April 03, 2024

“Positive and congenial” mood at PPBSO Drumming Summit attended by 25 concerned musicians

The first PPBSO Drumming Summit was held on March 30th at the Toronto Indoor Games.

In attendance were 25 drummers from varying backgrounds representing a good cross-section of teachers and leaders from graded competition and noncompetition bands. Panellists Jamie Alfred, Drew Duthart, and Dave Fenton guided the discussion with prompts, questions, and comments coming from the survey sent out before the event.

The mood was positive and congenial, with many participants openly sharing the successes and tactics of their organizations and the stumbling blocks they’ve encountered.

The conversation flowed smoothly from one topic to another and covered much ground. The participants showed up well-prepared to represent their band and the band’s experiences well, while the panellists did an expert job facilitating the conversation.

Among the wide range of topics covered, there seemed to be some common themes, including, but not limited to:

  • Need for recruitment strategies among bands.
  • Look outside the pipe band world for partnerships (school boards, boys and girls clubs, etc.).
  • Teacher training/certification for instructors and band leadership.
  • More skills and resources for teachers and lower grade band leadership.
  • Common curriculum/teaching materials for instructors.
  • Shared best practice strategies for band development.
  • Grants and public funding for drumming.
  • Performance opportunities for community engagement.

The plan is to have a second Drumming Summit in the fall to further the discussion that has just started.

In the meantime, the Education Committee will take our notes from the March Summit and determine what items would benefit from immediate action and a strategy for implementation.

– contributed by Ross Davison, PPBSO Education Committee Chair






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