After 22 years of teaching bagpipe students of various ages, I am now teaching mostly adults. One of the characteristics of being an adult student is that a lot them think that learning to play the bagpipe will be an easy task…until they get started.
I always tell them that my job as a bagpipe teacher is to teach them how to practice during the coming week. That’s because we only have 30 minutes per week to meet and work together. That being said, the activities that I have created for them to work on in the meantime are designed to promote growth between lessons, which is why I want them to follow my program. We will correct and fix any problems at the next lesson. I tell them that there isn’t anything they can do in one week to screw this up permanently, so even if it’s not quite right when they arrive the following week, it’s not a big deal. But following any program set out for them – and not making up their own program - is paramount!
Here are some points to keep in mind as a new (or existing) adult student:
Practice daily and get help when needed. Consistency is the key!
Gary Guth is a professional bagpiper with over 45 years of playing experience and has been teaching bagpipes full time for the last 20 years. He has written "Bagpipes For Beginners", "the Bagpipe Hymnal", and " A Piper's Christmas".