Published: July 08, 2015

Carnegie Mellon graduates to drumming instructor

The Carnegie Mellon University piping degree program started by Jimmy McIntosh in the 1990s, continued by the late Alasdair Gillies in the 2000s, and since 2010 delivered by Andrew Carlisle has apparently proven so successful that the Pittsburgh-based university is looking for a drumming instructor.

Described by Carlisle as a “huge step forward” for the university and band, which started in 1939 and today operates Grade 3 and Grade 5 competing groups. Whereas Carlisle’s role is full-time teaching piping and running the degree program, the new drumming instructor position is part-time and strictly teaching about 20 hours per week at regular band practices. Pay would be around US$20,000 per year (as much as US$2,100/month for 10 months) and work well as supplementary income for an established drummer who would want to teach privately.

The Carnegie Mellon band playing at the university’s commencement ceremonies. Andrew Carlisle is at froint right.

“It makes sense that [Carnegie Mellon] is now recognizing that we need to invest in a proven drumming instructor with the background and experience leading a top-quality corps that will help our band continue to grow,” Carlisle said. “I am excited that Carnegie Mellon is now investing in a more substantive drumming instructor position that can provide talent, leadership, time and dedication to the band.”

To date all snare, bass and tenor drumming instruction been only during a weekly two-hour band practice. The expanded position will result in 10 times the training for drummers.

Under Carlisle the once competition-dormant band has been resurrected to delivering a solid Grade 3 standard. Through teaching raw beginners, Carlisle has created the Grade 5 “development” band, all while helping to rebuild the bachelors and masters piping degree programs.

More details about the drumming instructor job at Carnegie Mellon can be found at the university’s website under the careers section.

The university was started in 1900 by the Dunfermline, Scotland-born steel magnate Andrew Carnegie who contributed almost all of his massive wealth to eductaion and learning projects and other philanthropic causes. Carnegie had a personal piper for most of his life in the United States.

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