Glen Fletcher: Family Tradition

I had a lifelong desire to play the pipes, but never found the time. Then, with my half century birthday approaching, I figured I'd better get learning or it would never happen! I was striving to become a decent piper that could play in competition, to be able to play in the massed bands at the Glengarry Highland games in Maxville and maybe even be good enough to compete there too.

Scottish music was a family tradition. My father played the fiddle and my uncle that played the pipes. My father won the fiddling contest at the Glengarry games one year too. But I was always in love with the sound of the pipes.

Consistency in my playing has been difficult. My struggles tend to be related to my later age. My mind knows how the tunes sound, but my fingers don't always keep up. One time through a tune will be great, the next time through, not so much. There have been times where I became frustrated with my lack of progress and felt I would never improve as much as I wanted.

I took a break for a few months before figuring out a few reasons for my struggles. I found out about the Dojo after searching the internet for beginner lessons/tutorials. I saw a few of Andrew's video blogs and was taken in by the "back to basics" form that a lot of his videos showed. What caught my attention was him highlighting the importance of the fundamental foundations of playing and bagpipe maintenance that most tutors barely glance over.

The Dojo helped a lot in overcoming a few issues and learning the fundamentals properly. I realized that the method of teaching made a lot of sense. The scope of learning was very complete, covering material that even a master piper could learn from. I have also found others that I know here as well as others facing the same issues and struggles that I face.

I have more confidence that I just might be able to tame the three legged beast and might even be able to squeeze some quality music out of it yet! The Dojo has also taken the mystery of self tuning and made it an achievable task.

Glen F from Barrie, Ontario, CAN

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