learning is a solitary endeavour.

What. I teach mostly the repertoire of the KSK (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan), the school established by Yokoyama Kotsuya-sensei and the school from which I hold a shihan (teaching license). This repertoire consists mainly of honkyou (lit. original pieces originating from the komuso – Zen monks) and pieces by Fukuda Rando, one of Yokoyama-sensei's teachers. But I also teach other repertoire and have a particular interest in combining shakuhachi and taiko.

Cost. Prices for lessons are as follows:

Instruments. Although it is possible to learn shakuhachi on any instrument, you should seek advice before buying an instrument. Expensive instruments are not always the best just as buying a cheap flute from the internet is usually not advisable. Please get in touch; I am always happy to help you find a suitable instrument. And, no, I don't charge for this.