Corey Tucker: Maintained a Passion

My journey with the bagpipes started in army cadets at the age of 12. I found I excelled at this as an instrument and have maintained a passion for it ever since.

Originally my goal as a piper was to challenge myself enough to join a pipe band, to play for my friends and family. I was already a percussionist growing up and I knew I was passionate about music as a whole. When I was approached at my cadet core by a pipe major looking for pipers, I had not even given the pipes a second thought. I took a leap and learned very quickly how enjoyable and challenging they were.

I know one of my main key struggles at this point in my journey is comfort during playing. When I joined a pipe band I seemed to have a lot of issues with memorization, not with all tunes but with some. So when we are set to play on the pipes, I find myself internally and externally feeling like the pipes are fumbling in my arms due to trying to think of the tune in my head and also maintaining consistency and finger work.

I have luckily never come across someone in the piping world who has caused discouragement. I myself am my own worst enemy and consistently tell myself I should be better when I know that practice (and immersion) are keys in becoming better not just being better.

At one point in my journey I quit the pipes because my instructor disappeared on me. I know now that, that is no excuse to stop learning and playing.

I fell into the Dojo by means of searching tunes online – it seemed to have popped up a bunch during my relentless search for sheet music.

I would say that after I learned a little about what the dojo was about and of course after a bunch of research and reviews, I was sold. Overall it was about two weeks to make the decision. I think in the long run I was in need of more instruction than just my pipe band.

The Dojo community is quite the amazing place. Everyone on the instruction side are very in ''tune'' with the needs of the learner. As for the collective, they are there for anything and everything . Even if you need some encouragement or a generally boost, they are there.

It pushes me to slow down and get back to the basics. It helps create a mind set that keeps you focused on the small tasks in the learning process. I would say before the Dojo I just stubbled through my learning; after dojo I have learned to slow down and begin with the basics and build from that.

The Dojo has reconnected me with the fundamentals of the bagpipes and created a new excitement in my journey with the bagpipes.

Corey Tucker, Alberta, Canada

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