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The best way to learn shakuhachi is with face to face, one-on-one lessons.

The relative truth of the above statement depends in part on your definition of  ‘to learn shakuhachi’. For me ‘shakuhachi’ is more than an musical instrument, and playing it is more to me than ‘making music’, wonder though making music can be.

So much of what my teachers gave to me could not have been received through a book, or through self-training. During the hours I spent in my teachers’ presence, literally exchanging molecules with each shared breath, hours filled with non-verbal communication, I think I learned far more than the technical aspects of making pleasant sounds by exhaling into bamboo.

Even if your sole interest in learning the shakuhachi is to play music, ‘in person’ lessons are the best. Here’s why.  The number one most important skill needed to play music is the ability to listen. During ‘in person’ lessons, you listen with a concentration that is only equaled, perhaps, when you are performing live for another or others. Only during the lessons however, do you listen (ideally) with that heightened concentration to both to your teacher and to yourself.

I sometimes wonder if some of my students ever listen…

If you are in Sydney, please contact me to arrange a one-on-one lesson.

Total beginners are as welcome as professional performers. Instruments are available for sale, ranging in price from A$130 to…well, however many thousands of dollars you might want to spend on a piece of bamboo.

I also teach one-on-one, ‘in person’ lessons while on tour, if my schedule permits. Check the calendar to see if I’m in your neighbourhood this year. If I am and you’d like a lesson during my visit, contact me for further details.

Tour Dates

Below is Riley's basic schedule.
If a date is blank, he is in Sydney.
Riley gives lessons when available.
This schedule is subject to change.
Contact us: For More Information