Classes: Moving to Kalamazoo First Presbyterian church


Instructional Classes

Classes are offered in both highland bagpiping and drumming.

During the school year,
we work at

Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church
321 West South Street, Kalamazoo, MI

map

and during the summer,
we practice outside, generally at

Flesher Field
about 3900 South 9th Street, Oshtemo, MI
on the west side of the road
map

Piping and drumming classes for the Fall 2016 semester have just begun.  

No cost for the winter 2017 semester.  There may be costs for practice instruments and/or teaching materials.

If you don't have a practice chanter (for pipers) or a pad/sticks (for drummers), please contact the band so that we can arrange to purchase these materials on your behalf. 

Classes are usually not held when Tuesday is a Kalamazoo Public Schools snow day.  (Important Note: If Kalamzoo schools are closed due to weather, there will be no class. Check at , the WMUK School Closings website or listen to the radio if there is any question. Use your judgment about any bad weather or driving conditions.)

The schedule each week will look something like this...

Time

Choir Room 

Band Room

Drumming Class Room

6:00

Fundamentals 

Execution 

Fundamentals

6:45

Pipe tuning and maintenance issues addressed

Fundamentals

7:00 

Green Drone  pipers

Street Parade Band Rehearsal

--------------

7:45

Street Band Tunes for Green Drone Pipers

Competition Band Rehearsal

---------------

8:30 

finish up, clean up and leave

---------------

Chanter and/or pad students may leave at 6:45, but are welcome and encouraged to attend to stay into the later sessions to see the difficulties and rewards involved with playing in order to make an informed decision regarding their commitment to piping.

Additional private instruction is available for pipers of all levels.

Practice Instruments:

If you are a new piping or drumming student, please contact the band to get appropriate, good-quality practice instruments.  

Pipers:  Many vendors who will gladly sell you an inferior practice chanters (or even crappy bagpipes!) and leave you to deal with the problems.  Through our international vendor contacts, we are happy to order a high quality long or extra-long plastic practice chanter with good reeds for our adult students for about $75 (depending upon market and exchange rates).  We can also get  slightly smaller chanter with good reeds for younger students. 

Drummers:  Students will need highland drumming sticks and pad (about $30 and available locally, but please ask for guidance from the instructors).

In the summer-time:

The band spends each Tuesday evening at various locations throughout Kalamazoo county (some say we're just one step ahead of the law!) in rehearsal for our performances. Group instruction is continued over the summer.

Our practice breakout looks like this:

Time

Activity

6:00

Chanter students

6:30

Street Parade Practice

7:15

Concert/Competition Rehearsal

8:30 

finish up, clean up and leave

Generalities:

Because summer is the heavier performance season, it is generally preferred to start lessons in the fall, but students may begin at any time.   Depending upon the number and capabilities of students, it may be advantageous to set up a private schedule for most rapid progress.

Resources for the Beginning Students:

Our teaching program strives to provide high quality instruction for all students. 

Piping:

The goal for all beginning pipers is to be able to play five substantial tunes accurately on the practice chanter. 

The five tunes we have chosen have been arranged to provide opportunities to demonstrate a solid understanding of the fundaments of piping.  Below are links to these tunes:

 

Tune

1

High Road to Gairloch

2

Brown Haired Maiden

3

Highland Laddie

4

42nd Highlanders

5

Scotland the Brave

(Please note:  The exact timing of the embellishments in the associated midi files is close, but not quite ideal due to limitations in the software .  Use the knowledge, gained in class, to play "properly". )

These tunes are here for the convenience of those involved in the elementary learning/teaching program of the Kalamazoo Pipe Band.  This is not intended to be a link to the parade, performance or competition band repertoire.   Additional tunes (and other benefits!) are provided to those who choose to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the Kalamazoo Pipe Band.  Come and see for yourself!

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