Denn Fowler: Why Not Try?

I've always loved the sound of the pipes. Living in a rural area, I needed to find online instruction, I was referred to Dojo U by a friend!

Originally, piping was for hobby/personal entertainment. But the skills I developed with Dojo U even during the basic lessons, allowed me to play for my kids school remembrance day. I've recently moved to the big city, sat in on a band meet and am hooked. I'm going to be working hard to be band ready one day.

My grandfather is a shriner, he played tuba in a marching band with them. At the parades, my favorite part was always the highland bands. I suppose I thought, "Why not try?" With that I was hooked.

I'm still a learning piper myself. My biggest struggles are still crossing noises during some tunes, gurgling my taorluaths. Getting tunes up to speed comes with diligent practice... but I hope to get there as well!

I thought I may be too old, I'm currently 35, single parent, living underneath my landlords' (yikes). I'm talented with other instruments but the pipes are super intimidating. I'm still worried I may never be good enough to join a band.

I only wish I could see some real progress... I may consider giving up the pipes if in 2 years I'm still not good enough to join a band.

I was online on Facebook groups looking for a possible online instructor, when a friend I met there not so subtly suggested I take the Dojo U course. Naturally I asked around, and heard nothing but good things.

I signed up immediately. My friend was adamant it was the best choice for me, and I'm still happy with that decision! Always a warm welcome from the instructors. They are patient with you, even when you're struggling to understand something. Pipers just seem to be a good show figuratively, and literally!

Without Dojo I would not be able to play the way I do today. I'm still just a novice, but you CANNOT learn pipes on your own. I tried... made bad habits... sounded terrible... then there was Dojo U, a ray of light through the clouds, the beam setting upon the pipes themselves!

The Dojo has definitely helped make my pipes more comfortable to play. But to be fair on this part I am extremely mechanically inclined, and set up, and tuning, are easy to me once I learned the process. I bought my McCallums from a reputable company and they were pre-set for me.

I am more confident reading music, the way they take you through the courses feels very natural to progress.

I now have less crossing noises... my motions are more crisp, and most of my embellishments are sharp and getting faster. Enter taorluath... still gurgles I rushed the speed learning it because I loved the skye boat song tune.... don't do that.

Dojo helped me when I was lost, I am able to play a handful of tunes that can draw a crowd and applause now, when Im at the park practicing. I suppose theres a sense of pride in that, but I still have self doubts... #1 being good enough to play with a band one day.

Ok, heres one for the books. Living in appartments, one time I was out practicing bagpipes in my car on the side of the road. I was approached and surprised by a police officer, he had his hand on his gun when he didn't recognize the pipes right away. But we both had a laugh after he noticed and I explained the situation. Ah... things that happen only to pipers!

Denn Fowler, British Columbia, Canada

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