Once a closet piper, now they all know!

My piper getup

I’m slightly crazy everyone knows it and I know being a bagpiper just confirms everyone’s suspicions. An awkward highschooler who hated conforming, when it came time to branch out to other instruments I decided bagpipes were at the top of the “must learn this” bucket list. While all the other students who took lessons would travel downtown and go play their guitars and flutes and drums I would hop in my car and drive a half hour to the nearest piping teacher for my lesson every week. Now, almost 6 years later it’s sometimes the only thing people remember me by. “Oh! your the piper!” they say and my response is always a proud “you got it!”.
Piping is another reason why my students stay interested. I love to bring them in and play setting aside lesson time to not only pipe but really demonstrate what Celtic music is really all about. Why do I set aside time to do this? It gives my wonderful students a chance to see me, a chance to see a part of what I am about other than a teacher. Play a different instrument? show your students I bet they will love you for it.

What do you need to do a lesson on Celtic music? Well I have a power point of pictures with different dress, instruments, people whatever I would like to show my students to give a little background before bringing up youtube and running down my playlist of performance clips bagrock groups like The Red Hot Chili Pipers. After, I get on that kilt and start playing those instruments. I have an irish whistle, bodrhan, and full size highland pipes that I demonstrate. I’ll play, depending on the instrument I’ll let them touch and then they can ask questions. Students love something they do not see eveyday, for my classes it’s piping, for you it might as simple as a drum. You ask them to play for you all year long, why not play for them for once.

Here is the lesson plan I use for demonstrating bagpipes:

Title:Highland Games

Objectives:
● Students will identify vocabulary through pictures, video and instruments
● Students will identify Irish rock through listening.
Plan:
● Attendance will be taken
● The Hello Song
● Students will listen to some RHCP and move to it.
● The teacher will talk about what the Highland Games are and what goes on a the games.
● The class will watch some performance videos and look at some pictures.
● The teacher will discuss the outfit.
● A Bodrhan demo will commence
● A Bagpipe demo will commence
● If time the students will be able to touch the pipes and questions can be asked.

Materials:
● Ipod/Ipod Dock
● Piper outfit
● Projector/Computer
● Bagpipes/Bodrhan
● Whiteboard/Markers

Assessment:
● Students will move to the RHCP beat.
● Students will be able to ask questions about the material.

Want to do this lesson but don’t have access to a bagpiper? There are so many of us all over. If one is not local then go global, I’m here with Skype along with hundreds of others all around New England.

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