Virtual shakuhachi with dai-shihan Michael Chikuzen Gould

Shakuhachi learning before and during the pandemic


  • Sarah Renata Strothers Florida State University



shakuhachi, virtual learning, pedagogy


Virtual learning environments have become commonplace in the midst of COVID-19. Although it was not unheard of, taking Skype lessons on a musical instrument was considered to be unusual ten-plus years ago. This article will briefly discuss the ways in which the pandemic has affected those who study shakuhachi online with dai-shihan (grandmaster) Michael Chikuzen Gould. While individuals and institutions continue to figure out how to navigate this new cyber context, virtual shakuhachi lessons with Sensei Gould continue as scheduled and remain unaffected as in-person workshops and intensives are cancelled until further notice.

Author Biography

Sarah Renata Strothers, Florida State University

Sarah Renata Strothers is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Florida State University who specializes in shakuhachi performance, pedagogy, and transmission. Sarah has been playing shakuhachi for eleven years under the tutelage of shakuhachi grandmaster (dai-shihan, 大師範) Michael Chikuzen (竹禅) Gould. In addition to being employed as a high school music teacher who helps with band, orchestra, and show choir, Sarah also performs shakuhachi for private events and will be completing her doctorate in Fall of 2021.


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Strothers, Sarah. 2010. ‘Shakuhachi in the United States: Transcending Boundaries and Dichotomies’. Master’s thesis, Bowling Green State University.

—2021. ‘Companion Listening: Shakuhachi Learning Before and During the Pandemic’. YouTube, 25 May. Online at



How to Cite

Strothers, S. R. . (2021). Virtual shakuhachi with dai-shihan Michael Chikuzen Gould: Shakuhachi learning before and during the pandemic. Perfect Beat, 21(1), 81–86.