We have recently established a program for teaching new pipers and drummers. Students who would like to learn the bagpipe or drums are invited to join our next course scheduled Tuesday evenings beginning June 15. Details are at the Bagpipe Course page.
For aspiring drummers, we hold separate practices for those who are just learning to play and those who have experience playing. If needed, we group students of similar abilities into separate classes (beginners, intermediate, etc.). Once students have learned the core tunes, they join the band practices.
Pipers and drummers with more experience are welcome to join us at regular band practices on practice chanters/drum pads until they are comfortable to move on to the bagpipe or drum. These practices are relaxed and the perfect environment for intermediate students. They’re held every Thursday.
Band practices for experienced pipers and drummers focus on performance sets and marches for upcoming events. These are held every Tuesday evening, less frequently in the summer.
What Will I Need?
Beginning pipers will need a practice chanter and beginning snare drummers will need a pair of drum sticks and a practice pad. Beginning tenor and bass drummers will need sticks and a sense of rhythm. If you are interested in playing, we will give you information on what to buy and good places to buy it.
How Much Does It Cost?
Practice Chanter and textbook - $110
Drum Sticks and Practice Pad -- $45
Band Dues - there are none. The band sustains itself with donations from performances. We do expect you to join the band and play with us for at least a few years in return for the free lessons you receive..
If I'm a piper, do I need to purchase a set of bagpipes right away?
Most pipers spend approximately 4 to 6 months learning the basics, so you will have plenty of time to plan ahead. Only when a student has learned a few tunes and feels confident with the music will it be time to invest in a set of bagpipes. Some of our pipers have pipes available for a reasonable cost, and they can guide students in the purchase of new or used pipes.
If I'm a drummer, do I have to buy a drum?
The band supplies all drums. You will need to purchase a set of drum sticks and a practice pad. We can connect you to some good suppliers.
New members learn to play as a group right from the start, pipers and drummers separately. If a group is already under way, we can form additional groups of beginners.
Our teaching program is designed to get new members involved in the band from day one. Students get help with sight-reading skills, rhythm, rudiments and playing as a group. Beginners also get a bit of history behind their instruments, the music and the culture from which it comes.