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#76 2010-04-17 01:26:15

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Excellent Brian!! Thanks man!  I really appreciate the well thought out response.  I know it took time and I sincerely appreciate you doing that.  Your word is one that is highly respected and I put a lot of weight in it!

Thanks!


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#77 2010-04-17 02:16:34

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP wrote:

Shall we look up all those adjectives that describe the kind of person who says "struth"?

A citation from Urban Dictionary? Excuse me while I go wash my hands.

While I am sure that is very pertinent to this discussion it is probably better to open that discussion in another thread.  I am sincerely interested in keeping on topic here and getting answers.  It seems sometimes on the forum really important discussions become diluted by "wit and sarcasm".  I feel this is really important to the future of shakuhachi transmission.  Sorry for being a stick in the mud here! I just want to keep this on topic.

Brian

Oddly enough, Brian, objecting to the introduction of irrelevant nonsense into the discussion is what I thought that I was doing.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#78 2010-04-17 02:40:12

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

I am sorry.  I was so interested in getting back to the topic I missed that.  sad   Sorry again!

;)Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#79 2010-04-17 06:48:13

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Gishin wrote:

purehappiness wrote:

I knew I was opening a can of worms.

You always do! smile

Now that being said. WHY HO WHY do people need to discuss and explain or find some ways to justify what they are doing half assed as usual. The Skype thing can be a good help but in the end you still need to have a teacher.

Then the usual excuse is... But what can you do if there is no teacher around etc. Well the answer is quite simple you don't play Shakuhachi that is all. If Shakuhachi is so important to you then you visit a teacher as often as you can this proves to yourself that you are serious enough to learn the thing.

The main problem is that the whole process of buying or getting internet videos or lessons is too easy and simple it degrades the whole thing and attracts posers.

But we have an opinion we are players also and humans beings. Hell most people trying to pussyfoot around have crappy flutes no teachers or just bare minimums of playing and understanding of the scores etc. Guess what? I will burst your bubble now if not already done. To all beginners and posers YOUR OPINION DOES NOT MATTER! Why because you don't know jack and have no experience yet the questions,suggestions,ideas or impressions you have are worthless WAIT at least 5 years with a REAL teacher and then you will have some real questions or stuff to ask.

It is exactly like teenagers talking about sex without having done anything yet and their ideas are based on porn and lots of masturbation.

Everything you have said is true. I do not have much experiencve at all(skype for a year) and should probably stay out of conversations. I know I have pissed you off before gishin. My ignorance preceeds me. Maybe in 5 years with a real face to face teacher I can add something worthy to the conversations here. I will try and refrain from making any stupid remarks anymore.(how humbling. sad )


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#80 2010-04-17 07:07:05

Christopher B.
Member
From: Berlin, Germany
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 235
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Gishin wrote:

purehappiness wrote:

    I knew I was opening a can of worms.

You always do! smile

Now that being said. WHY HO WHY do people need to discuss and explain or find some ways to justify what they are doing half assed as usual. The Skype thing can be a good help but in the end you still need to have a teacher.

Then the usual excuse is... But what can you do if there is no teacher around etc. Well the answer is quite simple you don't play Shakuhachi that is all. If Shakuhachi is so important to you then you visit a teacher as often as you can this proves to yourself that you are serious enough to learn the thing.

The main problem is that the whole process of buying or getting internet videos or lessons is too easy and simple it degrades the whole thing and attracts posers.

But we have an opinion we are players also and humans beings. Hell most people trying to pussyfoot around have crappy flutes no teachers or just bare minimums of playing and understanding of the scores etc. Guess what? I will burst your bubble now if not already done. To all beginners and posers YOUR OPINION DOES NOT MATTER! Why because you don't know jack and have no experience yet the questions,suggestions,ideas or impressions you have are worthless WAIT at least 5 years with a REAL teacher and then you will have some real questions or stuff to ask.

It is exactly like teenagers talking about sex without having done anything yet and their ideas are based on porn and lots of masturbation.

Ah ok Gishin like often you just adding a ignorant Post.

You are talking about 5 years expierence with a teacher ok! I dont have that expierence I have a cuple of teachers here arround me and I also visit some just for learning Shakuhachi (more then a year now). As you sayed we can close this forum for beginners? I dont know what the problem is? I thought this forum is a place to share expirence or not? As normaly, beginners have a lot of question or not? You have alittle kid you should know that better. I sometimes agree with you but why you are often post so ignorant stuff? I dont want to fight with you but I think it is bad for the community and some beginners. It is hard to get some information as a beginenr and alot of stuff will become a bad habbit if knowledge is not shared for beginners too.

I am a noob in Shakuhachi I knew that and excuse me for sharing expierence and asking questions. So who is the poser Gishin I dont have seen anybody here on this forum? You are such a big guy with more then 5 years expierence? You know what? That really doesnt madder to me. I met alot of beginner and teachers and it was always such a great thing! I think it should be a big part to share expirience with others even from beginner to beginner.

I agree with that there are some people out that playing shakuhachi since 30+ years and not doing it right in some eyes but they do it on they own purpose so whats wrong with that? Anyways, whats wrong with asking questions? Or better what is a right question and what is not? So you want to tell us that we have to wait 5 or more years to asking right questions or having ideas? I think you are totaly wrong with that. It is good to get expierence and then asking questions but here is a place to do it now...So why wait?

Last edited by Christopher B. (2010-04-17 07:59:13)


In reality it is Ha,Ro,Ha,Ro... ~Sensei~
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#81 2010-04-17 09:59:10

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Brian, sorry for the delay but I had a busy week and couldn't respond. I also wanted to give this more thought, which you and this subject deserves. I'm still thinking but will write a few observations and come back later. I do think this subject speaks tons about yourself, who and what you are and the approach that you have chosen in your shakuhachi path. You are devoting much of your life's resources, i.e. time, money, energy, feeling and thought  and are taking no shortcuts in the process of getting certified. I know this since I'm your teacher. My "curriculum" for certification is not the easiest. It has been designed to insure that everyone will find something in it that they do not enjoy learning. It also insures that when someone has completed the curriculum they have a good platform to stand on to begin teaching. So, it is natural that it bothers you to see people teaching who may have some experience playing but not having gone through a demanding program. It does bother me too and I at least have genuine doubts when I observe such a thing happening.

Random thoughts:

It bothers me mostly to see people teaching who have a lot of bad playing habits. This is very harmful to others. I find it absurd if they are accepting money in exchange for this "teaching". I didn't start teaching for several years after I got certified. When I started, I took payment other than money,. i. e. mostly vegetables from farmers. When I started charging I was still reluctant to charge normal prices as I felt I wanted to develop as a teacher more and base the price on what I have to offer. In my mind, some of this boils down to people's ideas about receiving money for "services", which means, hopefully, that they are looking at themselves objectively,  having respect for how much time and energy it takes someone else to make money, and also looking at the tradition with respect. Which means taking into account their ability to play, not based on beginner's critiques but on the ideas of very good players.

Tairaku mentioned in his TV interview that a prevalent idea in Japan is that if you play well, it's your duty to teach. So the bottom line in this idea is that you must play well. In Japan you certainly will have certification too. Tairaku also mentions the example of Mr. Yoshio Kurahashi not having a license, but we all know this is a rare exception and that he was born into a shakuhachi playing family, and is a great player, so those are his credentials and are recognized. We also know that he has given out licenses so he considers himself at a level to do such a thing. And undoubtedly is. He could just write himself his own certificate and in as much as his actions reveal, he has. It's not as invisible as it appears. I'm throwing no judgement on this at all. BTW, I highly respect Mr. Kurahashi and enjoy his playing tremendously. This is just what I feel is a very exceptional case and should not be used to justify teaching without certification.

Again, a Jun Shihan gives certification to start teaching, just like a graduate degree with teaching certification for K~12. From that point on, teaching just starts. Some people develop into good teachers and some don't and go to other professions.  The difference in my mind from Jun Shihan to Shihan is a continuation of lot more hard work. What's the point if not? Even if the person getting the Shihan has no plans to teach, they shouldn't be allowed to get a watered down version Shihan. It's disrespectful of all the others hard work.

If you have a Shihan and have been teaching several years then you should have some ability to see "down the road" where things are headed. This vision increases the more and more you teach. That's why, for example, and in Japan, that there is only one teacher in the room at all times at the dojo. I have had people jump in to offer explanations at my camps, even interrupt me to do so, in their enthusiasm to offer a perspective of what they experienced and something that helped them. This is good energy, but the fact is that sometimes they didn't see that I was leading up to something in a step by step process and actually just added unnecessary confusion to things. It's also why I seldom "teach" on the forum. Because teaching involves "down the road" insight and I know that the forum... is a forum. A discussion area, if you will. Teaching is not really discussion but is listening, doing and understanding that is guided by someone with much experience. Here, it's not going to be just my voice on the subject.

People are not as good as a teacher after one year of teaching as they will be after 10 years of teaching, if they care about the profession. If you experience teaching a song 100 times, then you have a certain amount of questions coming at you that you need to answer. If you teach this song 1000 times, then you have many more viewpoints from which to provide an answer that WORKS for that person.

Personalities often become an obstacle for effective teaching.

One shouldn't be intimidated by a strict teacher. Focus more on their teaching methodology and you'll get a peek into why they do things the way they do. Strictness doesn't mean they won't explain something. Keep asking.

Friendliness shouldn't be mis interpreted to equate to being a "good teacher". Many people are very romantic about learning shakuhaci and don't want the hard facts sometimes. One can have a great deep relationship developed and created through the experience of learning and teaching shakuahchi. But, the ability to play well and teach well should always be a given.

Even getting certified doe not insure that you is going to be a good teacher and certainly doesn't mean that one SHOULD teach.
It has been mentioned that people will do what they want concerning teaching without certification. I heard this exact statement in Japan so am reluctant to attribute it Nyoraku, although if he says it too, then he must be endorsing it. What I find to be true is that people will do what they want and we won't talk about it in a public forum, and therefore they will continue doing what they want.

This has been random and I have run out of time, but promise to throw more random stuff in later. Especially after all the replies to this.


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#82 2010-04-17 10:34:29

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP wrote:

One thing that does concern me and I haven't seen on here is (I may have missed it)  anyone addressing how they feel about unlicensed individuals who haven't completed a certain repertoire teaching for profit.  It seems to me that it may be disingenuous and possibly damaging to a student to learn from someone who hasn't mastered the style they are teaching.

I've found from lessons on various instruments that it's almost like therapy, ie., whatever teacher you choose is the best teacher for you. If you don't like the teacher and quit, in retrospect you'll usually find that you learned a lot from the experience.

In my opinion (and experience, both with music and social dance) teachers just end up pouring information on you, but it's the practice time that counts most. Do you really need to know every "standard" classical flute piece in the baroque, classical, romantic, and modern era?
Maybe if you want to be a professional silver flute player, and that's what most silver flute teachers proceed to teach, moving on to the next piece when they've run out of information to give on the current one.

If you just want a few good pieces to feel good about how you get through them, which to me is good flute playing, the answer is a plain, simple "no". Take a few simple songs to start with, folk songs and some simple Western songs (like you'll find in most teaching books), work on them every day for a year or so. Memorize the songs, learn them in several keys, play them in different ways, get intimate with them. You can rest assured you'll be sounding good on those songs. 

Will you need a teacher for this? Maybe, that depends on your experience and natural talent. Hopefully that teacher won't take you down the "learn everything as fast as possible" path if that's not what you want.

So, where I am right now, I learned some folk songs from a book, some jazz standards from Geni, and a few "tango" songs on my own, now I just want a few honkyoku to add to my repertoire. Perry said that with a 6 lesson package I can take however much time I want with he could probably get me through Kyorie and Tamuke. Absolutely perfect for what I want to accomplish.

BTW, I didn't really "get it" until after many years of silver flute lessons with several teachers that one European teacher (Petr Kotik) was appalled that I was playing such a large repertoire half-assed that he started me back on embarrassingly simple pieces that amazingly started to come to life. Eventually (a couple years), genuinely pleased, he said "Now you sound like a flute player!"           

Who know's? Maybe if I reach a Dai Shihan level I can come back to this post and say "how ignorant I was", maybe the path I'm taking will never get me to Dai Shihan. It could be that's only for super ambitious people who want the experience of learning a large difficult repertoire at a high level. But really, if you want and try that and it doesn't work for you for whatever reason... lack of time, lack of live teacher, or I hate to say it but different people are different, lack of natural talent, go back to basics. Learn some simple songs by playing them everyday so they come so naturally it feels like a source outside of you is playing them. That's the basic musical experience, it's universal, and you can still be a part of it.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#83 2010-04-17 11:53:47

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Good post Michael,

I'd like to clarify a few points. I am not using Kurahashi Yodo II as an example that people should aspire to teach without a license. He and some others are examples of exceptions to the licensing rule, as you mention.

And I did not get the impression that Nyoraku endorses teaching without a license. I know he doesn't because he didn't want me teaching before giving me a license except in certain specific situations. I think he meant let's not worry about what other people do.

It's valuable what you say about teaching even when you have a license. That relates to something Brian P. mentions here:

BrianP wrote:

damaging to a student to learn from someone who hasn't mastered the style they are teaching.

I don't think getting a license means you have "mastered the style". To me my Jun Shihan means, "Nyoraku thinks Tairaku has completed a specific course of study and is ready to teach some students." But not all. And my Shihan means, "Kurahashi Yodo II thinks Tairaku is a decent player and ready to teach some students." I'm licensed but I don't think I've mastered the style just that I know it to the extent that I can teach certain people who know less than I do and give them good instruction.

So the license is a way that other people can evaluate you. It means so and so is making a statement about your skills. And that person got the ability to make that statement from a predecessor and so on down the line.  People who teach without a license are making that statement about themselves. They're deciding for themselves that they're ready to teach, not letting someone else make that decision. Then it becomes strictly between that teacher and the student, not part of any study continuum.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#84 2010-04-17 12:31:49

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

People can learn from everybody. From Crapy teachers , Awesome teachers, Great players, Flute makers.Recordings, cds, Youtube. All of them help to get the full view of the instrument & the music .
And, thats how one learns. Learning from only one teacher is very limited experience.
I also think. It will help students to start to teach early , because they will learn themself also. But, everything is about choises & goals.
Personally I will take lessons from the BEST teacher I could afford. When i started out, i was dirt poor. And, cds/videos, youtube videos  the forum with advices was where i learn stuff. So I understand that point of view. Nowdays its awesome. You can Skype everybody. And I mean Everybody.
Anyway, back to practice now. Got a gig tonight ;-)

Last edited by geni (2010-04-17 12:32:44)

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#85 2010-04-17 13:18:22

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

In my opinion (and experience, both with music and social dance) teachers just end up pouring information on you, but it's the practice time that counts most.

I agree that practice obviously matters very much.  What we practice and how we practice matters just as much.  If an teacher is not capable of teaching the correct techniques required for the song and we practice the techniques incorrectly we are only creating bad habits and hindering ourselves on the road to becoming a more proficient player.  Likewise, if a teacher doesn't play the notes in pitch as we are learning and we mimic the teacher we are only going to be practicing more mistakes. 

I am not saying that it is impossible for an unlicensed individual to teach.  There are obvious exceptions to that rule.  What I am saying is that when one considers a teacher, one should ensure the individual they are learning from is fully capable of playing the pieces correctly and conveying the necessary techniques. 

The unlicensed and capable teacher in my experience seems more the exception then the rule and to see some people taking the teaching tradition so lightly is disheartening.  It is already bad enough that some teachers hand out Shihan licenses to players who can't even hold a note.  Both of these things just act to devalue the Shihan license for those who work hard and diligently to acquire it.  To me it shows a certain level of disrespect to those who have attained the license legitimately through hard work and years of dedication as well as shakuhachi as a whole. 

It is obviously ones prerogative to ignore this and teach regardless of their ability to do so.  I can't say that I can respect that and it generally makes me lose respect for people who choose to do so.  I guess that is my prerogative. 

I just wish people who pretend to care about tradition and the people they purport to care about would consider this before offering teaching instruction for money when they clearly aren't capable of doing so.  If you want to teach put the time and energy into completing your own education in shakuhachi and then give the best you have. 

Otherwise, you are only acting to hurt the very community you claim to serve.  These are obviously my opinions and I don't claim to have any moral authority or right to tell anyone what to do.  I am merely appealing to those who should know better, to do the right thing and leave teaching to the people who are fully capable of doing so. Please help secure the proper transmission of shakuhachi to the future generations.  Show through your actions that you care about this community and the instrument as much as you say you do.

Thanks for reading this and all the great replies so far,

Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#86 2010-04-17 14:00:47

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

purehappiness wrote:

Gishin wrote:

purehappiness wrote:

I knew I was opening a can of worms.

You always do! smile

Now that being said. WHY HO WHY do people need to discuss and explain or find some ways to justify what they are doing half assed as usual. The Skype thing can be a good help but in the end you still need to have a teacher.

Then the usual excuse is... But what can you do if there is no teacher around etc. Well the answer is quite simple you don't play Shakuhachi that is all. If Shakuhachi is so important to you then you visit a teacher as often as you can this proves to yourself that you are serious enough to learn the thing.

The main problem is that the whole process of buying or getting internet videos or lessons is too easy and simple it degrades the whole thing and attracts posers.

But we have an opinion we are players also and humans beings. Hell most people trying to pussyfoot around have crappy flutes no teachers or just bare minimums of playing and understanding of the scores etc. Guess what? I will burst your bubble now if not already done. To all beginners and posers YOUR OPINION DOES NOT MATTER! Why because you don't know jack and have no experience yet the questions,suggestions,ideas or impressions you have are worthless WAIT at least 5 years with a REAL teacher and then you will have some real questions or stuff to ask.

It is exactly like teenagers talking about sex without having done anything yet and their ideas are based on porn and lots of masturbation.

Everything you have said is true. I do not have much experiencve at all(skype for a year) and should probably stay out of conversations. I know I have pissed you off before gishin. My ignorance preceeds me. Maybe in 5 years with a real face to face teacher I can add something worthy to the conversations here. I will try and refrain from making any stupid remarks anymore.(how humbling. sad )

Even though I don't know a Jack, hey hold on, this is a forum, not some rigid Academy of something! Hang in there Pure! But Gishin, you're absolutely correct. It brings up the question of what would previous generations of Shihan(s) think about teaching other than face to face lessons. I think about the story of Goro Yamaguchi and his father playing a composition one time, so you better get it. Convention is convention and you don't waiver. Times, people and places do change, though. Also, I thought your constant comparing to things sexual, pornographic etc... was just a vain and sophmoric attempt at being brash and cruel. But honkyoku and most musical compositions have a foreplay, climax, orgasm and a little cuddle, hopefully. I thought zen priests were only supposed to shite-slap their initiates in the room or other zen priests, wrong again. Well, no longer being a shakuhachi player, just a blower of some 'boo', I'll just be cool with that.

Last edited by Kerry (2010-04-17 14:19:07)


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#87 2010-04-17 14:13:04

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Concerning the teaching on video tapes or DVDs. I'm in the process of creating some myself. For my beginner's DVD, what I'm doing is taking the problems and mistakes that I've encountered many people having and making over the years and addressing those from the beginning. These concern, posture, how to hold the flute, how to breath, and some comments about embouchure, but not too many. I also give specific drills and show why these drills will be helpful later. I believe I am offering a chance for many people to develop good habits from the beginning. Of course, as Brian Purdy explains, I won't be able to address anyone's bad habits directly, but if the instruction is based on the bad habits that most people make, it should help a lot of others.

Geni wrote:

People can learn from everybody. From Crapy teachers , Awesome teachers, Great players, Flute makers"...

For example:

12 years ago a lady came to me for a lesson who had been playing for 25 years. She also was a teacher. She had both her wrists wrapped and explained that she had always had wrist trouble since the early years of playing shakuhachi. Upon close examination (as they say) it was easy to see what the trouble was as I've encountered this many times. I suggested a different way of holding the flute to her. She did feel relief immediately but could never really change as her habits had set in too long. This could have easily been avoided if the teacher had been concerned.

And she paid money to not learn how to hold the flute.
This example addresses two issues here for me. One, the DVD will help people with such a habit and therefore will be useful. Two, it means that teachers with bad habits themselves will often pass those on too. So, when someone says you can learn something from everyone, yes, take it to heart.

Jon wrote:

As for teaching without the blessing/license of one's teacher or the ability as well as the inevitable leak of videos and resulting self-teaching, my generation will just have to help people with the habits and or incorrect ways of playing they are bound to develop.

Yes, as a teacher you are part of helping things go in a good direction or ...not.
.


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#88 2010-04-17 16:48:12

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

chikuzen wrote:

12 years ago a lady came to me for a lesson who had been playing for 25 years. She also was a teacher. She had both her wrists wrapped and explained that she had always had wrist trouble since the early years of playing shakuhachi. Upon close examination (as they say) it was easy to see what the trouble was as I've encountered this many times. I suggested a different way of holding the flute to her. She did feel relief immediately but could never really change as her habits had set in too long. This could have easily been avoided if the teacher had been concerned.

.

OUCH!

But this brings up another fine and delicately balanced point. Although we respect our teacher we must also use the brains we have been given and not be morons. She must at some point have seen someone holding the flute properly or differently and should also have been able to notice that she held it wrong. We are not babies. With all these videos circulating and, especially if you live in a cultural center, possibility of seeing people play live, there are examples out there. Not necessarily from an instructional point of view but enough so that you can tell that you yourself are doing something inefficiently. And then seek out the help you need to get it together.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#89 2010-04-17 17:34:51

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Jon wrote:

As for teaching without the blessing/license of one's teacher or the ability as well as the inevitable leak of videos and resulting self-teaching, my generation will just have to help people with the habits and or incorrect ways of playing they are bound to develop.

Jon why are you saying this about shakuhachi instruction, when you don't feel the same way about shakuhachi making?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#90 2010-04-17 18:50:58

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Tairaku wrote:

Jon wrote:

As for teaching without the blessing/license of one's teacher or the ability as well as the inevitable leak of videos and resulting self-teaching, my generation will just have to help people with the habits and or incorrect ways of playing they are bound to develop.

Jon why are you saying this about shakuhachi instruction, when you don't feel the same way about shakuhachi making?

I think there is a difference between making and teaching.  I don't believe Jon or any potential maker can easily access flute making instruction here in the US like one could shakuhachi playing instruction.  It is no secret Jon is a friend of mine but I would feel this way regardless.   Jon has done all he can to learn and continue to learn the art of playing and is a great player.  He can use that as a reference when making his flutes.  Unlike other makers who are not as capable players and put out shakuhachi they can't test the correct techniques on. 

There are many great makers on this forum and this is NOT aimed at any of them.  We all know there are other makers out there that don't pursue bettering their playing to help their flute making.  I also don't believe Jon charges anyone for making instruction either.  I know he has volunteered his time at camps for free but not at a charge.  He makes flutes that he demonstrates in video and accurately describes them also.  If someone buys one they are aware of what they are getting and have a return policy.  I don't see the correlation to what we were discussing. 

Also, Jon Kypros does not charge to teach shakuhachi that I know of either.  So even on that front it isn't relevant either.  Maybe I am missing your point though.

Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#91 2010-04-17 19:23:16

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP wrote:

Maybe I am missing your point though.

Brian

You are missing my point big time.

My point is that if Jon (and you apparently) want to hold teachers to the standard of being licensed before they are qualified to teach, the same point can be made about makers. People who are serious about making in Japan feel just as strongly about the apprenticeship system as you do about getting your Shihan.

I've looked at Jon's website and he has flutes with 12 nodes, holes on the nodes, bores too thin or too wide for the length and other "no-no's" which would not fly in Japan. But he's charging $$$$$ for them. In fact I saw one on his site for $5000 which is the price the best makers in Japan charge for their better flutes. He has taken that price down but the flute is still there. That was a "WTF?!?!" moment for me because no other Western maker bar Neptune and Deaver would consider charging like that. Others are in the $1800-2500 range which is definitely professional price point. So if it's OK to sell instruments like that without having gone through the system, what's the difference between that and teaching for $$$$ without a license?

Sorry. Inconsistent.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#92 2010-04-17 20:06:28

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Tairaku wrote:

You are missing my point big time.

My point is that if Jon (and you apparently) want to hold teachers to the standard of being licensed before they are qualified to teach, the same point can be made about makers. People who are serious about making in Japan feel just as strongly about the apprenticeship system as you do about getting your Shihan.

I can see how people in Japan who have access to skilled makers would take the art of making so serious.  I am sure they probably would look at the majority of the US makers as unqualified to produce shakuhachi. 

I was not speaking about making shakuhachi I was referring to teaching how to play shakuhachi and how people are offering to do it for a fee who simply aren't qualified. 

I understand how as a man of the world you are in a position to have the opinion on making you have.  You fortunately have the ability to witness and experience things most of us never will.  What I think is awesome is how you take the time to share those insights and experiences.

I sincerely mean that.  You are not the type of person who would normally be expected to be as down to earth as you are and take the time you do here to share and educate.  I am truly happy that you do that for the community.

I am glad you share what you were talking about on the flute making side and I will leave it to Jon to reply to that side. 

I do hold people accountable and to a high standard for how they treat the system that has been developed for teaching someone to play shakuhachi.  If it was someone who was not in the know and oblivious to the system and the resources that were readily available I could understand.  When it is someone who is so entrenched in the system that they can't help but know as well as anyone else if not more, then I do hold them accountable for the harm they are doing.

Who am I to do so?  I am but another guy out here in E-space that is an observer and dedicated player.  Does my opinion matter in the end?  Probably not.  I can't stand by silent though and not make a stand against what I perceive to be an abuse of the system I am working to make a major part of my life.

I have yet to see anyone who is actually teaching without a license and for profit come to defend their reasoning and counter me.  I am very open minded and maybe my judgment is clouded.  I really hope I get some replies from people who are teaching without a license and a thorough understanding of the ryu they teach so I can better understand.

Thanks,
Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#93 2010-04-17 20:07:44

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Wow! Amazing and lively discussion! smile
I do understand people feel more secure in the hands of licensed teachers....
but I have also heard licensed teachers who play out of tune - constantly.

What about those?

What about Nishimura Kokū, Okuda Atsuya, Watazumi-dō who do not/did not pass on licenses?

What about Yokoyama Katsuya who doesn't license his Japanese students?

Or Kurahashi Yoshio who were not licensed but has licensed many?

I have had many crap instruments in my hands owned by students who bought from well known makers thinking they were in safe hands...

Life is dangerous!

It is very unfortunate if a student learn from a crap teacher... but does the license ensure the teacher is good at.... teaching?

I experience as well that there is an inflation in licensing. In Japan time used to be valued very highly. It was valued very highly how long you had done something Today you can get a shihan in a couple of years - I was told. Would a shihan-licensed teacher who has played 5 years be better than someone unlicensed who has taught for 20 years?

I am unlicensed. I absolutely love teaching! I have taught for almost 11 years.... and I can say I get better at it. But of course I didn't take lessons in pedagogy for shakuhachi teaching. Did any of you licensed teachers lean pedagogy? Or did we all after all embody teaching methods while learning ourselves?


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#94 2010-04-17 20:14:52

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Kiku Day wrote:

What about Nishimura Kokū, Okuda Atsuya, Watazumi-dō who do not/did not pass on licenses?

What about Yokoyama Katsuya who doesn't license his Japanese students?

Or Kurahashi Yoshio who were not licensed but has licensed many?

I think the aforementioned players are obvious exceptions to the rule.  They have been discussed earlier. 

As for those who constantly play out of tune while teaching...  They are part of the problem I discussed earlier with teachers giving away or blatantly selling shihans.  Once again, I have as much of a problem with these people as I do the unlicensed teachers who play out of tune and with incorrect technique.  Trying to compare Katsuya or Kurahashi to these players isn't realistic. 

BTW, great to hear from you Kiku.  Long time no talk smile

Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#95 2010-04-17 20:28:54

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Kiku if the player comes from a ryu (like yours) that doesn't do licenses then of course all you can do is listen to the person or take a few lessons and see what you think. Which is what you should do anyway. But if the person is playing music from a ryu which has a licensing system then you have to ask yourself, "Why didn't this person get a license?"

As mentioned in an earlier post, great playing and deep knowledge speak for themselves. I think Jon and Brian P are complaining about people who in their view are teaching prematurely. That can't be said for likes of Kurahashi, Okuda, Nishimura Koku, etc.

Do you know why Yokoyama licenses gaijin, but not Japanese? That's what you mean, right? I didn't know that.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#96 2010-04-17 20:36:31

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Tairaku wrote:

As mentioned in an earlier post, great playing and deep knowledge speak for themselves. I think Jon and Brian P are complaining about people who in their view are teaching prematurely. That can't be said for likes of Kurahashi, Okuda, Nishimura Koku, etc.

Do you know why Yokoyama licenses gaijin, but not Japanese? That's what you mean, right? I didn't know that.

Tairaku is correct.  I was only referring to those that are teaching knowingly prematurely. 

I didn't know Yokoyama didn't license Japanese players either.

Thanks again sincerely Brian for interjecting here and giving your insight.  I hope people here realize the great resource they have!

Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#97 2010-04-17 20:43:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Jon wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

I've looked at Jon's website and he has flutes with 12 nodes

There is no such shakuhachi on my site nor has there been to my memory unless it was a super long 3.0 or something with 4 or 5 root rings?.

You're right I was mistaking some bindings for nodes on a flute I looked at. But still, none of them have conventional node and hole placements, which is a consideration when choosing a flute. I do not intend to cast aspersions upon your flutes. I haven't played any since the time you showed me flutes at Ronnie's (which did have upwards of 12 nodes, as I mentioned at the time). So I don't know how good they are. I consider Shugetsu one of the best makers today so that's a tall order. I'm in NYC now, are you? Maybe you should show them to me.

Anyway my point was not about your flutes. My point was why are you complaining about Perry (or anybody) charging for lessons without a license when you charge for your flutes without training in making flutes? Perry would certainly have more studying under his belt than you have had shakuhachi making training. It is confusing to me to apply strict standards to teaching and no standards to making. You are the one who made this statement so I think it can be challenged on grounds of inconsistency.

The business about not having access to traditional shakuhachi making and apprenticeship in the States is valid, you guys have to go your own way. Ken, Perry and Monty all make good flutes without it. But Perry worked with Sogawa and Monty worked with Matsuda and Neptune. And they're not being traditionalists about the teaching thing.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#98 2010-04-17 21:34:06

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Neptune is brilliant but I don't think he teaches and don't know if he would take on an apprentice. Good luck with that.

I don't think there is a one to one correlation between how well somebody plays and the quality of their flutes. It's part of the equation for sure but not the only part. Plenty of bad Yamaguchi Shiro flutes out there! And good ones too. It really depends upon what kind of flute it is and what kind of music it's intended to play. Lately I've come to think that the spirituality or chi of the person comes out in the music and/or flutes as much as their knowledge or skill level. Sometimes you hear something that you realize is very accomplished but it's boring or just leaves you cold. What's missing? Same with flutes, they're all just bamboo tubes but some are really alive and others are stiff. Something undefinable goes on in the creative process.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#99 2010-04-17 22:21:02

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP and Jon,
I see a real zealous detachment with you guys. You are basicly claiming to represent something that neither one of you have accomplished and doing it at the expense of an individual who at the end of the day, I'm sure has done more good than harm, regardless of what you think he should or should not be doing. smile


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#100 2010-04-17 22:50:47

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Kerry wrote:

BrianP and Jon,
I see a real zealous detachment with you guys. You are basicly claiming to represent something that neither one of you have accomplished and doing it at the expense of an individual who at the end of the day, I'm sure has done more good than harm, regardless of what you think he should or should not be doing. smile

I appreciate what you are saying Kerry.  I will say I have years of experience in striving for this goal and making great personal sacrifice to do it.  You may be in the same situation I don't know.  One thing you may realize or not is I rarely post here.  It is because rarely do I want to get drawn into these types of things and I am practicing instead of posting. 

I am not attacking an individual.  I am speaking very broadly of a problem that seems to be becoming more widespread.  I am not negating what Perry has done for the community.  I haven't brought his name up at all in this.  I do know who you are eluding to though.  I will say Perry has helped a lot of people and I am not in anyway saying he isn't.  I am saying I disagree with those who do teach without the proper training and mastery be it Perry or anyone. 

I felt a jab in your "You are basically claiming to represent something that neither one of you have accomplished" statement.  I can't tell you much I can appreciate exactly what what it takes to do this.  I am not claiming to represent anything but myself and my opinions. They are rooted in experience and hard work towards the same goal I am speaking of and I feel ok with discussing it here. 

If I were an enthusiast who  took one lesson a month and practiced from time to time when I felt like it (not that there is a problem with that as there is a different road for everyone) I wouldn't even bother posting.  Instead I am someone who takes lessons weekly, talks with my teacher even more often about everything shakuhachi and practices everyday.   

I work hard to earn the right to my opinion just as you have the right to yours.  I think Perry and I have been good friends over the years and I wish him nothing but the best.  That doesn't mean I agree with him or have to.  He is a man free to do as he wishes as are people who take lessons from him.  SO if it seems I am over zealously attacking one individual you have misread my previous posts.  I have been careful to make sure this was a broad brush that I painted with. 

I still stand by my previous posts and appreciate your perspective on them. smile

Thanks!
Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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