David Wheeler (shakuhachi) and Yoko Hiraoka (strings and voice) are once again offering a long weekend intensive this coming Fall, for a small group of shakuhachi players to encounter and work in depth on various classical ensemble pieces with koto, shamisen and voice. This will take place over a long weekend: Friday and Saturday all day, and Sunday half day.

The idea is to give players the essential grounding in structure, technique and ornamentation in shakuhachi classical sankyoku pieces, to enable continued and effective practice at home. It's a total immersion weekend!

Students (probably no more than six or so) will arrive Thursday evening and stay in local hotels in Louisville, (near Boulder) Colorado (30 minutes from Denver international airport) and be picked up and taken to Yoko's house for teaching sessions each day. This workshop is probably best suited to intermediate players who have had teaching of one kind or another, but not necessarily in sankyoku music.

Sessions will be 9am-4pm with lunch provided, and breaks for tea and hand stretching. There is a Japanese tea house in the garden and Yoko will introduce Japanese tea ceremony to the students during their stay. David Wheeler will send out scores, CDs etc. to students a few weeks ahead of time.

Participants arrive Thursday November 9.

The teaching format will be 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday, 9-12 on Sunday. Sessions will vary with David Wheeler alone and David Wheeler plus Yoko Hiraoka. Some of the time Yoko will be teaching without David and sometimes you will be enjoying tea ceremony in our tea house! In other words there will be a variety of things to do. And lunch of course.

The curriculum

The pieces being studied are: Cha-ondo and Midare Rinzetsu.

The essence of the instruction is to give you the essentials of how to approach sankyoku, including:

The structure of classical pieces, maebiki, maeuta, ainote, tegoto, chiraishi, atouta.

Rythmic phrasing, breathing, fingering, pitch control, dynamic contrast.

Intonation and ornamentation specific to the Kawase school.

The importance of listening to the string player and holding in mind the sung poem.

I will be ferrying students back and forwards from our house here in Louisville, so if you take a shuttle from the airport (DIA) to a Louisville hotel (40 mins), your transportation thereafter will be taken care of.