Debra Baldwin: I Wanted a Challenge!

I originally wanted to play because of my heritage. It is also a hard instrument to learn and that appealed to me. I wanted a hobby that would engage me fully. My husband bought my daughter and I a set of highland pipes thinking we might like doing that together.

My struggles were setting up my instrument physically so they didn't fall off my shoulder, the reed was not too hard, crossing noises, stamina, the usual!

Fortunately, I attended a class given by Andrew and Donald Lindsey in Rochester on drone calibration.. I was not making much progress with my former instruction so I signed up right after that and signed my daughter up too as we were looking for something that took the guess work out of how to manage our pipes.

I think there is something for everyone. Not all the programs fit all people but there is a lot of content and definitely opportunity for all. I sound better. My pipes are in good working condition. I don't spend most of my practice time fiddling with my instrument. My basic musical knowledge has increased and I enjoy playing so much more!

Before the Dojo, my pipes were hard to keep a constant pressure and it was difficult to reach the chanter. They were not calibrated, my blow stick was too long, my reed was too hard. After Dojo, my blow stick is comfortable, my hide bag is seasoned and tied in tightly, my drones are calibrated with no leaks in my system. My hands are relaxed and can play lightly. I can even tune my drones and chanter now! My practices are not overwhelmed with trying to tune.

Playing pipes has always been important to me. The better I can play for myself and for others makes it much more enjoyable for me. Thanks Dojo!

Debra B from Stanley, New York

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