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Teacher/No Teacher
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Which poll option most closely describes your situation?
I am a shakuhachi teacher
14%
 14%  [ 6 ]
Studying traditional Japanese music with a teacher
58%
 58%  [ 24 ]
Teaching myself Japanese music using books, DVD's, the forum, etc.
17%
 17%  [ 7 ]
Teaching myself shakuhachi but not playing traditional music
9%
 9%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 41

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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-05-08, 02:20    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
People are always debating (or speculating in many cases) about the necessity of having a teacher. Just checking to see what people's status is.
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De Fouw
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PostPosted: 2011-05-08, 12:00    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

deleted

Last edited by De Fouw on 2015-12-12, 16:22; edited 2 times in total
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LowBlow
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PostPosted: 2011-05-08, 12:01    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Well i have two teachers. No vote for this?
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2011-05-08, 16:06    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Have a teacher, but not into specific tradition.
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Kage
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 01:05    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

De Fouw wrote:
Tairaku's 4 options imply a distinction that has not had quite enough attention in the 'teacher/no teacher' speculations:

- learning to play a shakuhachi -
- learning to play traditional Japanese shakuhachi music -

Glad to see it, might shed more light on player's/student's views on the matter when this difference is taken into account.

Ciao,
Kees
What difference?

The shakuhachi was DESIGNED around traditional Japanese music. It could be argued that the farther you get from traditional Japanese music, the
less you are actually playing shakuhachi, and thus, the teaching of shakuhachi is also designed around the instrument.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 01:11    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

LowBlow, question states "most closely" not "exact" so you would be option 2. Galina, you are studying but not learning Japanese music? What are you learning? Could you tell us a bit about that? I haven't heard of many teachers who specialize in other music on shakuhachi. Anyway for you option 2 would probably still be the closest choice. I didn't want to run through every conceivable possibility, just get a rough idea.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 01:16    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Kage, it looks like we are entering a phase where a significant minority of players are interested in the shakuhachi as an instrument but want to play other kinds of music on it...........sort of like people using a Belgian instrument designed for marching music to play jazz, or a Spanish instrument designed for flamenco to play blues. It's inevitable.

Maybe there's another poll in there somewhere. I'll think about it. Very Happy
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 08:06    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
Galina, you are studying but not learning Japanese music? What are you learning? Could you tell us a bit about that?

We in Moscow have small community of Sakuhachi players. Our teacher has no Shihan degree, he himself learns Honkyoku from a person who learns from Shihan, as far as I know. The teacher makes bamboo flutes. One of my flutes is here

and here


Our teacher does not position himself as somebody who teaches us specific tradition. Some translation from his blog.

We play Shakuhachi to make happiness occur around us, inside us. Maybe you will become the greatest Master, it will not necessarily make you any happier. Will you suffer because you of this?
In Shakuhachi this is not important, this really unique thing in Shakuhachi. You just find your own tide / wave / unique movement, that is all you need. You may elarn form different teachers, by different books and sources, but you should remember this simple thing.
Who is teacher? Who is sensei? This is one who helps you express yourself, open yourself, not interfering in your natural flow, because nobody knows what is it - your self, where it goes and with what purpose. There is technique, and there is understanding. I consider the second as more important, because the first one depends just on how often you practice.
Playing Shakuhachi you just sound. Who sounds? You yourself? The flute? The whole world? It is not important. What is important is the joy from the sound, beyond words, beyond conceptions. And another person with the flute may support you in this playing with you. And, you know, sometimes people even in one tradition can not play together because they have pieces in different notations.
I do not tell that technique is not important, that notations and instructions are not important. Of course it is good when one uses it, but not to stuck into these only things.


Technically, during our lessons we may analyze the piece, or just some phrases from the piece. Kyorey, Choshi, Souei. Some members of our group practicing also independently go beyond this list playing Tamuke, Sanyasi Sugagaki, Daiwagaku... I am not. I am afraid of technical complexity of these pieces. Hope I will come to them later.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 11:06    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Thanks for that Galina. Interesting philosophy from your teacher. You'll make it to those other pieces, just keep playing. Daiwagaku for example is similar to Choshi, only it has a few higher notes.
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2011-05-09, 18:07    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Thank you Brian.
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-05-10, 09:46    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

I chose option 2, but its not important for me that its Japanese, if it was finnish honkyoku, I would like to learn that as well.
I do like to learn traditional pieces though, as I believe that tradition is important. Modern consumerism is to often ruining beautiful and important knowledge and culture.
With my teacher I focus on the traditional pieces that my teacher choose for me, but I expect to look into old norwegian nature inspired folk songs to hopefully be able to play some of them with honkyoku quality (if that is possible...). Other music, like japanese children songs, evergreens etc etc is just for fun and to be abl to give my family a break from listening to me trying to reach the upperparts of kan and further..
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-05-10, 13:02    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

I chose 1 but could see me more or less in the other 3 as well.... Smile
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Yu-Jin
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PostPosted: 2011-05-11, 08:56    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

I started teaching myself several years ago using books and tape (or CD). However, I quickly realized I couldn't get what I wanted on my own. So I found a teacher. Now I am fortunate to have two good teachers I can learn from. So I chose option 2.
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-05-14, 04:53    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I just joined 2 days ago and I honestly had to vote #4. My aspiration is to understand the dynamics of the shakuhachi and how to bring out it's tone and mysterious voice. I will undoubtedly follow through with further study from books/CDs/DVDs/Internet. This does not imply I don't dearly want to study with a traditionally trained teacher, because I really do. This is unlikely in the near future, given that I live in Northern Vermont. I can see some kind of eventuality in this pursuit but it's probably a three hour drive to the nearest qualified teacher. That being said, I don't favor playing the shakuhachi as if it was a jazz or new age instrument, so I do hold to the traditional route as an ideal to hold high.

I see this practice as parallel to training within the Asian martial arts. And I especially see a similarity to swordsmanship, despite it's necessitating two participants to be practiced. What I am getting at is this... when we undertake a traditional art, of any kind, we have two ways of doing so. We can study under an experienced teacher who has been trained by an experienced teacher, who has been trained by an experienced teacher... stretching back into the shadows of ancient times. Or we can just do what feels natural and discover something profound along the way. This path is fraught with dangers and can create many bad habits and this becomes a problem to unlearn down the road.

I study Yang family taijiquan (tai chi chaun). My specialty is jianfa, which is the art of the Chinese double-edged straight sword. It is called jian in Mandarin and gim in Cantonese. Now, where I to just go off and make up my own movements and use the jian in any way I felt inspired to, I would err in judgement. The jian is not a fencing foil, a Persian shamshir nor a Japanese katana. Each of these swords has it's own traditional methodologies and definitive parameters. You can try as hard as you want to but a square peg will not fit into a round hole. The jian is designed for specific movements and techniques. So is the katana. It simply cannot be used in any manner in which is was not designed and intended for. Otherwise it will result in an irrational mish-mash of misunderstandings.

That being said, should one never undertake the journey of training without a qualified teacher? It's a catch-22. I believe we should embrace the study but keep the traditional values and the very structure of the art in mind at all times. Eventually we may be blessed with proper instruction. Our elders have preserved these systems for all of us. After all, doesn't the fact that these arts have been practiced and refined for centuries have a most profound cultural value? The lineage may change but those who wish to find the roots of the art must go to directly the source. Anything goes is OK for some but I cannot fathom the worth in it, if it cause a bastardization of sorts.

Even so, as Brain so wisely states, without a break in lineage, how would we have discovered the beauty of the blues, jazz, folk music or even reggae? The universe will continue to change and so will any of our human traditions. I am still from the camp that feels that certain things are meant to be handled, played and studied in equally specific ways. I freely admit I could be incorrect about such an extreme insistence... and I do contradict myself with my own words, as I have been playing the blues, rock n' roll and jazz on my European silver concert flute for over 35 years. I don't play classical music and I do not read musical scores. Always been an ear player. But somehow I feel differently about the shakuhachi. Is this completely hypocritical or is the shakuhachi unique in this way?

Sincerely, Jon Palombi
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-05-17, 23:36    Post subject: Teacher/No Teacher Reply with quote

If I may gently wade into this discussion and add my two cents...here is what I have found after 2 1/2 years of formal study with a teacher
that began about two weeks after I purchased my first shakuhachi.

Sound sound sound! Though I don't think there is such a thing as a 'bad' sound versus a 'good' sound, having a teacher has
helped me to see the almost limitless possibilities of the kind of sounds, color, tone, timbre, volume etc that are available on this
instrument. It's actually quite astonishing! I'm constantly having to reevaluate where I'm at...just with my sound. I'll get comfortable
and then she'll give me a correction that will practically have me learning how to play every single note over again! It's frustrating,
humbling, and also incredibly illuminating. Not throwing out the old way of playing...but rather learning how to access the old sounds
as well as new colors: gentle, bright, clean quiet tones, and dark, torn, quiet tones...breathy quiet tones, and mournful 'rip your heart out'
loud sounds, and clean crisp medium sounds...and and and!!!!

I, like many perhaps, like to be comfortable...a teacher is there to push you beyond what you can even imagine is possible. This is only
one aspect of the discussion, but to me, one of the most important. The sound and the space between the sound really is everything!
Well...and of course, the question of who it is that thinks he/she is doing all of this!

Can someone without a teacher discover this?...I think so...will it take longer?...I think so...Does any of this matter? I don't know...it all depends
on what you want I suppose. I don't know how many times I recall what Watazumi said...to paraphrase..."anyone who blows ro buki as
loud as they can for ten minutes a day can become a master"

My teacher went three years learning on her own before she found her teacher. I think everyone is in their right place, teacher or none!!

Nathan
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