Gene Bouscher: An Ancestral Mission

According to one of the DNA sites I am 98% UK & Scottish. I found out my great-grandfather was a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason and played the pipes. That was about 25 years ago. The World Wide Web had just kicked off and I found a place to buy a chanter and some books... but no instructor.

Like many people I suppose life got in the way and I shelved it.

But Grandpa kept popping back up!

A good friend of mine, and fellow musician, was working for a funeral home. He became acquainted with the regular piper that performed at police and military funerals. Knowing my family history and musical interest, he asked if I'd like to go with him for lessons from the group that piper had started. I wanted to learn the instrument of my ancestors, and to pass it on to my son.

I searched for local instructors....(did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere?) I was driving an hour and twenty minutes for in-person lessons. Then Covid hit.

After I found Dojo U I signed up immediately. It's a great source of information and help from real people. Discord is also unique tool. The instructors are very helpful along with the input from other students. Sort of a Facebook for Pipers. Dojo U saved my crushed spirit. What took 2 years to do in person first time around, Pipers Dojo fixed in 2 months!

I am a bit older – in my 60s. I never thought it would be a problem. It just takes me a bit longer to memorize things. That's what practice is for, right? It's only 9 notes. How hard can it be? (insert eye roll here...)

The Dojo U has helped me gain the confidence to play without worrying about the instrument so much as being able to focus on the tune I'm playing.

Set up, breathing and arm control, all makes me know learning any tune will be much easier in the future.

Gene Bouscher, Virginia, USA

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