I teach shakuhachi honkyoku of the Zensabō style as learned by my teacher Okuda Atsuya.
I have taught shakuhachi since 2000 and I love teaching. I teach in Denmark, some times in London, UK and online using Skype or Facetime or even google hangouts. As I teach people from all over the world, my price varies. For Western Europe and USA, I have a fixed price, but for people in countries where the economy and valuta exchange is so different, I ask them to find out what an average piano lesson costs. Then that is the price.
My road to become a shakuhachi teacher was full of surprises. I never thought I would perform or teach shakuhachi. The shakuhachi was purely as an inner journey I took up this instrument. It was this esoteric side of it that attracted me. It was only after having played for 10 years that a Swiss person persuaded me to teach him. Although I tried to explain to him that 10 years of shakuhachi playing barely prepares you to teach, I failed to convince him. I realised quickly that I loved teaching. It is such a joy to transmit the music, which is so important to me and which I love so deeply. Teaching means that I learn as well. Each student has his or her own particular sensibility to the music. Together with the students, we shall try to solve whatever problems that may arise during their shakuhachi studies, thereby hopefully enhancing their personal musicality.
I am one of the few shakuhachi teachers who teach their students honkyoku from the very beginning. I do this firstly because I was taught this way by Okuda Atsuya, and secondly because I know many students want to learn honkyoku.
But if you have other ideas, I am open to suggestions.
My teaching varies, depending on the individual, but mostly it follows these steps:
1. First there is the initial stages of how to hold the flute, getting a sound and learning the notation.
2. Then I will teach honkyoku pieces at the student’s pace. As there are basically no ‘beginner’s pieces’ in honkyoku as such, I teach the pieces that are simplest in the fingering first. We will then return to them, after moving on to other pieces, as you progress – in order to take the pieces to the next level.
3. We will continue studying honkyoku pieces depending on the student’s progress. We will still often play ‘old’ pieces as playing with the teacher is the most effecient method to learn to play the unwritten part of the shakuhachi music, the aesthetics and the shape of the pieces. When I teach online, it is not possible to play together but use other methods to achieve the same.
If you want to study contemporary pieces from Western scores I can help you with that. I am presently focusing on the performance of contemporary music. I can’t deny living in the 21st century. I play different styles of contemporary classical music including new complexity music of amazing composers such as Frank Denyer and Roxanna Panufnik.
I do not teach shankyoku, the ensemble music with koto and shamisen. It is not a part of the Zensabō repertoire. This, of course, is not to deny sankyoku’s rightful place in history as an important musical genre in which shakuhachi plays a big role.
My honkyoku repertoire is:
3. Betsuden Shika no Tône
4. Betsuden Tsuru no Sugomori
6. Hifumi Chô
7. Honchôshi no Shirabe and Sagariha
8. Honte no Shirabe
11. Koten Tsuru no Sugomori
12. Kudan Tsuru no Sugomori
14. Kyûshû Reibo
16. Murasaki Reibo
17. Musashi Shirabe
21. San’ya Seiran
23. Shingetsu Chô
28. Shôganken Reibo
30. Sô Shingetsu
33. Tôri Kadotsuke Hachigaeshi
34. Yamato Rinbô
The above 35 pieces are all honkyoku that I have learned from Okuda Atsuya in his Zensabô style. As I only play jinashi shakuhachi I always play that instrument when teaching. But it doesn’t matter if you have a jinuri shakuhachi, as I have a jinashi tuned in D.