My grandmother was from Nova Scotia. She got me started with piping by encouraging me early on. There were a lot of pipers in her community where she grew up. On the family farm they had a barn where they would hold barn dances. She said that some of the local pipers would play at these dances.
She bought me a few practice chanters when I was younger but it wasn’t until I was 30 and she was getting on that I started lessons. I really wanted to play in your typical community band and growing up in Victoria BC I used to see the Canadian Scottish Regiment at the Victoria Day parade and was always blown away.
The things I struggled with were that my pipes were too hard, I had-trouble tuning and of course work life balance. I’ve worked as a chef most of my life and my career really took off 10 years ago. On top of that I had 3 young daughters. Recently I’ve moved into a sales position in the food industry now. After a 10 year hiatus I’m back at it with the help of Dojo U.
I had been Facebook friends with Andrew Douglas. I’ve seen his posts over the years and finally joined and I'm pretty stoked! It's a great place in that you have instruction from amazing players and every topic is covered as well.
I've been going back to basics and revisiting issues like tuning and steady blowing. My finger technique isn’t that bad at all. I’ve always kept up on the practice chanter. It’s the big instrument that I currently need help with.
I joined a local community band a few weeks ago. The PM said I have “great fingers”! He convinced me to join the Guelph grade 4 PB. 😳Now I need Dojo’s help getting solid on my instrument and I'm confident they can do it!
Andrew S from Toronto, Canada