I became interested in bagpiping as a child but did not pursue learning until after I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I was able to find an instructor to teach me the basics on the chanter.
I did not truly have a single goal at the beginning, although after teaching myself for about a year I found an article about the US Air Force Reserve Pipe Band and made becoming a member my primary focus.
I am of Scottish descent and although there were no pipers in the family, there are many musicians.
Bagpipe setup and maintenance was a huge struggle at the start. I have a musical background so note navigation and reading was not an issue.
I knew what I wanted, and continued on a path to achieve it. I did, however, have access to the Boise Highlanders for about 5 years, which helped tremendously.
There have been times I considered quitting. The USAFR Pipe Band was realigned around the same time that my civilian bad was falling apart and I was preparing to retire from active duty.
I first heard about the Dojo because of the Piper’s Dojo bagpipe supplies. I have more or less been a member ever since. Pipers have access to an enormous amount of content with a standardized, easy to digest philosophy throughout everything that is presented.
The Dojo has given the best possible tools available to continue piping. For all of the time that I have been paying my subscription fee, rarely did I take advantage. Since retiring from active duty I have not been physically at my best, and I truly was going to stop playing. When I went to cancel my membership, I was given the, “But wait, would you consider a half price membership for a year…” option, and IT TRULY HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE.
The Dojo has given me the opportunity to continue piping and to ACTUALLY ENJOY IT. THANK YOU ANDREW AND THE DOJO TEAM!
Benjamin Hill, Oklahoma, United States