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Old 05-03-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
Elizur Wright
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Default College of Piping - Seasonal School

I'm a relatively new piper (1+ year on PC, <1 year on GHB), and am considering a College of Piping seasonal (week-long) school. I am currently working with an instructor, and we meet 3-4 times per month as part of a marching band. I'm really enjoying the learning process, but am impatient to see improvement, and thought a week dedicated to piping might help.

It appears CoP has locations in both Scotland and PEI, Canada (I assume they are somehow related?). I would consider either one.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences they can share on CoP schools (either location)?

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
MelodyPipes
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizur Wright View Post
I'm a relatively new piper (1+ year on PC, <1 year on GHB), and am considering a College of Piping seasonal (week-long) school. I am currently working with an instructor, and we meet 3-4 times per month as part of a marching band. I'm really enjoying the learning process, but am impatient to see improvement, and thought a week dedicated to piping might help.

It appears CoP has locations in both Scotland and PEI, Canada (I assume they are somehow related?). I would consider either one.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences they can share on CoP schools (either location)?

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
I don't know about the schools you listed, but I've attended the COP California School for two years now and it is AWESOME! Bruce Hitchings runs the program in California, and it is very well-organized -- a full week of piping "emersion." Days are full of instruction, evenings are full of education and fun. One night the school takes over a local pub and anyone who wants to plays (solo, groups) -- lots of fun! Each class performs for the local public at the end of the week. I'm sad to miss it this year, but highly recommend it. The location is a military school right on the beach! I would get up every morning and take a nice walk along the ocean to start the day. You make lots of new friends and the atmosphere is one of learning and camaraderie.

http://www.collegeofpiping.org/tuiti...fornia-school/
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

From New England, PEI is a two day drive, roughly, though you could also fly or break it up with a ferry from Portland.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:25 PM   #4
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelodyPipes View Post
I don't know about the schools you listed, but I've attended the COP California School for two years now and it is AWESOME! Bruce Hitchings runs the program in California, and it is very well-organized -- a full week of piping "emersion." Days are full of instruction, evenings are full of education and fun. One night the school takes over a local pub and anyone who wants to plays (solo, groups) -- lots of fun! Each class performs for the local public at the end of the week. I'm sad to miss it this year, but highly recommend it. The location is a military school right on the beach! I would get up every morning and take a nice walk along the ocean to start the day. You make lots of new friends and the atmosphere is one of learning and camaraderie.

http://www.collegeofpiping.org/tuiti...fornia-school/
One of these years I'd love to do this one. It's a shame that I haven't yet, especially since it's in San Diego!
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:13 AM   #5
Leong
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

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Originally Posted by MelodyPipes View Post
I don't know about the schools you listed, but I've attended the COP California School for two years now and it is AWESOME! ....
Good to hear that, MelodyPipes. How much piping had you had when you went to your first one? If you had a time machine, would you have gone later or earlier having gone twice now and knowing how the sessions go?
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:50 AM   #6
Alexthemuso
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

I've been going to Glasgow every summer since 2010 and it is great! I've already booked up for this year. You will learn so much and meet many people just like you. Don't go during Worlds week though - there is too much going on and you will miss out on quite a bit of tuition. The whole week is tailored to your ability.
When I started going in 2010 I could only play one tune well - passed the level 4 two years ago. Will be working on Piobaireachd this year with the aim of level 5 next year.
The beer in the Coopers pub is pretty good too!

For the price, you can't beat it!
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:37 AM   #7
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexthemuso View Post
I've been going to Glasgow every summer since 2010 and it is great! I've already booked up for this year. You will learn so much and meet many people just like you. Don't go during Worlds week though - there is too much going on and you will miss out on quite a bit of tuition. The whole week is tailored to your ability.
When I started going in 2010 I could only play one tune well - passed the level 4 two years ago. Will be working on Piobaireachd this year with the aim of level 5 next year.
The beer in the Coopers pub is pretty good too!

For the price, you can't beat it!
The price, given that you're traveling from Wales, would be vastly better than the OP traveling from New England, I'd expect.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:53 AM   #8
Alexthemuso
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

Indeed! But what could be better than going to Scotland!
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:29 AM   #9
Elizur Wright
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

I was leaning towards attending the CoP in Scotland, well, because it's in Scotland! I think I'll have to plan for next year, and turn it into a family vacation.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:36 AM   #10
SweetDrones
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Default Re: College of Piping - Seasonal School

If it is a family vacation in Scotland you are looking for, I went to the Highland one a couple of years running, and here is what I found.

Plus side: nice scenery (loch Ness), really nice people who remember me year after year (Drumnadrochit), plenty for the family to do (outdoor pursuits, kids piping class with local kids of Drum (who have Scottish names), Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, close by). Good price, all inclusive in a very basic hostel, with use of the town hall for practice, and a "community concert" there too. Excellent teaching. Nice pubs, brewery, nice food, and possibility to use a full kitchen at the hostel if needed.

Minus side: small school, always a risk of cancellation (a risk when booking flights), could have a few more teaching hours in it for the price (my opinion, as it just seems to finish on Friday lunch and I would prefer a full day).

I don't know about other College of Piping schools, but typically time is spent in groups learning three tunes over the week, working on technique and performing them at a concert. I would not say I learnt loads and loads and loads of different techniques, but my playing of one or two types of tunes (say strathpeys) improved - I enjoyed it a lot as a nice place for a productive vacation too.

I think the PEI one is not organized by the College of Piping in Glasgow, but by the National Piping Centre (also in Glasgow), who also organize schools. PEI is another really nice place with really nice people (like all the Maritimes and a great Scottish cultural tradition.
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