How was your lesson tonight? A question my wife asked me the other night. I answered "Great!" What made my lesson great? I started the lesson as many of you may have started a lesson a million times. I started off slightly frustrated with difficulties some of the pieces I have been working on were giving me and not necessarily feeling up to a lesson. As I have talked about on here many times my teacher is Michael "Chikuzen" Gould.

When I started my lesson I think Chikuzen could tell where my head was and did a great job of helping me work out the issues and break down my current piece in a way that was extremely helpful. Before I knew it I was being drawn excitedly into the piece I was working on and the frustration disolved into motivation. I think this is why it is critical to have a great teacher. I have worked with teachers in the past who seemed to be unaware of these things and only cultivated more frustration to the point where I was so discouraged that I no longer would work on a piece. Having had those kind of experiences in the past makes me even more appreciative of a great teacher like Chikuzen. He has helped me over "bumps" in my playing many times and after almost a year of near weekly lessons with him I cannot express how happy I am with the progress I have acheived. I am making this post to not only express how important I feel a great teacher is but to help those lost in the shakuhachi darkness to find the light so to speak.

If you are looking for a way to learn and don't live near a teacher or you are feeling frustrated with your current teacher you may want to contact Chikuzen for a skype lesson or an in person lesson if you are lucky enough to live close to him. I have been taking skype lesson with him from where I live in Florida and I have taken lessons with him in person at Ro camps and I can honestly say that the skype lessons are as good as the live lessons and just as beneficial. If you don't believe me you should try it. You won't be disappointed.

Sorry if this seems like a blatant "plug" but when you appreciate someone as much as I appreciate Chikuzen you want to let others know so they can benefit also.

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