If one is interested in learning the art of ikebana, how does one go about taking lessons? Well, the first step is finding a school of ikebana that one prefers. And how does one do that? Well, there is an excellent resource to learn about various schools by visiting the Ikebana International Rochester Chapter website: ikebanarochester.org This organization has five schools of ikebana represented and examples of each schools style is shown on their "Schools" page. Once one has a particular attraction to a school or a couple of schools, one needs to find out how to take lessons from that school. On the "Teachers" page of this same website, is a listing of teachers and how to get a hold of them. Most of them are in the Rochester, NY area. But, the Chico and the Ichiyo Schools of ikebana have teachers in the Buffalo, NY area also. There is one Chico School teacher and one Ichiyo School teacher (me). At this point, the interested person just needs to contact a teacher and find out the particulars on getting a lesson. Every teacher has their own style. Some may give a few lessons with minimal commitment but if one is interested in taking up this art on a long-term basis, then usually more is expected of the student. In the Ichiyo School of Ikebana, lesson books and some supplies are the first things that the student will need to purchase. If one is going to learn this art well, lessons need to be taken on a regular basis and making arrangements at home in addition to taking lessons is needed. Eventually, the student gains confidence and then participating in exhibitions is requested. Lessons can cost about $10/lesson. And one pays a bit more for floral material that they get to take home with them.
Can one take lessons from more than one teacher? Yes, this is possible. But generally, it is usually best to take from only one. Taking from more than one teacher--particularly if they are from different schools is generally not recommended as each school has its own style and it is easy to mix the styles up. Teachers in each school expect the student to make arrangements which are consistent with that schools style. And this is difficult to do if one is being taught to make arrangements in another school at the same time. This being said, even if one only takes lessons from one teacher in one particular school, we all learn from and are inspired by the other schools arrangements, and their students who make them. Some times there is no other way to take lessons year around except from different teachers--particularly if a teacher lives in New York during the warmer months and in a warmer state during the winter.
David Williams: I've been practicing Ichiyo Ikebana since 2012 and received my Associate Master certificate on 9-19-21.