View Full Version : Great Piping Instructors

26-08-09, 01:36 AM
I don't know about the rest of you but after a session with my piping instructor I feel like I can tackle anything. This evening he said something like "Relax, you won't become a grade one player overnight. Maybe next week but not tonight".

I have heard many stories of PMs breaking chanters and dressing down novice players but I have experienced nothing but positive motivation and encouragement.

Do all the other in here have such fantastic instruction?



26-08-09, 02:21 AM
I took lessons from Dave Barclay, Rob Menzies, and Jerry Chatwin. Non of them molly-coddled me, but I did feel like I was progressing and that I, too, could do anything if I just tried. All three of them were excellent teachers and I wouldn't have asked for anyone better.

On the otherside of the spectrum I recently played at one of my student's wedding. I had 2 people come up to me and say "Are you so and so's teacher? You're amazing." I just teach like I have for the last 20 or so years, and I can't think of anything that I do that is amazing. It's cool to know that someone appreciates your efforts too.

Blue Scotty Girl
26-08-09, 03:08 PM
Our G4b band have a brilliant instructor and I find he pushes me just that wee bit further than I think I'm capable of. When I decided I needed one to one tuition he seemed like the obvious choice and I start lessons after Cowal. I'm not playing there but he is.

A teacher doesn't need to shout, rant or break things to be good but a bit of faith, good structure and the occassional kick up the backside would probably all be acceptable.

I find pipe majors tend to be more tempermental.....but it never lasts long *L*

26-08-09, 04:29 PM
:tap: I'm not tempermental :sadkmc::rant::tommy::devil::fight:


26-08-09, 04:32 PM
I don't know what I'd do without my instructor (play worse, definitely!). He believes in me when I don't believe in myself and does everything he can to help me accomplish my goals. We can't meet on a real regular basis, but he's always available via email, phone or text, and sometimes if we have to go too long without a face-to-face lesson, we work via Skype. While he won't hesitate to tell me what's what (especially when I'm wasting time and effort trying to over-evaluate things), he's so encouraging, I can't help but want to do well.

He's our P/M and certainly has his "moments" in band rehearsal settings. :wink: But his worst has only been to be somewhat loud and maybe a bit blunt just for expedience rather than take up time being dainty. :battingeyes:

26-08-09, 04:44 PM
[QUOTE=ppyper1;234345]Non of them molly-coddled me,QUOTE]

I should mention that immediately after his most recent positive motivation he ripped off an awesome off the cuff version of The Lament for Sgt McKenzie's after watching "We were soldiers" just to keep me from getting TOO big of a head. LOL



Blue Scotty Girl
26-08-09, 06:39 PM
:tap: I'm not tempermental :sadkmc::rant::tommy::devil::fight:


Opppps LOL

If it helps any...you look much too young to have been teaching for the last 20 odd years :whistle:

26-08-09, 07:44 PM
From this side of the pond one of the greatest pipe instructors was P/Sgt Harry Stevenson snr.( my tutor and mentor, true gent. He had da be da stick by me )
His son Harry jnr is a well respected judge and tutor also with many grade1 soloists still going to him.

26-08-09, 09:18 PM
Opppps LOL

If it helps any...you look much too young to have been teaching for the last 20 odd years :whistle:

awwwwww.....thanks :)

27-08-09, 06:37 AM
Three people immediately come to mind

Don Forgan - my first PM and someone who made sure I learnt properly the first time. I still consider Don a good friend

Doug Wickham - was the first person to teach me how to be a BAND player rather then just a Piper. Doug is another person I count amongst my list of "friends".

Bob Worrall - I was lucky enough to have received instruction from Bob on a few occasions. Bob was a School Teacher in his "non piping life" and has the rare ability to fine tune his method of teaching to relate to each student. Bob was able to pick apart my playing and explain where changes needed to be made in a way that I was able to relate to.

Nice thread !

27-08-09, 07:46 AM
As a young drummer one of the best and most knowledgable tutors I ever had was the Duke of Argyll`s personal piper, Pipe Major Ronnie MacCallum from Inveraray.
Ronnie taught me all I know about writing drum scores that would enhance the melody line of pipe scores, plus he also taught me everything about expression, dynamics, unison, ensemble etc.

As a top P.M. and one of the top solo pipers of the day his schedule must have been very busy, to make time to help me was very much appreciated.

Fortunately for me we both played in Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Pipe Bands. Ronnie was P.M. of the 8th Btn. and I played in the 7th. Btn
We played at many weekend army venues, this was where Ronnie managed to set aside time to teach me.

Mike Cole
27-08-09, 02:13 PM
Great story Kaily, thanks for sharing that! There's no better source, for a drummer, to learn and interpret the heart and soul of the music than from a good piping instructor. You were fortunate, indeed!

It follows tradition that the current Duke of Argyll's personal piper is a world class instructor in his own right. Stuart Liddell is doing an amazing job in the small and remote town of Inveraray. The bands' success is a tribute to that.

27-08-09, 06:35 PM
Bob Worrall - I was lucky enough to have received instruction from Bob on a few occasions.

That is good info on Bob. We're bringing him out for a workshop in October. We're excited.