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pipebandgirl
25-07-07, 03:22 PM
Hi everyone! I am intensely studying piping this summer. I hope to become a professional competition piper. My pipe major told me that when I get good enough,
I need to go to Scotland to make a good living as a piper. I have a few questions for professional pipers:
What does it take to become professional?
I practice at least two hours a day and up to six, is this enough?
Should I attend a university with a piping program?
What do people look for in a professional piper?
My host dad said I might want to consider concentrating on piping and nothing else until I get good enough, is this a good idea?
Thanks!

PowerBoozer007
25-07-07, 04:00 PM
Good instruction will be the key to your success as it sounds like you have the merits of a good student.

Scotty_Ballylough
25-07-07, 04:12 PM
Hi everyone! I am intensely studying piping this summer. I hope to become a professional competition piper. My pipe major told me that when I get good enough,
I need to go to Scotland to make a good living as a piper. I have a few questions for professional pipers:
What does it take to become professional?
I practice at least two hours a day and up to six, is this enough?
Should I attend a university with a piping program?
What do people look for in a professional piper?
My host dad said I might want to consider concentrating on piping and nothing else until I get good enough, is this a good idea?
Thanks!

wow....2-6 hours................thats way too much!! ya'll get sick of piping eventually if ya do that much!!! do about 30mins-1hr a day.....this is ample practise if your doing the right things i.e......working on exercises and embellishments and tunes that you know!

Dai Robb
25-07-07, 05:42 PM
If you do decide to try Scotland, then I would certainly suggest the likes of the College of Piping, Of course being an ex drummer, I have no ideas, if this should be your course?

Terrance
25-07-07, 06:41 PM
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
Since you just started competing with your practice chanter this year...I suggest you give the whole piping thing a go before making a life decision to move to Scotland.

Stig
25-07-07, 07:25 PM
wow....2-6 hours................thats way too much!! ya'll get sick of piping eventually if ya do that much!!! do about 30mins-1hr a day.....this is ample practise if your doing the right things i.e......working on exercises and embellishments and tunes that you know!

Why on earth would you tell someone to practice less. If they have the energy and ambition to practice that much and get really good then they should never be discouraged. EVER!!!:gah:

Stormy
25-07-07, 09:29 PM
wow....2-6 hours................thats way too much!!

That's not nearly enough Scotty. She wants to be a professional not just a good piper.

Pipebandgirl,
I hate to disappoint you but the chances of making a living as a professional piper on it's own are slim to say the least. Most, if not all, of the people whom I would consider to be professional pipers today and in the past also have/had another job, doctor, solicitor, HM Forces, Police, bagpipe manufacturer, bag maker, reed maker etc, etc. I doubt very much if you can make a comfortable living for yourself playing the pipes alone.

Take heart however and check out this link.....

http://www.rsamd.ac.uk/music/scottish.htm

This is a full time degree and well worth considering in your position. I would still recommend a second occupation at least to begin with.

If you require any further info then PM me and I'll do my utmost to put you in touch with someone who has gained this degree.


:bgt:

Piper Mac
25-07-07, 09:33 PM
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. offers an advanced degree in piping, it is under the direction of Alasdair Gillies.

Stormy
25-07-07, 09:43 PM
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. offers an advanced degree in piping, it is under the direction of Alasdair Gillies.

I have heard of this course.
Is it recognised by the RSPBA, National Piping Centre, College of Piping or the Army School of Piping?
Is there any links to info about this course?

heatherbelle
25-07-07, 09:56 PM
If I were you I'd enrol for serious lessons from a top piping teacher, get into the best band you can, attend a seasonal piping school with first class instructors to get an accurate and truthful idea of where you're at. I'd start finding out about piping courses (dr simon McKerrall is head of piping at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, 100 Hope Street, GlaSGOW G1) and I'd contact the College of piping, Otago Street Glasgow, and The National Piping Centre, McPhater Street, Glasgow, to check out their opportunities for learning, as well as check out the syllabus of The Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board, and work your way through the syllabi. There are web page details on all these things. I don't know what's on offer in Usa and Canada but I know there's a lot, and others will know. I know that pipers at the very top, don't earn as much as I think they should, so I'd say another career too would be a good thing. But the RSAMD in Glasgow course, can qualify you to be a teacher of piping (in schools), and they have a Scottish Music course too. Serious students of other instruments practice 2-6 hours a day, but at the same time, I was at a talk by someone saying that 10 minutes of relevant, focussed practice can be worth an hour of other kinds of practice. Good luck!! Hope you strive for what you want, and get it!

Itchyknee
25-07-07, 10:00 PM
According to the sleeve notes in his solo album Inveroran Stuart Liddell works as a piano tuner when he's not piping. If he can't make it as a professional piper then it has got to be a tough call.

Stormy
25-07-07, 10:03 PM
Good post Heatherbelle. No point in repeating it just for the sake of it.

Terrance
25-07-07, 10:11 PM
According to the sleeve notes in his solo album Inveroran Stuart Liddell works as a piano tuner when he's not piping. If he can't make it as a professional piper then it has got to be a tough call.

That's true.
Jori Chisholm is my instructor is one of the few able to make a go of it full-time.

Itchyknee
25-07-07, 10:13 PM
Gordon Duncan was a dustbin man before his untimely passing.

Terrance
25-07-07, 10:25 PM
But if she marries a wealthy Scotsman....

Piper Mac
25-07-07, 10:34 PM
I have heard of this course.
Is it recognised by the RSPBA, National Piping Centre, College of Piping or the Army School of Piping?
Is there any links to info about this course?

here is the link to CMU's home page, just put bgpipes or Gillies in search and it should take you to the program. links are not my forte, hope this works

www.cmu.edu/index.shtml

My police pipeband is really lucky to have Alasdair as our instructor, really great guy........

Terrance
25-07-07, 10:46 PM
I haven't found a link to the program, but I have found a link to the band

http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/pipeband/

Stormy
25-07-07, 10:53 PM
I haven't found a link to the program

Neither have I. Appears you have to apply for the course before you know what is involved???

:dunno:

Itchyknee
25-07-07, 11:03 PM
I think it may be under one of their general music courses where individual students choose an instrument to specialise in.

acadianpiper
26-07-07, 01:01 AM
I think it may be under one of their general music courses where individual students choose an instrument to specialise in.

This is correct. The following link will take you to the general description of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in instrumental performance, which lists the bagpipe as one of the instruments that may be chosen.

http://music.web.cmu.edu/programs.php?program=Undergraduate&concentration=instrumental

Piper Mac
26-07-07, 01:05 AM
The program at CMU has been going for quite some time, Jimmy McIntosh started the program and when he was thinking of retiring, I think it was Mike Cusack who, mentioned it to Alasdair and Alasdair took over both the program and the band although I think Jimmy still works with the band as well as with his wife's band the Balmoral Highlanders. Jimmy is now over 80 plus but still makes an very good chanter reed...

PowerBoozer007
26-07-07, 01:39 AM
I see they are not accepting any new students for 2008.

BTW, how much do all these courses cost?

Terrance
26-07-07, 01:49 AM
Tuition at a private college...probably a bundle.

Piper Mac
26-07-07, 01:51 AM
I see they are not accepting any new students for 2008.

BTW, how much do all these courses cost?

Not sure about the bagpipe program but CMU's tuition is around
$30,000 per year....................text books are extra...of course...lol

Stig
26-07-07, 01:57 PM
Always have a backup plan, making it asa full time musician is tough no matter what the instrument.

UpstatePiper
26-07-07, 05:48 PM
I know someone who was at CMU when the Bagpipe Performance major was started -- I'm thinking it was in the late 1980's. It's a Bachelor's degree from a prestigious university, and the price tag matches.

I think a performance degree must be one of the most challenging degrees to obtain.

Terrance
26-07-07, 05:53 PM
I know someone who was at CMU when the Bagpipe Performance major was started -- I'm thinking it was in the late 1980's. It's a Bachelor's degree from a prestigious university, and the price tag matches.

I think a performance degree must be one of the most challenging degrees to obtain.

You mean as oppose to a purely academic degree where you don't have to perform.
You mean a degree where the dirt hits the road.
A degree where you actually have to back up claims of knowledge..put up or shut up.
You mean a degree that show you actually can do something for all those hard earned college dollars.

UpstatePiper
26-07-07, 08:16 PM
You mean as oppose to a purely academic degree where you don't have to perform.
You mean a degree where the dirt hits the road.
A degree where you actually have to back up claims of knowledge..put up or shut up.
You mean a degree that show you actually can do something for all those hard earned college dollars.

It's not just the performance aspect, but the countless hours in the practice rooms. It's not like an engineering class where you can go out drinking because the weather is nice and make up by studying extra hard the next week.

But yeah, like you say, unlike a final exam in psychology or English, you can't really B.S. your way through a concerto.

PowerBoozer007
27-07-07, 12:40 AM
But yeah, like you say, unlike a final exam in psychology or English, you can't really B.S. your way through a concerto.

Yes, My mates all passed our final exams in a technical course, just couldn't graduate because our attendance was less than 70%.

Mind you, I held the highest score on the pin ball machines at the bowling alley next to the college.

yoh_asukura
27-07-07, 02:11 AM
do you still hold it?

Piper Mac
27-07-07, 05:12 AM
I graduated 'Magna Cum Lucky', with a Major in Guinness, and a Minor in Flatulence.......

pipebandgirl
27-07-07, 05:18 AM
Haha! Gotta love the Guinness, ! I would have it every night if I could, but my host family says they don't want me to turn into an alcoholic.

PowerBoozer007
27-07-07, 08:31 AM
I'll have you know young lady that this is not the Drumlough pipe band you are coming to. Y

You don't want to end up like those two despicable repabates known as Redneck and Scotty.

This is a class outfit! ;-)

Dai Robb
27-07-07, 12:15 PM
I'll have you know young lady that this is not the Drumlough pipe band you are coming to. Y

You don't want to end up like those two despicable repabates known as Redneck and Scotty.

This is a class outfit! ;-)

Of course it is, I bet you even get out the bath to have a Pee ??

UpstatePiper
27-07-07, 03:08 PM
Haha! Gotta love the Guinness, ! I would have it every night if I could, but my host family says they don't want me to turn into an alcoholic.


Sound advice. It's a lot easier to get onto that road than it is to get off.

PowerBoozer007
27-07-07, 03:23 PM
Of course it is, I bet you even get out the bath to have a Pee ??


What's a Bath?

pipebandgirl
27-07-07, 03:30 PM
Haha! Sounds like you will make piping fun! But, I know that you will probably need to be strict sometimes to make me a championship piper.
There's this one thing I don't want to bring to CA, that's not keeping my fingers straight. My pm keep yelling at me about it yesterday and taking his hands and straightening them out for me and saying, "You better keep them straight!" How do I fix this? He said I will never become professional if I do that. And then he kept yelling at me for crossing noises too. I don't have room in my luggage for those either, yuck!

PowerBoozer007
27-07-07, 05:38 PM
Playing with straight fingers is a state of what you get used to.

Resist the urge to curl your fingers to grab the chanter, just lay your fingers flat on the chanter and use your thumb as the balance point.

Forget about playing tunes as they will distract you, play only the scale at a very slow tempo until you feel comfortable enough to try play a slow air like the skye boat song. This should take about a week of contstant playing to correct curved fingering.

Keep it simple until it's second nature.

Stormy
27-07-07, 09:30 PM
Keep it simple until it's second nature.

Great advice, couldn't have put it better nyself.

@Pipergirl,
You have a very, very, VERY long way to go. I do wish you well and hope that one day you will be where you want to be in the world of piping.

Keep this in mind - failure to get where you want to be is not in itself a failure. Accepting that you are not good enough to get to that stage, even after giving it your best shot, is not failure. Anyone who cannot reach their dreams despite all their effort makes them a winner simply because they tried.

Dai Robb
27-07-07, 09:37 PM
Beneath all that kidding etc, Stormy, you talk so much sense at times.

Terrance
27-07-07, 09:45 PM
Don't forget to wear sunscreen.

Itchyknee
28-07-07, 09:39 AM
Don't forget to wear sunscreen.

And a hat.:tommy: