Shakuhachi Lessons

Where I teach?

I teach shakuhachi in Nørre Snede and Copenhagen, Denmark; Hamburg Germany; London, UK, and online using Skype/Facetime etc.

Content of the lessons

I was taught koten honkyoku (the solo repertoire played by the komusō monks of the Fuke sect during the Edo period (1603-1867) from the very beginning by my teacher Okuda Atsuya. I was very happy about this as that was what I was interested in. Thus, I teach honkyoku from the beginning as well – unless the student want to do something else. But usually we do honkyoku because that is the music that has been played and developed through centuries on shakuhachi and it suits the instrument. I believe it gives you a very solid foundation of shakuhachi playing when studying honkyoku.

I mostly teach honkyoku in the Zensabo style – as I have learned from Okuda Atsuya. But I do also teach occationally different styles and conteporary music as well as improvisation.

When you begin I have some simple honkyoku from the Itchoken and Kyushu styles to begin with. Then we usually move on to Kyorei and enter other honkyoku pieces from there.

Pedagogy

In Japan, you will most of the time play alongside your teacher and learn the repertoire by following him or her. It is not the fastest method but it is a great method to learn the flow of the music and the feeling of it. I loved being taught this way. Okuda was not silent as I can understand some Japanese teachers have been. But he also preferred the playing along method. He would come with elaborate answers if asked. I certainly talk or teach more verbally – but the playing along method is also an experience of Japan. Thus this is also my preferred methodology.
On Skype you cannot play together, so here the predominant method of teaching is I play and the student play the same thereafter. We also speak quite a bit about the pieces, the flow and the meaning of the pieces – as I have understood it.

Teaching on Skype at a conference in Information Studies, Toronto, Canada.

Repertoire

I teach Zensabō honkyoku, and my Zensabō repertoire is:

  1. Ajikan
  2. Azuma Jishi
  3. Banji
  4. Daha
  5. Echigo san’ya
  6. Honte no Shirabe
  7. Hifumi-chō
  8. Honchōshi & Sagari-ha
  9. Jyakunen
  10. Kaede
  11. Kokū
  12. Koro Sugagaki
  13. Kudari-ha
  14. Kyushu Reibo
  15. Kyorei (虚鈴)
  16. Kyorei (虚霊)
  17. Kumoijishi
  18. Mukaiji
  19. Musashi Shirabe
  20. Matsukaze no Shirabe & Matsukaze
  21. Murasaki Reibo
  22. Nerisaji
  23. Oshūsaji
  24. Oshū-nagashi
  25. Reibo (Shoganken)
  26. Reibo (Futaiken)
  27. Rinmon
  28. Shin’ya
  29. Shika no Tone (Betsuden)
  30. San’ya
  31. Shin Kyorei
  32. San’ya Seiran
  33. Shinseki
  34. Shinsaji
  35. Sokkan
  36. Shingetsu
  37. Shingetsu-chō
  38. Sō Shingetsu
  39. Tai Otsu Gaeshi
  40. Takiochi
  41. Tamuke
  42. Toppiki
  43. Tōri-Katotsuke-Hachigaeshi
  44. Suzuru (Koten)
  45. Tsuru no Sugomori (kudan)
  46. Tsuru no Sugomori (Oshūden)
  47. Ukigumo
  48. Yamagoe
  49. Yamato Choshi
  50. Yamato Rinbo
  51. Yurisaji

Other honkyoku pieces:

  1. Oteki
  2. Ekō

You can find my contact details on the contact page if you want more information about shakuhachi lessons.

How it all began

When I began to live between Tokyo (when I was studying shakuhachi with Okuda) and Geneva, Dieter Nanz (later he received his shihan name Zuishō) persuaded me to teach him shakuhachi. I was very afraid of doing anything wrong as I had never even thought of teaching or performing shakuhachi. For me – playing shakuhachi was something very intensely personal and deeply felt emotions. However, I taught Dieter but never charged money for it. It didn’t yet feel right. Once I moved to London in 2000 I was very quickly contacted by people wanting to learn. By this time I was less afraid of teaching and I began really enjoying it. Today I love teaching and sharing the wonderful sounds, techniques and knowledge about shakuhachi.


Dieter Zuishō Nanz passed away much too early in 2015. I will be grateful for him the rest of my life for having been so insistent and thereby inspiring me to get into the path of sharing the shakuhachi.