About shakuhachi lessons with me
Teaching is what I would consider my calling in life. It’s my pleasure to make the learning environment fun and meaningful. Shakuhachi is and was an instrument of mysteries but it’s long been my goal to convey its many secrets in a clear and open way. One of the ways in which I do this is by sharing my unique exercises for developing one’s sound and by giving careful guidance on all areas playing the shakuhachi. As an experienced shakuhachi maker I can also answer many questions regarding the instruments themselves and help with troubleshooting them or acquiring new ones.
Lessons are one-on-one and a full hour long and most students take weekly or bi-weekly lessons, though students can take their lessons whenever they like and lessons never expire. I’m available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time −05:00). I teach people living in Western and Eastern Australia, Hawaii, Japan, and all over Europe and the Americas. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to find a lesson time for us using timeanddate.com’s “meeting planner”, just include your city in the email. If you need an affordable 1.8 “D” shakuhachi for lessons with me and there aren’t any listed on the for sale page contact me and I will be happy to assist you in acquiring one. I look forward to hearing from you.
About the music
On average, students complete the first school of honkyoku that I teach in about a year. You can see most of my repertoire on the Students page. I teach four distinct regional styles of shakuhachi music which are the styles that inspired and provided the source material for the schools of Higuchi Taizan, Jin Nyodo, Watazumi, and Nishimura Koku (I also teach some of the pieces from these master’s repertoires).
My students doing some teaching of their own
Words of thanks
Thanks a million, Jon! That hour yesterday saved me years of learning and gaining confirmation (confidence). Knowing that I’m on the right track, rough around the edges tho I might be, enables me to concentrate on enjoying playing. I played both of your flutes today and they remind me each time I do just how lucky I am to have them.
Your help is amazing, and my dominant ‘left-brain’ translated your very last line, of your last message, to a very enjoyable an productive session this morning. The ‘physics’ aspects of Shakuhachi are so important to me as I begin this journey, and I feel I have a very clear vision of body posture, head position, diaphragm, to ensure optimum airflow to my lips. Embouchure is a process and I feel there is progress understanding and feeling what the goal is.
Thank you for the class! I know the road is long and the journey ahead of me with the Shakuhachi is going to be very difficult. I am learning many things through the process, however, The Shakuhachi is an amazing instrument. It is almost as if an extension of our being with all its moods, turbulence, longing for solitude and peace. One day things play so nice and the others as if back to ground zero.
The goal is not to seek perfection or to entertain as much as it is to overcome the self, the ego, the inner voice that keeps on telling us all what we can not do instead of all what we can accomplish. Thank you for being my teacher. Thank you for being kind and patient with my slow learning. You are a very kind soul Jon. You do not make me feel bad when clearly my ability to play is so jarring.Peace!
I’m making progress daily with the exercises in your book. I realized that if I start with the otsu exercise then it makes the kan exercise much easier for some reason. I’m getting pretty consistent sounds in kan, and I’m getting better with the octave jumping exercise too. My kan notes are more windy than my otsu notes, and not nearly as nice, but each day I can play them a little quieter and a little less windy. I totally see how important just having a very small opening between your lips is, and how the pressure in your mouth is the key.
Thanks for an enlightening session! The devil is in the details as they say… As a visual artist it makes me think [about how] I could spend a lifetime learning just how to draw a perfect circle, or even a truly straight line. Each song, Life, moment etc., even the simplest, is so grand it contains a universe. Tremendously appreciative of this moment. Deep deep deep Bow
Thanks again for the awesome lesson today! I think you struck the perfect balance between explanation and playing/practice, and I love your teaching style. You’re a very good teacher, and I look forward to our next lesson!
At least three times now you have honed in on problems I was having with the sound of my flute and suggested corrections that were immediately effective, with lasting result. Nothing I could have read in a book, or gained from listening to a Master player would have solved these difficulties, and I doubt I could have solved them on my own. I certainly had tried. It takes a good teacher.
I have been trying to play for a little more than a year (with a teacher) and yours is the first decent explanation I have gotten on achieving Kan. I experimented with the tighter lips and higher pressure and saw an immediate result. THANKS!
You are a great teacher. You actually helped me with my embouchure for bansuri (indian side-blown flute). The large bore and larger mouth hole makes it difficult. Your instruction is helping me think about lip shape and pressure in order to make improvements.
Yay! I made a note. Now I gotta go do it again and again. Thank you so much for the lesson… I love it so far even if I can’t make it work constantly =-) *progress!!!
You are responsible for helping me make my first sound on my new Shakuhachi. Thank you sir!
You are a very good teacher. And thanks for the tips. Bless ya! :)!