James Christopher: Tools and Methods

When I first wanted to learn, I had come across an article on a local band leading up to a Highland Games. They offered free lessons so I jumped at the chance to learn pipes. I was already a musician and knew that our family was from Scotland and Ireland. I wanted to play in order to honor my family history.

The Dojo has been great. There are videos for any level and archives for most subjects. The live classes are with great instructors who are friendly and encouraging especially to beginners and those who struggle with the confidence to play. The Bagpipe Freedom and other full courses are a nice challenge also. It's a fun and friendly place to learn and grow - for all levels.

I definitely have much better tone and more precise playing (embellishments) thanks to the Dojo. My pipes have also been easier to play. In the past, I have played through full on leaks, which is very difficult and uncomfortable. Playing an efficient and airtight instrument has made a huge difference.

Having comfortable bagpipes has allowed me to keep playing when I thought I would have to give them up. It has helped me find new ways to help students and other pipers and I know that the methods have helped me move up in competition grades. I have definitely benefitted in many ways from my efforts with the Dojo. You get out what you are willing to put in, and then some.

One more thing in that regard: I had a surgery that changed a lot of things in my life. The tools and methods I had learned at the Dojo gave me hope I could one day resume piping. Not only did they get me back to it, I was able to pipe daily for a full year using the 100 day challenge to help keep me motivated. I am still playing, just started another 100 day challenge and am even looking forward to trying to compete again soon.

James C from Albuquerque, New Mexico

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