Read LESSONS page first.

Listening to the shakuhachi is good; playing it is better. The best way to learn to play is to learn from a teacher. Lists of teachers can be found in various places on the web- a good place to begin is Monty Levenson’s site

In order to play shakuhachi honkyoku (Zen Buddhist pieces), one must make them ‘one’s own’. In order to do this, one must, paradoxically give them away. One must transmit the pieces to someone else.This is important for two reasons.

Firstly, the pieces, being oral/aural in nature, will become extinct forever if the transmission is broken for even one generation. It is the responsibility of every shakuhachi player to help make sure this does not happen.

Secondly, the pieces are only yours while you are giving them away. The nature of the honkyoku is like electricity. We are the light bulbs. Light bulbs work only while electricity passes through them. Once the electricity stops flowing, the light bulb goes dark. The magic of the honkyoku only works while it is passing through the player. We must give the pieces to others in order to have them ourselves.

This can be done by performing them so well that the listener is inspired to learn the pieces. But the best way is to teach the piece to another.

I teach whenever and wherever possible. Check my schedule. If I am in a location near you and you don’t mind coming to me, it’s likely that I can fit in a lesson with you. Email is the easiest way to communicate with me.


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