The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario officially commenced its Education & Theory Program on January 31st at its headquarters in Milton, Ontario, with 14 pipers and drummers attending the kick-off seminar on a snowy Saturday.
The discussion started at 10 am with a brief discussion led by program coordinator Doug Stronach on the reasons for and objectives of the Theory Program, which are essentially to develop pipers and drummers’ knowledge of all pipe band instruments, as well as essential music theory based on the Royal Conservatory of Music texts.
Stronach conducted a segment on snare drumming, which prompted a lively discussion about the differences and commonalities between piping and drumming.
Tenor drummer and session-leader Tyler Fry attended the entire seminar via Skype while in Texas, which is thought to be a first for the pipe band world. Fry led a discussion on mid-sections.
Program coordinator Robert Crabtree led a discussion in the afternoon on piping, and the event concluded with a segment on general music theory portions of the Education & Theory exam, which will follow later in the year
“I think that everyone would agree that the best part of the day was that pipers and drummers were learning the material and discussing it together as one,” Stronach commented.
The PPBSO’s Education & Theory Program may eventually be combined with the organization’s Adjudication and Teaching programs, conceivably as a prerequisite for sitting the judging exam and, potentially, a new accreditation program for piping and drumming teachers.