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Learning to play the koto


 Learning to play the Japanese koto, a traditional non-Western instrument, can foster all the same musical abilities and knowledge required to meet the National Standards, while also attracting and educating students in the culture and traditions of Japan. Shirley Sensei teaches traditional koto as well as improvisation and contemporary koto music.

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto brings the experience of over 60 years of playing the koto to her students.  Her students experience improvement by focusing on the important basic techniques and level appropriate material, based on learning books from the Chikushi Kai Koto School of Fukuoka, Japan, and are exposed to koto music from traditional to modern styles. Shirley Sensei also is skilled at arranging and composing, and has arranged music from other countries that are reflected in her students’ cultural background.

Shirley Sensei now teaches virtual koto lessons on Zoom as well as in-person private lessons. Please contact her for more information







Want to Learn to play the Japanese Koto


 About Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and learned to play the koto from her mother, and jiuta shamisen from Kazue Kudo  In 1976, Shirley Sensei received her Shihan€¯ degree (instructors license) with Yushusho (highest) honors from the Chikushi School in Fukuoka, Japan, and her "Dai Shihan" Masters degree from the same school in 2000 for her mastery of the koto.


Shirley Sensei has taught the Japanese koto for over 40 years, including private lessons and meetings at public schools and at universities. In 2012, she was inducted into the Bunka Hall of Fame administered by the Hokka Nichibei Kai Japanese American Cultural Association of America for her life-long dedication to teaching and performing on the Japanese koto. She became the first koto performer from outside of Japan to qualify for the prestigious Kenjun Koto Competition in Kurume, Japan in 2018.

 Contact:Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto
(510) 482-1640


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