Kyo Shin An Shakuhachi Dojo

虚心庵尺八道場

“It takes a lifetime to learn the shakuhachi, so the sooner you start the longer it takes”

Kyo Shin An Teaching Studio

Nyoraku-sensei has been passing on shakuhachi tradition for over thirty years and devotes many hours each week to teaching. He holds two Shi-Han (Master) certificates, and one Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate, and is well respected as a teacher in both the U.S. and Japan. Nyoraku-sensei’s dojo is in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Students of all levels, from beginners to professional musicians, are welcome to come to the dojo, which offers weekly lessons, workshops and student recitals. Instruments are available and sheet music is provided. Lessons are only taught in person, and one-on-one. Since 2011 Nyoraku has been teaching shakuhachi class at Columbia University, and travels to other cities in the US to give workshops and lessons.

Students learn in the Japanese style, facing the teacher and first singing then playing the music together. Historically, traditional music was taught entirely by rote, with the student copying everything the teacher played by ear. At Kyo-Shin-An, the spirit of this method is maintained but with contemporary modifications, such as notation, and with comments and suggestions to improve playing.

In the course of study, students learn to play 41 pieces of honkyoku (Zen Buddhist traditional music), 45 sankyoku pieces (chamber music played with koto and shamisen), and numerous folk songs. Upon completing this curriculum, a licensing course (which involves playing the music upside down and “teaching” it to the teacher), and a public performance, students will earn a Jun-Shi-Han Associate certificate and receive a Japanese name.

Nyoraku Sensei is a Grand Master of the Jin Nyodo lineage, having learned from Kurahashi Yoshio, Mitsuhashi Kifu, Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin, and Keisuke Zenyoji, all of whose teachers learned from Jin Nyodo. Jin Sensei’s honkyoku repertoire draws from several traditional lines; Kinko-ryu, Kinpu ryu, and Fuke Meian.

Shakuhachi study is challenging. It is at once humbling and inspiring. The rigor of shakuhachi practice is matched only by the satisfaction of being with a great sound.

Workshops

Workshops offered for all levels, from beginning group instruction, to advanced techniques. He has previously presented workshops at conferences, festivals, and retreats throughout the US and internationally. Workshop titles include:

  • “Woodshedding: The Art of Practice”

  • “Towards an Understanding of Rhythm”

  • “Introduction to Shakuhachi Playing”

  • “Sound, Breathing, Silence”