David Hasbrouck: Developing "The Ear"

I always enjoyed pipe bands in parades as a youth. As an adult, I started marching in parades with law enforcement. With that association, I found local bands and tutors to help me learn this great instrument! My original goal was to be able to play in my local band, play parades and other private events. Two people I knew specifically brought me in and encouraged me to learn. Years later they are still part of my life and learning.

Although I had the will and desire to become proficient as a piper, commitment to what I thought practice should be was haphazard and didn't seem to produce results in progress. I tend to be a researcher as a personality type. When I felt I was missing something in the beginning of my instruction, I sought out information on the internet. At that time the Dojo offered the information I was looking for.

The Dojo has such a supportive group of instructors and members. When I started, I attended as many "live" classes as I could and began to see a lot of the same people. Since then I have become friends on social platforms and had discussions outside of classes. Thus, the Dojo platform allowed for me to meet others who have had successes and struggles similar to mine allowing me to grow and learn.

Looking back in my year here at the Dojo, I learned so much about the specifics of my instrument, my playing, my tuning and so much more that never came up in my early band lessons. The Dojo method of tuning has made me much more confident to bring my instrument in tune. I haven't been playing long, but at band practice I have seasoned pipers say to me "I just don't have the ear you have". However, I know the secrets of the Dojo. If anyone takes the time to learn they too can have "the ear"!

One of the reasons I continued with the Dojo is the attention to detail. I have always tried to execute things as perfect as I could. When I played I could tell things were good enough, for me. I once heard a piper say to someone do you want to do it right or do you want to be a hack. Well that may have been harsh, but it made me think I didn't want to be that guy next time.

I had to play for several members of the band after about 9 months attending Dojo classes. I was approached at least three times outside of band to let me know they heard that my execution and playing was so much better then when I first started. I attribute this to the Dojo and a lot of practice! Thanks guys!

David H from Marlboro, NY

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