Dojo University – Music, Not Just Bagpipes.

Dojo University is the longest-running and most successful online bagpiping school in the world.

We teach thousands of students around the world how to play good music – mastering the art of learning and playing the bagpipes (and now, the snare drum as well!) in the process – in a highly accessible way that is completely unlike anything else you'll find online or in person, anywhere in the world.

We created Dojo U because we noticed that too many pipers and drummers were struggling out there in the world. Bagpiping should be a joyful experience, each and every day you pick up your instrument. If it's not, we strive to fix that before it's too late.

And whether you're a complete beginner, a parade player, an experienced piper, a pipe major, or a pro-level competitor... you can free yourself from musical frustration at Dojo U. 

At Dojo U, we do things a little differently to how you may have approached learning to play the bagpipes before. One of the key reasons for our ongoing success is that we're always evolving, improving, and growing, so if you've been a student and left us for any reason – you'll probably notice that the Dojo looks a bit different to what you might remember (and has a lot more value to explore). We'd love to welcome you back and show you around!

How Does Dojo U Work?

Many students start with us wanting to 'choose their own adventure', hoping to find quick solutions to specific topics – like 'fixing' their embellishments, blowing, tuning, and instrument maintenance. 

And you definitely can find courses, resources, articles, and classes that cover all of those things (and so much more) in our in-depth, self-paced course catalogue...

However, most students eventually realise that the fastest path to mastery (and the best value in being a Dojo U member) is to follow our main teaching stream, which our live classes and supporting resources complement. 

Here's a quick preview of what you'll enjoy access to as a Dojo U Premium Member:

  • an extensive, hundreds-strong, global community of pipers from all walks of life and levels of ability, who share advice, stories, and banter daily through our Discord server and live classes.
  • 20+ live classes, running every week on every timezone, where you can get instant feedback from world experts, both to constructively critique your own playing and get support and advice on any topic you're curious about.
  • one-off workshops from world-famous guest instructors like Jack Lee and Stuart Liddell, as well as fascinating talks from authors, pipe-makers, performers, researchers, and more.
  • 50+ self-paced interactive courses (see the full catalogue) on every piping-related topic that you could think of – including a comprehensive beginner's tutor, a guide to transitioning to the bagpipes, instrument and fingerwork fundamentals, piobaireachd and composition – basically, more knowledge at your fingertips than you could work your way through in a lifetime!
  • hundreds of tunes, articles and other resources to help you find answers to your questions.
  • regular, ongoing technical support – we understand that getting started in an online school can be challenging, especially if you're not used to working with lots of different kinds of technology and online systems. Our friendly team and supportive student community are at the ready to help you every step of the way – we run orientation sessions with you, answer your questions through our Discord community forums, have a dedicated support email address with a super-fast turnaround time, and are always on hand to assist you with every technical aspect of Dojo U. 

Meet the Dojo University Teaching Team

​Our Dojo University team are led by world-champion bagpipers who have been master instructors for decades, working with bands and soloists all over the world, from complete beginners all the way up to professional pipers and Grade 1 bands. 

Our teaching faculty are similarly skilled – all leaders in their own bands and extremely experienced instructors with a wealth of knowledge to guide you on your path to Bagpipe Freedom. 

As a Dojo U student, you'll be getting the best advice in the world, from people who don't just talk the talk; we've walked (and won!) just about every walk there is, at every level in the bagpiping world. ​

Andrew Douglas

Co-founder and Owner 

Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He was 2017 & 2019 World Champion with Inveraray and District Pipe Band, 2017 Winner of the USA Silver Medal for Piobaireachd, 2008–2013 Pipe Major of Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band, multi-prize winner of Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness, the 2004 B-Grade Winner Strathspey/Reel at Oban. Andrew published his debut and award-winning book, Finding Bagpipe Freedom, in 2021. He's also an Accredited Bagpipe Teacher and Examiner (Scottish Qualifications Authority) and holds a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University.
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Carl Donley

Head Instructor 

Carl is a professional piper who hails originally from Chicago. Over 25 years of playing, he has taken numerous prizes in solos throughout his rise to the professional grade. Carl started with the Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders in south Florida, and played in the Grade 2 Chicago Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band during high school, before joining the Oran Mor Pipe Band in 2008. Carl was also the Pipe Major of The Iona College Pipe Band and a major influence on the band during his four years at Iona College. Carl helped found Dojo University and runs several popular weekly classes. More recently, Carl has also been exploring bagpiping and bagad culture in France, after moving there in 2018, and still plays with local bands and musicians there. 

Alasdair Henderson

Premium Class Instructor

Alasdair is the long-term Pipe Sergeant of current (two time) world champions Inveraray and District Pipe Band, having previously been a member of Grade 1 juggernaut Scottish Power. His impressive list of solo prizes includes first places in the Gold and Silver Medals at the Northern Meeting, and in the Former Winners MSR and A Grade March and Strathspey and Reel at the Argyllshire Gathering. Alasdair has been a full time piping instructor since 2010, teaching at Scotland's most prestigious private schools and workshops all over the world.

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Pipe Major Andra Stoller

Core Class Instructor

Andra is the Pipe Major of the Pikes Peak Highlanders, a local competition, performance, and training band in Colorado Springs, CO. They are a band with a large number of military and first responders (as well as some other great non-service people). Andra has been an avid Dojo member for nearly a decade years and has been integral to the smooth technical operation of Dojo U's business and classes since 2017. She is a full time pipe teacher and lifelong learner who works hard to become a better piper and leader every day.

Pipe Major Andrew Fusco

​Core Class Instructor​

Originally from upstate New York, Andy is now well and truly a Las Vegas local. In addition to running the Las Vegas Pipe Band as Pipe Major for more than a decade, Andy performs and teaches bagpipes full-time, is a kit drummer for two Vegas rock bands, and co-hosts a notoriously popular piping podcast. Andy has played in the World Pipe Band Championships several times and enjoys travelling overseas to play at competitions and events. Andy has been a popular weekly class tutor at the Dojo for many years, and is also a Dojo U workshop, cruise, and special event regular.

Bruce Gandy

Premium Class Instructor

Having been one of the dominant players on the World scene for more than 30 years, Bruce barely needs any introduction! He has won the World Pipe Band Championships with the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Gold Medals for Piobaireachd at The Northern Meeting (Inverness), the Argyllshire Gathering (Oban), the Bratach Gorm (Blue Banner) in London, and The Silver Star for Former Winners. Bruce has published four books of music, developed his own pipe chanter with McCallum Bagpipes and has been a valued Dojo Premium Class Instructor for many years. 

Cameron Drummond

Premium Class Instructor 

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Cameron is a full-time professional piper and plays for the World Pipe Band Champions, Inveraray & District Pipe Band. Besides a World Pipe Band Championship title, Cameron has also been successful at the highest level of solo competition in both Light Music and piobaireachd, taking some top prizes including the Silver Star at Inverness and the Silver Chanter on the Isle of Skye. Cameron has been a valued and popular member of the Dojo U teaching faculty for many years for his gentle, good-humoured approach and fun selection of repertoire to work on in his weekly classes. 

Pipe Major Chance Bell

Core Class Instructor 

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Chance is an Eastern United States Pipe Band Association professional solo competitor, who has played with the Oran Mor Pipe Band and the Stuart Highlanders Pipe Band in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships. Chance has been a full-time musician for over a decade, teaching piping and serving as Pipe Major in his local pipe band. A long-serving beginner tutor with Dojo U, our students love Chance's classes and his calm, encouraging approach for new starters.

Ed Best

Rhythm Class Instructor 

Ed is a 40+ year veteran of snare drumming, A level drumming and ensemble judge (WUSPBA / EUSPBA), and a qualified educator with a B.A. in Music Education and Percussion, who has won North American Champion, East Coast Champion Supreme, Ontario Champion Supreme, West Coast Champion of Champions, and Canadian Champion. Ed has placed in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships, previously served on the Music Board of WUSPBA and is currently the WUSPBA Southern Branch President. His valuable drumming expertise has helped our piping students master rhythm since Ed joined the Dojo team as our rhythm guru in 2020.

Pipe Major Greig Canning

Freedom Phase Grader 

A piper with the two-time grade 1 World Champions, Inveraray & District Pipe Band, Greig is a regular prize winner and A-Grade light music competitor on the highland games circuit, regularly competing at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting. His 9–to–5 job is as a full-time bagpipe instructor for West Lothian Council, where he is also the pipe major and lead instructor of the West Lothian Schools Pipe Band, and he is also a skilled reed-maker. Greig is a valued part of the Dojo U Team, who records our 'Tune of the Week' videos to demonstrate how to play each part, and grades student submissions every week.

Lee McLeod

Core Class Instructor 

Hailing from North Carolina, USA, Lee’s been a piper for more than 20 years. He’s played with some top Grade 3 bands (placing second in the North American Championships), but most of his piping career he’s played with Grandfather Mountain Highlanders, aside from a 5-year stint with St Andrew’s University Pipe Band. Lee’s been a member of the Dojo for more than 10 years – he was one of our earliest subscribers way back when, and attributes most of his solo piping success to what he learned with us. He started teaching a beginner’s ‘pod’ class in 2022, as he’s passionate about ‘paying forward’ what he’s learned at the Dojo to other adult learners. 

Pipe Major Robert Mathieson

Premium Class Instructor 

Rab is a legend in the Scottish bagpiping scene who needs little introduction! Among his many accolades, Rab won the World Pipe Band Championships 5 times as Pipe Major of Grade 1 band Shotts and Dykehead, has won around 40 RSPBA Major Championships, and won the Macallen Trophy twice at the Interceltic Music Festival in Lorient, France. Rab has published several collections of his own tunes, released recordings, and also runs The Kilt Centre in Hamilton, Scotland. Rab has been a valued Premium Class Instructor at Dojo University for many years.

Sally Mason

Core Class Instructor 

After beginning on pipes as a teenager playing for RAF Waddington Pipe Band, Sally took a hiatus from piping to start a family. Sally joined the Dojo teaching team as a beginner's tutor in 2020, and has been helping brand-new pipers find their way around the Dojo University Tutor ever since, teaching the fundamentals of rhythm, reading music, and playing a practice chanter in multiple classes every week. 

Pipe Major Tim Gatehouse

Core Class Instructor 

Hailing from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Tim joined Dojo University in 2011. In late 2017, he began the process of building a competitive band, Rail City Pipes and Drums, which he now leads alongside his non-competitive Shrine Highland Band. In 2020, Tim extended his piping goals to improve a little bit every day to other Dojo U students, starting a Dojo U class all about improving fingerwork, timing and embellishments. 

Join Dojo University

Are you ready to start the journey towards your own bagpipe freedom? We'd love to welcome you to our thousands-strong global network of global pipers!