"My kid wants to take bagpipe lessons." I get calls from time to time with that statement. I'm happy to take kids. The question is: If I take your kid for bagpipe lessons or for any music lessons; would you like a return on your investment?
The problem that I have teaching music is that the kids are doing a million activities all at one time an not very well. My next question is: "What are they good at now?" I find that the kids that I teach have never been committed long enough to be good at anything. Let's face it, I want to see people succeed. If your kid is 15 and says that he wants to take music lessons, then he shouldn't fool around with the project as he only has a limited amount of time to become successful doing it before he leaves home.
Bagpipe lessons shouldn't take 20 years for a student to become accomplished. I tell my adult students that they should get up 30 minutes earlier each day and practice for 30 minutes before getting in the car for work. At that point, the job is done for the day. The students who follow that program are on the 2 year plan instead of the 20 year plan. Anything they do at night is a bonus. The only way for your child to become anything and you're paying the money because they asked you to help them, is to help them set up a time on a daily basis to work on their project. Even a 15 year old still needs some guidance. Can you imagine what their life would be like if they treated their sacred project like that? No one will ever know until we get started."
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".