About 15 years ago I heard a piper playing during a renaissance festival and asked him how to take lessons.
I previously was a guitar player, but I wanted the challenge of something new. I had heard bagpipes when I was a young girl at the Tattoo in Edinburgh and thought they were amazing.
I knew that to be a grade one pipe you had to have started as a young kid, so I never aspired to that. I considered quitting many times after losing contests or after playing too many gigs in the summer.
The Dojo community is a good place to be – it's great to see so many people who want to improve and to understand that we all face the same struggle as adult learners. The exposure to piping greats and classes has been invaluable.
I have become much more introspective as a piper. I can hear my mistakes and I have gotten better at fixing them to some degree. I have increased my sight reading of new tunes 100 times. I understand rhythm, even if I can't always imitate it. I can help my pipe band by telling them about Dojo techniques.
I recognize my fingering issues and have learned how to fix my crossing noises to some degree. I really enjoy learning new tunes, so that has been my most enjoyable part. (Love the new book!) I like the expert classes and guest classes, those are great fun. It has made me so much more aware of issues in my playing. I do feel challenged which is what I want.
I just went back to play with my band, Denver and District. It is great to be able to pass on some Dojo ideas to the pipe major and band. I feel like I am contributing more.
Tina Falconer, Frederick, Colorado, USA