David Bell: Enjoying the Steak

I responded to a call published in The Fireline to form a fire department pipe & drum band.

Prior to picking up the bagpipes, I quit a couple of instruments. My original goal was to not quit on this instrument, but become a reliable piper who knew the sets.

I wanted to march down Greenville Avenue in the St. Patricks Day Parade and I wanted an attachment to Scottish culture.

Initially, I made every mistake conceivable. Learning to play the pipes involves facing and dealing with a huge amount of different types of knowledge. I was intimidated by the sheer amount of information one has to learn then fit in with the other players.

I considered quitting many times, especially when others seemed able to pick things up and function at an acceptable level while I struggled with the most simple and basic things.

I became aware of Andrew Douglass by watching his YouTube videos and eventually learned that he operated a thing called Dojo U. After a couple of years I began to see the value of this approach. Andrew's idea of "chipping away" has benefited me, and the Dojo has provided an avenue to chip away at the many areas one must master to become a reliable piper. When I eat a nice steak I cut it up into reasonable size pieces and then chew them well; I don't stuff the whole steak into my mouth at once.

It has provided a way cut things up into reasonable size chunks. Dojo U has given me a way of enjoying the steak (learning the pipes).

David Bell, Texas, USA

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