January 13, 2022

Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust pledges nearly 600 sets of pipes to date

Since it started in 2012, the Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust has pledged 567 sets of pipes for lending and loaned 400 instruments to date to deserving pupils whose families aren’t quite ready to take the plunge to make a purchase.

Most recently, Maxi McRobbie, a student at Forthill Primary, and Cameron MacKenzie at Barnhill Primary, both in Dundee, will get bagpipes from the organization. They’re just two of some 35 pupils who so far are receiving pipes in Scotland this year.

Cameron MacKenzie [Photo SSPDT]
Both pipers have been learning with a practice chanter and now transitioning to the pipes, with their eye on joining the ranks of local Juvenile bands.

According to Laura MacLeod, Operations Manager with the Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust, the organization loans about 60 sets each year. Some of the instruments have been donated and other purchased from bagpipe makers with funds donated to the organization.

Maxi McRobbie [Photo SSPDT]
The registered charity also runs a Music Enterprise Award program in which pipers who have been loaned pipes can raise money through playing at weddings, services, and other performances to save towards the purchase of their own instrument.

McRobbie and MacKenzie’s loaner pipes are dedicated to the late Rory MacPherson, a lifelong piper and tutor, whose friends and family made donations in his memory, so that four sets of pipes could be bought and loaned in perpetuity to generations of pipers.

The Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust also offers cash grants for tuition and band costs, paid trainee internships, and organizes the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.



Scottish Schools Championships gets creative with online rendition of contest
January 17, 2021

Lossiemouth schools latest target for Scottish Schools teaching trust
September 3, 2018

Dundee gets £58k from Schools P&D Trust
January 26, 2018

Unused pipes “amnesty” launches for students
January 25, 2016



  1. Great to see the future of piping starting out in the school systems and being supported by such generous people/organizations having said that for the life of me I don’t get why instructors still promote the use of a full size bagpipe to that of a 3/4 set on a wee child. Think about it and look the next time, the child is struggling just to keep the pipe on their shoulder let alone focus on sound, music and technique. My son Liam played an old set of 1904 Douglas 3/4 pipes for years from 6 up to 10 or 11 winning in all grade levels including 3 and a few in 2. He played a full size chanter that had smaller holes for his wee fingers but the extra small pipe bag was easy to get his arm around, the drones were coccus wood so very light in weight, the reeds were set in a manner that he could play comfortably learning at an early age how to produce steady tone, clean technique and focus on playing music. I just think its a level of progression and the end result is the child doing so much better starting out on a 3/4 set in the beginning then transferring to the full size Highland bagpipe. Just a suggestion but even still glad so many are supporting the next generation.


    Calum MacDonald



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