Highland Piping


Overall instructional objectives

Solo Piping

  • To improve the control and accuracy of finger work
  • To understand the forms and idioms of light music (i.e., everything other than Ceòl Mòr)
  • To develop and improve pipe maintenance skills
  • To develop proficiency in selecting and setting up reeds
  • To develop and improve tuning skills
  • To differentiate between poor, good and excellent pipe sound
  • To become a better performer
  • To learn about related fitness, health and psychological issues
  • To learn some new tunes
  • To improve the playing of known tunes
  • To enjoy piping

 Ceòl Mòr

  • To learn and improve the finger work used in piobaireachd movements
  • To understand piobaireachd types and construction
  • To better understand the unique rhythmic and expressive requirements of this music
  • To develop and improve presentation skills
  • To learn some tunes
  • To improve the playing of known tunes

 Band Piping

  • To develop and improve the ability to play in unison with one or more pipers
  • To apply reed selection and set-up skills to a group of players
  • To improve at tuning one pipe to another
  • To understand the differences between good solo and good band sound
  • To be able to set up a band pipe
  • To understand and improve ensemble
  • To improve at creating a good attack and introduction
  • To better understand how to be a successful band piper

Curriculum and Class Placement

With the overall objectives in mind, the instructors will determine instruction based on interests, needs perceived and time available.  Students will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will help to focus their thoughts about what they would like to learn.  This will be shared with instructors, who will use the input in planning instruction.  They will discuss these plans at the beginning of the first class for student input and may review them, as needed, during the week.  Students should feel free to speak to their instructor(s) privately about any suggestions or concerns.  Unresolved concerns should be taken to the principal as soon as possible for early massed pipe bandresolution.  It is up to everyone to make the experience the best it can be, students and instructors alike.

Initial class placement will be based on the grades used for competitive piping.  Pipers who are unsure where they fit into these categories will be able to indicate it on their registration form.  Such non-competitive players will be asked a few questions to determine placement.  Classes will be formed and initially meet on the Sunday evening, at which time the instructors will be able to adjust class placements, if needed.

Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB)

All instructors are asked to be familiar with the syllabus of the PDQB.  All instruction is expected to dovetail with the objectives of the board.  Students who wish to study for board exams, must let us know, in advance, so that this, too, can be specifically incorporated into instruction.  Where sufficient interest is shown, the board syllabus may be specifically taught.  If you are interested in taking an exam, we would need to know by mid-May, at the latest, in order to receive examination material from Scotland.