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my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing
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Lance
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PostPosted: 2012-02-04, 07:42    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
An interesting experiment would be to hear examples of Shakuhachi players after a given amount of time with a teacher and without a teacher. (Unscientific but might be interesting) I've been practicing on my own for 4 years now, yikes, time flies.. I VERY MUCH enjoy the Shakuhachi and find myself improving, slowly.. and "I" like how it sounds, (especially in a nice echoey stairway)... but I can't play ANY song, have memorized nothing, and only improvise... I'd be willing to post something and accept all the negative comments, if somebody with about 4 years of experience with a teacher would do the same.. (not a contest, but a comparison of sorts.. I'm pretty sure doing this would make the case FOR a teacher), I often wonder how we beginners sound, I've only heard a few youtube posts from some beginners and have NOT been impressed... even with their 'demonstration' of certain techniques they've been practicing which they seemed to be proud of but sounded terrible to me. We could put up links to youtube for such comparisons and/or to open ourselves up to advice/comments... I'm thick-skinned enough to handle it, I think, but it could get brutal.

I'll probably have some lessons at some point, I'm very curious about all the things they'd see me doing wrong.
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De Fouw
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PostPosted: 2012-02-04, 16:27    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

My two cents is just throwing good money after bad, 'cos it's in for a dime, in for a dollar.
Cheers,
Kees.
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CharlesKoeppen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-04, 19:04    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Lance wrote:
I'd be willing to post something


Hi Lance, I for one would love to hear it.

Lance wrote:

and accept all the negative comments,


You won't get any negative comments from me though. Maybe (and that of course isn't a guarantee) I would if you were asking for constructive criticism I'd offer it, but I feel that with an instrument like shakuhachi where a lot of beginners are unlikely to hear other beginners locally, posts of beginner efforts are doing the community a great service.

Lance wrote:
if somebody with about 4 years of experience with a teacher would do the same..


I don't understand the condition you put on whether you'll post your work or not. If you have a desire to be heard there are a multitude of venues on the internet, and by posting it here you can be assured that even if it weren't very impressive you'd be providing a reality check to students who are unsure of how good a typical student of 4 years sounds.

Lance wrote:
(not a contest, but a comparison of sorts.. I'm pretty sure doing this would make the case FOR a teacher),


Contests, informal or not, aren't necessarily evil or unenlightened. People tend to be somewhat competitive. Those that make the judgement that being non-competitive is better are being somewhat competitive in that their goal is to be non-competitive. And I'm not all that sure of the outcome, if you've been holing up and practicing for 8 hours a day for 4 years with good quality practice I have no doubt you'd be sounding better than the formally taught student who only practiced 1/2 a day or less.

Lance wrote:

I often wonder how we beginners sound,


I don't think you are alone. That is why I encourage you to post your work unconditionally.

Lance wrote:

I've only heard a few youtube posts from some beginners and have NOT been impressed... even with their 'demonstration' of certain techniques they've been practicing which they seemed to be proud of but sounded terrible to me.


I think the beauty of the youtube, soundcloud, and other internet venues is that individuals now have the ability to display their creativity despite how impressive it is. The commercial media world has inadvertently set up a society where if someone's work isn't on par with what can be purchased that the tendency is to label it as "not good", sometimes even by the individual who created it. That those works are "not good" is the farthest thing from the truth and labeling it as such stifles creative expression, even if those works may not be something the masses will pay for as entertainment.

Lance wrote:

We could put up links to youtube for such comparisons and/or to open ourselves up to advice/comments... I'm thick-skinned enough to handle it, I think, but it could get brutal.


Yes, we could do that. A relatively small number of us have. From what I've seen such efforts have been met with very little brutality.

Lance wrote:

I'll probably have some lessons at some point, I'm very curious about all the things they'd see me doing wrong.


Aren't you also curious about all the things they'll find you've been doing right?

P.S. I'm going to leave the issue of the importance of learning, or maybe I should say the tendency to want to learn, "songs" for another post.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-05, 01:27    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

People should post their stuff if they want to and not worry about what other people are going to do.

That is the Buddhist way. Okay

I don't know how to measure "beginner" but usually after four years of study and practice people are no longer beginners. In Yokoyama and Tozan it's possible to become Shihan after 3 years.
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JF Lagrost
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PostPosted: 2012-02-05, 13:00    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Brian, have you some examples of Tozan people becoming shihan 3 years after beginning shakuhachi ? Seems very short to me. Headquarters of ShinTozan-Ryū in Kyōto asks us to wait a minimum of 6 months between each diploma (shoden, chūden, okuden, kaiden and jun-shihan) even for the best students. Such progress is exceptional, in practice it is rather between 1 and 3 years between each degree. This must be the same for Tozan shakuhachi Gakkai, since degrees are common. Then there is a minium of 3 years between jun-shihan and shihan. So for me shihan in 3 years is just administratively impossible.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-05, 13:08    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Well JF I'm sure you know much better than I do but I met a guy in NYC named Sholom Shozan Gold and I thought he told me he got his Shihan in 3 years. If I'm mistaken, apologies to him and Tozan-Ryu.

Definitely there are examples of Yokoyama players getting Shihan within three years............they crank 'em out!

We are all beginners but after four years we might be intermediate............beginners. Razz
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JF Lagrost
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PostPosted: 2012-02-05, 20:29    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Yes, please don't speak ill about Tozan school, I think there're at least 5 Tozan here ! Bannir Mr. Green Okay

I see only two ways to obtain a Tozan shihan within 3 years :
- not to be a beginner ;
- go through the system of "recommendation": your teacher recommends you, you do not pass examination, and you pay the license very expensive. I also believe that this is what is practiced most often in other schools.
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 03:04    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Being the newbiest of newbies in this fellowship and having just played shakuhachi for a mere eight months (on my own at that) ... I admit my contribution to this discussion is at best, the audacious but sincere expression of an inexperienced beginner. Not to the flute itself, in it's many metallic, wooden and bamboo variations, nor to playing music in general, but to this specific tradition and lineage.

Still, if I take Brain's statement and thoughts at face value, I suspect that he was trying encourage Lance to be careful not to let the CONCEPT of the limitations of the time-space-continuum, necessarily inhibit his right to self-expression. You know, at our very best, we reflect beginner's mind? I certainly wouldn't put words into his mouth and honestly, am not even be sure I am even getting the proper gist of his ideas. Embarassed

But from my side of the pond, it looks as if this phenomenon has two sides to it's nature. On one side of the coin, it's all about method, measured steps and structure. On the other side of the coin, it sure appears as if it's all about transcending mind and accessing oneness with the universe, therefore touching the interwoven fabric of Bodhhi. Even extraordinary musical technicians are limited by their mind-set and it's fixed, mental rigidity and/or adherence to ONLY the specifics of technique and the rational realm of experiencing the study of Zen music.

I certainly respect the traditional approach, sincerely pray that I am fortunate enough to learn some of it and humbly bow before the necessary conditions, by which we become authentic shakuhachi players. Thus, able to give voice to traditional Japanese tunes, which are such sublime and specific musical pieces. But it obvious to even a fledgling student as myself, that even when schooled to an extreme degree of musical accomplishment and honed proficiency... Blowing Zen as such giants like Watazumi did, so beatifically, is on another plane altogether.

It cannot be taught. It cannot be learned within a schooled structure. It can only be lived with an honest passion, clarity of intent and a burning intensity of devotion to the art of this unique and wondrous bamboo flute. From what I have thought to gleam about this miracle, it is a pathway into the still emptiness and shimmering luminosity of the realm of No Mind. I imagine when these two worlds unite, it is as close to sheer perfection, that a short tube of madake bamboo can voice.? Idea
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 03:57    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

What I meant was that if Lance wants to post his videos he should but without making it a condition that others must as well. We are all responsible for releasing our own material......peer pressure doesn't enter into it.

The Playpen is a good place for beginners to post and get feedback.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 05:11    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

JF Lagrost wrote:
Yes, please don't speak ill about Tozan school, I think there're at least 5 Tozan here ! Bannir Mr. Green Okay
.


I checked and Sholom got his in 4 years. Apparently the methodology has changed since then? Don't know. Anyway he's been teaching for over a decade now and is a fine player.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 10:21    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

I was told by a Myoan Taizan ha teacher, that if I studied with him, I could get a kaiden (I think their equivalent of shihan is called of the top of my head) in 3 years... That was what the Myoan Taizan-kai ha agreed was the minimum for players already advanced players in other styles...
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 11:25    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Well, formalities aside..........3 or 4 years of good practice and a bit of talent and you're not a beginner. But you have Sabu Orimo who took a few lessons with Okuda and just started improvising and he probably has one of the healthiest "careers" in shakuhachi. I guess it's just what you want to do with it. In the end time marches on and you'll have been playing for 10-20-30 years and you will have decided how you sound by how you approached the whole process.
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 19:58    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
Definitely there are examples of Yokoyama players getting Shihan within three years............they crank 'em out!


Hi Brian. I am curious about this. Can you drop a few names? I am curious what these players sound like. Thanks, Michael
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-06, 21:19    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Michael Komatsuzen wrote:
Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
Definitely there are examples of Yokoyama players getting Shihan within three years............they crank 'em out!


Hi Brian. I am curious about this. Can you drop a few names? I am curious what these players sound like. Thanks, Michael


Among the people I know Justin got his within about 3 years from almost beginner status. So did Peter Hill but he was already a good player when he started with KSK.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-02-07, 17:44    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

I know I am getting out on thin ice....
but I must admit - even though I do come from a school that does not give out licenses - I sometimes do think some people get licenses too early.
I know that being outside the system, I could risk sounding either jealous, bitter og just mere stupid... but I think one should consider very carefully whether the player in question is not only a good player technically and of course musically, but whether the person is mature enough in the shakuhachi world to have such a title. Some times I see people where I think "that person wasn't ready musically" or sometimes I think " that person i´wasn't ready in personality".... but that is SOOOOOoo subjective and very hard to put into system.. in fact very knotty. Imagine if a jealous teacher blocks a student getting his license even though the student is ready. In that way it is way easier to say ; When you have gone through this repertoire you can get this license etc. But then somehow it risks making the license less valuable.
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