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my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 01:52    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

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J. Danza wrote:
I remember praising my South Indian master after he played the most outrageous drum solo, and he answered: "that was nothing... you should have heard my guru play". That taught me a beautiful lesson: at whatever level we are, we always will have someone to look up to... music is an ever humbling and joyful path.


Sure, as long as we are inspired to continue by these experiences. I met a dude (who is now a shakuhachi player) who quit sax for some years because he was so intimidated by seeing Coltrane play. My favorite thing is when musicians tell me "You inspired me to start playing." That happens to me on bass and shakuhachi. It's better than just being told, "You are good."
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 08:24    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Okay Very Happy
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Last edited by chikuzen on 2012-02-10, 14:58; edited 1 time in total
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Johnny Filter
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 13:13    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Okay Mort de Rire
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why pitch?
why no pitch?
sound of hiccup
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 20:57    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

chikuzen wrote:
Okay Very Happy


I liked your original response better! Okay Arrow Shocked Cool
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 05:32    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

I always get up in the morning and delete any post I wrote the night before that was fueled with George Dickel or his cousin Jack Daniel. Although all of them are honest they don't all make a lot of sense to me.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 09:14    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

chikuzen wrote:
I always get up in the morning and delete any post I wrote the night before that was fueled with George Dickel or his cousin Jack Daniel. Although all of them are honest they don't all make a lot of sense to me.


There are a few kinds of booze that leave shakuhachi players completely lucid and coherent.





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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 12:27    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

At least that's what THEY say.
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Justin Senryu
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PostPosted: 2012-02-26, 15:20    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:

I don't know how long or what the criteria are for Shihan in KSK


I do not often come to the forum and have been offline in meditation retreat here in India for the last few weeks so, sorry if this is an old topic alredy, but someone wrote to me saying that it was implied by a member of the forum that I was awarded my shihan too early. So I thought to respond a little to some questions raised here, such as yours Brian about how it works in Chikushinkai, as Yokoyama-sensei's school is known in Japan. I can also tell a little about my own history, since questions have been raised.

I was first authorised to teach by Michael Coxall in England within my first year of study (with him in England and Kurahashi Yoshio in Japan). This is not regular, but I had studied diligently and already a good number of pieces, and Michael said it would be good for me to teach. However, instead, I packed my things and went to live in Japan. After some time studying with Furuya Teruo who was by then the top teacher in Chikushinkai aside from Yokoyama himself, Furuya-sensei said that I was at the level of shihan. However, Yokoyama-sensei wanted me to learn from him directly. This took some time to arrange, and so it was another year before I acquired my shihan licence. I believe that may have been about 3 years since starting shakuhachi, as Brian said, though I forget now. It may be on my website if anyone cares to look.

This is not the ordinary time scale within Chikushinkai, but neither were my circumstances. I had gone to Japan solely to learn shakuhachi playing and making, and dedicated all of my time to it. I practiced more than most and had at least twice as many lessons as most of the other students. As Brian suggests, some quality of obsessiveness also comes in handy for speedy learning.

For qualifying for my shihan, I had to demonstrate sufficient skill in playing honkyoku from memory, and other genres not all from memory including sankyoku, Fukuda Randou's compositions, Yokoyama Katsuya's compositions, and modern music. I believe that that is standard within the school. Yokoyama-sensei also awarded me my professional name, Senryu. This is standard in most schools but generally no names are given in Chikushinkai. Since I am a shakuhachi maker also, and since Yokoyama-sensei authorised me as a professional maker, he awarded me my name for my making (for using to stamp my instruments) and performing.

Around that time I started studying with the Grandmaster of Kinko-ryu, Araki Kodo V. Within about 2 years I was awarded shihan from Araki-sensei, after completing my study of all of the Kinko-ryu honkyoku and extensive study of sankyoku, playing some of the most difficult sankyoku pieces with shamisen and koto at some events in Shimonoseki and Kyushu. Again this was unusually fast, but again I studied very intensively from Araki-sensei in his home and sometimes accompanied him on teaching trips to other parts of Japan.

Some people may care about length of study. My experience of Furuya, Yokoyama and Araki was that they cared about music. Yokoyama-sensei has a reputation for being strict about giving shihan, particularly for Japanese students and foreigners living in Japan, and Furuya-sensei has a reputation about being even more strict. And so I was glad for that reason (and most of all since they both taught me so much) to have both of their names on my shihan certificate. Araki-sensei's shihan students whom I have heard are also great players, so I assume he has similar standards.

Apart from that I have been asked to teach by some other teachers who have not given me an official certificate, some because they do not give certificates.

If you think how much someone learns while studying for a medical degree in just a few years, it should not be too hard to motivate yourself to study harder and make the best use of your time. Yes it does depend on the ability of your teacher/s to teach, and yes it does depend on your natural ability to learn. But within that, it is then your time and effort which makes the difference. The more you want to play better, and the more you act on that wish, the better chance you have at progressing healthily.

The other option is simply to take things slowly. There is nothing wrong with that at all. In the end it is just what we enjoy to do! Some of us are compulsive perfectionists, some of us are just happy to be sailing along pressure free. I am very glad that both exist!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-26, 22:05    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Hi Justin I don't know if anybody implied that you got your license too early. Thanks for telling your story and hopefully it will inspire other people to take up serious study and devote themselves to practice. It pays off! Okay Most students doubt they have the ability to pull up stakes and move to Japan to immerse themselves in shakuhachi study. But if people thought about it they probably could, if it was really their priority.
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2012-02-28, 22:37    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

What a nice thread this turned out to become!!

There was a moment when I felt I should ask the moderators to keep this ON TOPIC.
But this last development was enlightening and inspiring! Razz
1: It started as a wish about how to not reply to beginners with silly questions
2: Then became a mildly heated conversation about playing without teacher or with teacher
3: Then philosphical about playing with or without teachers (and hippie banging djembes)
4: And now about certificates, but more important the time it takes and study process and individual differences.

Regarding the last point: This is so similair to what I have seen in Yoga, where students is appointed as advanced by the Guru "out of order". Not often does this give a lot of anger and jealousy among the steady and slow learners who think it should be their turn before the newcomer.

Iyengar Yoga has a highly detailed and formalized system of becoming a teacher, and it takes years. The national associations are responsible for following the structure and arrange exams with independent sensors etc. However Mr BKS Iyengar himself has made sure that he still has superior right to give certificates without any specific criterias.
It created quite a turmoil when he gave one person a licence to teach based on correspondence and photographs of yoga practices. This happened a few yrs ago in one of the scandinavian countries :-) I have myself have no opinions about that being good or bad - it happened. But I find excentric teachers fun and inspiring, like the story of Marpa and Milarepa

PS: I will issue certificates to anyone that sends me nude pictures of their shakuhachi Mr. Green
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-29, 07:12    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Why suppose that the student without a teacher has a "wider range of learning experience"? I studied and experienced the styles of people of many sects, including the "renegades" Yokoyama Katsuya, Watazumido, Taniguchi Yoshinobu, and a number of other " in sect" teachers who were great players. All my experiences with teachers were " guided learning" experiences. What ground I had to traverse to understand them and play like them led to a hugh amount of experiences that each of them led me to though what they had previously experienced. And they were quite different. And so am I now quite different from each of them as a player. I can hear all of them in my playing now plus something of my own existance. So, because of this I'm a bit baffled by this comment that someone with a little amount of experience of others who have experienced much in this world has a wider range of learning experience. Can you explain this?
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-29, 12:56    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Seems like a random thought but Chikuzen is quoting from a post much earlier in the conversation.

Go for it Chikuzen!
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-29, 16:03    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Oh, did I reopen an old can of worms? Mr. Green Fresh worms are so much better. Very Happy I think early in your shakuhachi experience, if possible, you should study one sect in depth, listen to many different styles and sounds, then imitate all of them and from those experiences you will draw out what you need to do what you with the shakuhachi.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-29, 22:59    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

There are only 24 hours in the day. Basically all solo shakuhachi sounds the same. I know we all love to think we and our teachers are doing something radical, unique, traditional, authentic or whatever, but that's pedantic. To the average public or to a dog it sounds the same. So what we should do is find the music we personally like to play and listen to. Then study it and/or play it.

What Chikuzen says is true. Any of the variety of shakuhachi practices gives endless work opportunities. Having a wider or more narrow range is irrelevant, except to the person who is doing it.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-03-01, 09:54    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing Reply with quote

Nice post, Jarle!
Chikuzen, do you mind linking to the post with the claim that a the student without a teacher has a "wider range of learning experience"... then it is easier to follow...
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PostPosted: Today at 01:04    Post subject: my 2 cents about the whole teacher thing

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