One-on-one Shamisen Correspondence Training
I first heard shamisen about four years ago. It was such a unique sound that I immediately fell in love with it. I thought "I have to learn to play this myself!" It took me years to finally find a teacher, but once I did I was very glad I had persevered. Learning to play shamisen has been and continues to be an amazing experience. Through it I have come in contact with many parts of traditional Japanese culture that today relatively few people have the opportunity to experience (Japanese and foreigner alike), and have come to deeply appreciate the beauty of traditional Japanese music.
Through shamisen I have also been introduced to other wonderful traditional Japanese arts such as Buyou (Japanese traditional dance) and rakugo, both of which are performed to shamisen music. It is a beautiful and unique instrument that is immensely fun to play. While not easy, I believe that anyone, with practice, can learn this instrument. For those that are already interested in music, shamisen is an exciting departure from Western music in both notation and sound.
I started out taking lessons in person, but since I returned to the United States I have continued studying through long distance training, and have found that with a good teacher it is also perfectly possible to learn from afar. I would strongly recommend shamisen to anyone with an interest in music and Japanese culture. Out of all the experiences I had in Japan during my two years there, shamisen has by far had the deepest effect on my understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture, and was one of my favorite parts of living in Kyoto.