Piping & Drumming Program

Our program offers small group and individual instruction, plus larger group lectures, workshops, and fun activities. And that’s just the formal part of the learning! Our flexible and varied format works for musicians of all ages and all stages of development.

Small classes are the hallmark of the Ontario School of Piping & Drumming. Classes generally consist of four to seven students grouped at the same level of playing achievement and, where possible, similar ages. The experienced, positive instructors, small class size and comparable playing level creates a supportive atmosphere. Students often forge bonds of friendship as they work together and help each other reach common goals.

Classrooms. Our rooms are air-conditioned, and there are ample comfortable lounging areas. Individual instructors also may decide to hold some classes outdoors.

Individual attention. Each piping student is entitled to one 30-minute solo lesson with an instructor.  You will select your first and second choice of instructor when you register and will be notified of the date and time of your lesson at the orientation meeting.  This is a on a first come, first served basis so register early to ensure your choice of instructor!

Schedule. Students have three or four group lessons a day.  In addition, there are larger group classes and workshops in the afternoon.  In between, students can practice and work on assigned tunes and skills. Come prepared to work hard but have lots of fun too!

Evenings feature seminars, lectures and workshops. Some of the topics we’ve had in the past include:

  • Bagpipe maintenance
  • Reed selection
  • Introduction to Piobaireachd
  • An insider’s look at the World Pipe Band championships
  • How to Memorize Tunes
  • Rhythmic structure of pipe music
  • Improving your technique
  • Party piping
  • and much, much more!

Recitals are an important and popular part of the OSPD experience. We hold an instructors recital each school week. Family and friends are welcome to attend, to hear some of the world’s best pipers and drummers in an intimate, informal setting.

Atmosphere. Our atmosphere is friendly and informal. Students and instructors mingle freely: adults and teens, experts and beginners, drummers and pipers together, joined by their common love of the music and desire to improve their own musicianship. Our youngest student to date has been age 8, and we’ve also had several students over 80.

FUN! Lest this seem like all work and no play, be assured that there is plenty of fun at OSPD!

  • our location feature lots of outdoor open space for impromptu games, and space for practicing, chatting and relaxing.
  • A staff member organizes daily activities for the pre-teens and teens (and sometimes for the adults!) to make it easy for students to get to know each other, and to ensure that everyone is kept occupied in a positive way.
  • Several lounge areas are set aside indoors for students to relax, socialize, and hang out.
  • The campus features lots of space for walking or just relaxing in a quieter setting.
  • Thursday night is set aside for our ever-popular ceilidh, where everyone is encouraged to perform, and students young and old gather to celebrate a great week of piping, drumming and learning.

Teens. We normally have a number of teens and pre-teens at OSPD – often about one-quarter to one-half of our student population. We offer group activities and try to monitor them to ensure that they are enjoying the school in productive ways.

  • Under-16 students have a 10:30pm curfew, with lights out at 10:45pm.
  • Students under age 18 must have permission from a designated person before leaving the campus.
  • We have a strict policy of no drug use and no underage drinking, and anyone violating this policy may be sent home early, without a refund.

Questions? Please contact us to discuss your questions or concerns. We’d love to help!