Learning to play the bagpipes or drums in a pipe band is a lot of work. If you’re already in a pipe band or thinking of joining one, or taking any kind of lessons for that matter, stop and think about this for a minute. When you are in a good pipe band, you should expect the senior members of the band (as long as they know what they’re doing) to mention constructive things to you to improve your technique, posture, dress, deportment, instrument maintenance, etc. If it’s done with humility and best intentions, you should appreciate it, even if you don’t understand something right away or need to be told repeatedly.
People with advice to give should take great care in how they deliver their message. Never be condescending or show impatience. If you have advice to give, share your knowledge, but do so with the best intent.
When you show up to pipe band rehearsal, you should be prepared for anything. Sometimes we play at the chanter table, sometimes we don’t even play pipes. Some people need help with instrument maintenance and as long is it isn’t chronic, assume good intent. Be ready to march, pay attention, watch and learn from the mistakes of others, as they should from you.
Are you interested in becoming a Highlander? We’d love to hear from you!