Shakuhachi Lessons

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

Why. Why shakuhachi? The shakuhachi has a twofold nature: Over its long history it has been used as musical instrument (gakki) and as 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. Many 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 quickly.

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

How. The ideal is face-to-face instruction, one teacher to one student, but video chat (Skype, FaceTime) is also possible. Whenever possible, I encourage passive learning (observing lessons), which is hugely beneficial, because shakuhachi practice is a mostly solitary endeavour.

What. I teach mostly the repertoire of the KSK (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan), the school established by shakuhachi legend 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.

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. There's no obligation or any charge.