10 Personal Bagpipe Goals for the Coming Year

The hubbub of the holiday season is over. You can now focus more on bagpipes! Whether or not you are considering adding one of the 10 Bagpipe Performance Goals to your list of resolutions for 2011, working on personal bagpipe goals that challenge you and keep you working toward becoming a better bagpiper should be part of your year’s efforts. Pick one or more items from the list below to give your bagpiping a charge for the coming year.

STRETCH YOUR COMPETITIVE BOUNDARIES • Pick the highest-end bagpipe contest (solo or band) you can think of for your playing grade or level and enter. Work for it, and make giving your best go at it your goal.

EXPOSE YOURSELF • (To bigger and better bagpiping, that is.) Pick the highest-level solo bagpiping or pipe band event you can think of and attend as a spectator. Pick something that will give you exposure to something that you’ve not seen or heard before.

EDUCATE YOURSELF • Seek out one new educational thing that will enhance your bagpipe playing. This can be attending a workshop or summer school, beginning a short series of lessons with someone (and these days, distance is no excuse), taking a class on music theory, or studying a particular point about bagpipe music that has always interested or baffled you.

STUDY • Pick one area of piping or pipe band history unknown to you and research it. There are excellent resources out there. Bagpipes by Hugh Cheape is a great start.

STRETCH YOUR MUSICAL BOUNDARIES • Concoct one set of tunes made up of brand new material that challenges you or that is made up of tunes from one of the many new music collections out there these days.

PERFORM • Find and pick one opportunity to play in front of a sizable audience that is not a competition or wedding or funeral. If you do this regularly anyway, pick an opportunity to play for a receptive crowd who might otherwise not expect it.

CONTRIBUTE • Volunteer or donate to help organize a piping event or workshop in your area.

INDULGE • Treat yourself to a new toy: a new instrument gadget; a new chanter; try a new brand of reeds; get a new pipe case.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF • Change your rehearsal regimen for a brief while and focus time on personal tunes and material or just play around.

GET CREATIVE • Sit down and compose a piece of music or create your own setting of a traditional tune.

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