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Old 04-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
MelodyPipes
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Default Summer Piping School

As a beginner to intermediate piper, I am curious to know who has participated in a summer piping school? What were your experiences? Did you enjoy the experience? Did it help you progress?

I've just enrolled in the Balmoral School summer session to be held at Sonoma State University in June. I am very excited about attending and learning -- so much so that I took one week of my precious vacation time to devote totally to my piping. Here's to taking it to the next level!!!!

BTW -- is anyone else on this forum planning to be at the June 10-15 Balmoral Summer School session??? I look forward to meeting other pipers!
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Last edited by MelodyPipes; 04-26-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
ratherbpiping
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

As a kid I attended Piping school every summer. IT was great. But as an adult I have attended one two week school at the Gaelic College in St. Ann Nova Scotia.

It was a great experience. Very different from my teenage years. However, there were not near as many students or instructors.

However, a vacation of taking a week to go to a piping school would be fantastic.

Several in our band go to the College of piping in Carlsbad, or IIan Whitlaws school. I think a father son team in our band attended Balmoral one year. They had a blast and meet all kinds of people.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
Curt
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

You are going to have a great time and learn a lot. Enjoy. I have been to many Balmoral Schools and came away with a lot each time. Great stuff.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
Ken Gordon
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

I attended the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho pipe school in 1975, '76, '77 and '78. I started at age 33. It was very well worth it. I met a lot of very good people, many with whom I still keep in contact, and learned enough in the normal 1 week period to keep me busy for the next entire year. I was amazed after the 1975 session, both at what I had learned...and how much I had yet to learn.

Go. It will be very well worth your while.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

I've been on over 25 seasonal schools. I think they're definitely well worth it, for the instruction you get, the people you meet, the dedicated time to spend solely on piping related things, and just for the whole experience. They're kind of entities in themselves I think.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
MelodyPipes
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

Thanks for all the feedback! I am really looking forward to attending piping school in June. Browsing the internet, there are many sessions all over the place -- might be fun to attend in different parts of the country, or in Canada or abroad someday!
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:13 AM   #7
Sunwolfe
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

Melody,

I'm gonna throw in a plug for the CoP Summer School down in Carlsbad, CA. This will be my 12th year attending (I live in the Central Valley, so it's a hop-skip-and-a-jump to get there). The weather is usually quite wonderful as it's right on the coast. The instructors are top notch. I always come a way with a full slate of new music to work on for the rest of the season.

One of the absolute best features of the school besides the great instruction and wonderful music is that the instructors are extremely accessible and do not "check-out" to go play a round of golf after a full day of classes or distance themselves from us but offer recitals and lectures during the first three evenings and participate with us in our after-class activities: Talent Night, Barbeque on the Beach, Pub Night and the Community Concert (which involves the whole school—instructors and students). The instructors understand that for many of us vacation time is the only time we can come and learn from them, that it is a measure of our commitment. They honor this and do not act as if they are on vacation themselves, but remain available after classes and, for the most part, eat with us, visit us as we practice and generally hang out with us.

Everyone's experience may vary, I understand this, but for me its been hard work and fun. Arriving back at the school after a year feels like a home coming because of the camaraderie, friendship and positive vibe. It never fails that I come away musically stretched, sore and challenged, my head aspin with tunes and information, but I always miss it and can't wait to get back every year. Just talkin’ about it has me stoked! 46 days and counting!

Good luck and have fun !
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:02 PM   #8
Steve397
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

Been to four Balmoral sessions at Sonoma State and will be attending my 5th in a row this year. You will enjoy it. Brian Donaldson is a fantastic instructor as well as a fantastic piper and pipe maker.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
Tripp
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Default Re: Summer Piping School

I've been to Piping Hot Summer Drummer once and am returning again this year. Had an absolute blast last year, but it was bloody exhausting. Met some great folks and really pushed myself (and was pushed by the other pipers in my group). Simply taking a week and immersing yourself in the art form will do you loads of good. You'll enjoy it.
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