Strengthen Your Sound, Perfect Your Performance
January 8-10, 2024 • Kansas City
Join Andrew Douglas and Carl Donley in person for a hands-on Dojo Workshop,
immersed in North America's most inspiring and anticipated annual gathering of pipers and drummers.
Batten down the hatches - a Winter Storm is coming!
At Dojo University, we hold a steadfast belief: immersion is the cornerstone of bagpiping success and enjoyment. Mastering the bagpipes isn't merely about learning the correct fingerings or knowing the tunes - it's about total immersion in the art, losing yourself in the rich, melodic language of the pipes, and fully embracing the cultural heritage they represent.
That's why we have crafted an extraordinary event that combines in-depth, hands-on bagpiping training with the thrilling experience of North America's premier piping and drumming extravaganza - Winter Storm.
Our three-day C.A.L.M (Come And Learn Music) Bagpiping Workshop precedes Winter Storm, setting you up with new skills, insights, and experiences just as the larger event begins. We've interwoven these two remarkable experiences, creating an unparalleled immersion that dives deep into the world of bagpiping.
You'll get intensive, one-on-one instruction from top-notch educators, Andrew and Carl, to elevate your technique, tune your pipes to perfection, and build your confidence as a performer. The hands-on learning environment allows for personalized attention and feedback, pinpointing and addressing any challenges you may be facing.
But this event is not just about learning - it's about community, camaraderie, and connection. With Kansas City’s vibrant culture providing a rich backdrop, you'll have a chance to connect with fellow piping enthusiasts, share experiences, and form lasting friendships.
Our partnership with Winter Storm amplifies this immersive experience, providing you with a unique opportunity to apply your newly honed skills in a real-world setting, and enjoy a whirlwind of amateur and professional competitions, workshops, concerts, and ceilidhs.
This event is about more than becoming a better piper - it's about experiencing the pure joy of bagpiping in a supportive, enthusiastic community. It's about fully immersing yourself in the craft you love and coming away with not just improved skills, but unforgettable memories.
Are you ready to immerse, learn, and grow? Join us at the Kansas City C.A.L.M Bagpiping Workshop, and set off on a journey of musical exploration that goes beyond your wildest dreams.
Dojo Events are the Real Deal.
"Exceptionally organized, efficiently carried out, and well beyond my expectations..."
"I attended the Dojo Tuning Clinic in May, 2018, along with quite a few other members of Dojo University. The Clinic was exceptionally organized, efficiently carried out, and went well beyond my expectations I had for improving my ability to tune my own bagpipes. "
DR JOHN HOLCOMBE // Indiana, USA
"The clinic cleared away the confusion and made accurate self tuning a reality..."
"The tuning clinic really gave me such a confidence boost in having control over my instrument and understanding how to tune the drones. It was always a bit of a mystery, but the concrete, factual methods taught at the clinic cleared away the confusion and made accurate self tuning a reality."
Beth Paul // Vermont, USA
"Judges now write 'well tuned pipe, drones to chanter'..."
"I'm a 40 year player that could not tune my pipe if my life depended on it. The tuning clinic eradicated that condition. Judges now write "well tuned pipe, drones to chanter". The tuning fundamentals build on each other so great tuning can be achieved. The blow trick is the best thing since sliced bread. Well done Dojo U."
Ken Allan // Ontario, Canada
"The techniques learned over that weekend were an epiphany..."
"I always stressed when tuning myself, never trusting my own hearing and like many of us I relied on other people to assist me or used a tuner. Not happy with either alternative, I signed on for the Tuning Clinic. The techniques learned over that weekend were an epiphany. Basically, the Dojo teaches that tuning is a Journey not a destination and gave me a roadmap so I can now confidently tune myself and continue on my piping Journey."
Patrick mcbride // New York, USA
What To Expect
Personalized, Hands-On Guidance And Mentorship
Ever felt stuck while learning online, wishing for a mentor who could help? With Andrew and Carl at your side during the workshop, you'll get invaluable one-on-one guidance, enabling you to uncover your blind spots and power through them.
Enhance Your Performance Skills
Whether you plan to compete at Winter Storm or merely want to win the hearts of your listeners, we focus on building practical performance skills. We'll help you cope with performance anxiety, present yourself confidently, and employ your tuning skills in front of an audience.
Finally Make Progress with Your Bagpipe Sound and Tuning
Attaining the perfect sound and comfort with your bagpipes can be elusive. Our workshop offers an in-depth exploration of bagpipe maintenance and tuning, ensuring you walk away with the skills to produce the sounds that stir souls.
Building a Community
Dojo University is the first and largest online bagpipe school in the world! However, one of the most important pieces of feedback we receive each year is that we need to do more in person. So come along, bond with like-minded individuals, share experiences and forge connections that extend beyond the Zoom classrooms of Dojo U.
Schedule of Events
Welcome to Kansas City! As you arrive at Kansas City International Airport, it's time to head straight to the Marriott Hotel at Country Club Plaza. The 35-minute journey from the airport can be covered by various modes of transport - taxis, airport shuttles, or rideshares like Uber and Lyft.
Upon arrival at the Marriott, check-in is straightforward. Once checked in, you will receive a welcome packet from us that includes the workshop schedule and other useful information.
After settling into your room, feel free to explore the hotel facilities or just relax. This evening, we have an informal gathering planned in the hotel lobby where you can meet fellow workshop participants and instructors Andrew Douglas and Carl Donley. Later, we'll head out for dinner at one of Kansas City's restaurants.
We start bright and early on Monday morning, so get a good night's sleep. The next three days promise an intensive and exciting bagpiping journey. We look forward to starting this adventure with you.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Agenda
7:00am - 8:00am - BREAKFAST
While breakfast is not included in the price of your enrollment, many of us will meet in the hotel breakfast buffet and/or at the Starbucks in the lobby. Alternatively, there are a host of great breakfast options within a 5 minute walk.
8:00am - 9:30am - FIRST SESSION
Whether you're just getting comfortable with your pipes, or you're striving to perfect your performance, there are ideas and concepts that apply to all of us. Andrew and Carl will teach to the whole group during this time.
9:45am - 11:45am - 1st BREAKOUT SESSION
After a coffee break (provided), we'll break out into small groups and work on specific concepts aligned with your goals.
11:45am-2:00pm - LONG LUNCH & PRACTICE TIME!
Get out of the hotel, stretch your legs, and find a bite to eat. This long lunch will give you a chance to venture into the city to enjoy yourself. Alternatively, you can take a quick lunch here, and use the rest of the time to practice at the hotel.
2:00pm-4:00pm - 2nd BREAKOUT SESSION
Sessions in our smaller groups will continue.
4:00pm-5:00pm - 3rd BREAK-OUT SESSION
To wrap up each day, let's get together to recap what we've done today, and save some time for Q&A. Call me crazy, but we should also brainstorm some ideas for dinner!
Let's spend some time socializing together during the evenings. Kansas City has great restaurants and night life.
Additionally, practice rooms will remain open to 8pm.
Thursday through Sunday
Thursday & Friday
Thursday and Friday are devoted to the prestigious Winter Storm competitions. These events will see the participation of amateur and professional pipers, who will have the opportunity to showcase their talent before a panel of judges comprising some of the world's best pipers.
For our C.A.L.M. attendees, the day is free for you to enjoy. You may want to watch and support your fellow participants in the competitions, explore Kansas City, or use the time to relax. Of course, let's not forget - you may want to compete yourself!
Saturday begins with a series of enriching workshops led by the world's leading players and teachers in the bagpipe domain. These sessions will dive deeper into the art of bagpipe playing and provide you with further insights into perfecting your skills.
The highlight of the day, however, is the evening's concert — an annual event that must be the finest piping and drumming show in North America. The concert will be held in the hotel itself, providing an easy and convenient experience for our guests.
The day concludes with "Winter Steam," a grand ceilidh hosted right in the hotel, where everyone can enjoy a lively celebration of music and community. This is a wonderful opportunity to relax, have fun, and celebrate the joy of bagpipe music with your fellow enthusiasts.
Note: Saturday and Sunday events require paid registration, see MHAF.org for details.
Sunday brings another day of enriching workshops, giving you even more opportunity to learn from the best in the field. Around mid-day, things will wrap up, and it'll be time to head home.
Bonus #1-3: Sign Up Before The Early Bird Deadline to Receive Three Free Online Courses
If you sign up before the early-bird deadline, we'll send you access to THREE essential bagpipe sound courses that you can study leading up to the clinic. These are the exact same concepts we'll cover in depth at the workshop, so if you can master the ideas and concepts beforehand (and give things a try on your own), the workshop can truly be a hands-on, breakthrough experience for you where you can truly make huge gains, instead of trying to tackle all of the concepts from scratch.
FREE with Registration
4 Simple Steps to an Easy Bagpipe Online Success Plan Course
Master the "4 Questions" that ensure your bagpipes are easy to play every time you pick them up out of the case!
$47 Value - FREE with registration today.
FREE with Registration
Master the Steady Blowing "Trifecta" Online Success Plan Course
There's more to it than just "blowing steady." Master the 3 concepts of great bagpipe tone in this course.
$47 Value - FREE with registration today.
FREE with Registration
6 Steps of the Bagpipe Tuning Cycle Online Success Plan Course
You need to master 6 steps to be a great bagpipe tuner. Learn each step in depth in this course.
$47 Value - FREE with registration today.
Meet Your Instructors
Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He was 2017 & 2019 World Champion with Inveraray and District Pipe Band, 2017 Winner of the USA Silver Medal for Piobaireachd, 2008–2013 Pipe Major of Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band, multi-prize winner of Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness, the 2004 B-Grade Winner Strathspey/Reel at Oban. Andrew published his debut and award-winning book, Finding Bagpipe Freedom, in 2021. He's also an Accredited Bagpipe Teacher and Examiner (Scottish Qualifications Authority) and holds a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University.
Carl is a professional piper who hails originally from Chicago. Over 25 years of playing, he has taken numerous prizes in solos throughout his rise to the professional grade. Carl started with the Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders in south Florida, and played in the Grade 2 Chicago Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band during high school, before joining the Oran Mor Pipe Band in 2008. Carl was also the Pipe Major of The Iona College Pipe Band and a major influence on the band during his four years at Iona College. Carl helped found Dojo University and runs several popular weekly classes. More recently, Carl has also been exploring bagpiping and bagad culture in France, after moving there in 2018, and still plays with local bands and musicians there.
More real results...
"Honestly, I don't even know what it cost. But how much is success worth?"
"I gained a great deal from the event… it is invaluable to be set on the right track."
BARRY // Victoria, Australia
"I would recommend this event to every piper."
"I have been playing for 35 years, have attended several piping schools, attended, and even helped teach pipe maintenance courses, but I have never been exposed to such a wealth of information in such a short period of time. I would recommend this course to every piper"
Dave o // Alberta, Canada
"Yes, it was/is worth the price."
"I thought the expense was significant (which is typical from a good Scotsman irrespective of price). That being said, yes, it was/is worth the price. I believe I have gained such knowledge and, more importantly, an approach to the pipes that is extremely helpful. It has already changed my approach and practice style and, simultaneously, was encouraging enough to allow me to change my approach so that I am now much more comfortable with my pipes.”
curt // Massachusetts
"...more useful than many other bagpipe workshops that I've attended..."
"My purpose in signing up was to get "unstuck" and get help with specific issues that I had not been able to understand, and I did get the help that I wanted in these areas. In this sense, it has been more useful than many other bagpipe workshops that I've attended.
carol b // Pennsylvania, USA
1 Month of Dojo University
Piping should be fun.
It should enable you to express your own voice.
It should bring you fulfillment.
For less than the price of a single bagpipe lesson, each month, as a Dojo Premium Member you'll get access to:
- 20 + weekly live online classes
- A worldwide community of like-minded pipers
- 50+ immersive self-paced courses
- Libraries of sheet music, recorded classes and workshops
- Personalized, tailored feedback
Dojo University is the longest-running and most successful online bagpiping school in the world.
We teach thousands of students around the world how to play good music – mastering the art of learning and playing the bagpipes in the process – in a highly accessible way that is completely unlike anything else you'll find online or in person, anywhere in the world.
FOCUS ON SELF-IMPROVEMENT
We created Dojo U because we noticed that too many pipers were struggling out there in the world. Bagpiping should be a joyful experience, each and every day you pick up the pipes. If it's not, we strive to fix that before it's too late.
Signed Copy of Finding Bagpipe Freedom
Want to learn to express yourself via the bagpipe?
We wrote the book on it.
Learn to free yourself from bagpipe frustration in simple, relatable ways with our award-winning bestseller. You'll receive a free, hard-cover copy signed by author Andrew Douglas when you sign up for this workshop!
Bonus 6: We'll help you tune up!
Competing at Winter Storm? Just ask Andrew and Carl, and they'll be there to help you get tuned up on the day.
Bonus 7: $100 Off Your Next 2024 Dojo Event
Sign up before the early bird, and receive a $100-off coupon for your next Dojo U in-person event in the 2024 calendar year.
Bonus 8: Payment Plan
Sign up before the early bird deadline and have the option to split the registration fee into 4 payments.
"C.A.L.M." Before Winter Storm
January 8-10, 2024
- 3 full days of bagpipe instruction, focused on developing performance skills, on a great sounding and comfortable bagpipe.
- Lectures and hands-on small group sessions.
- Ample private practice time during the event to actively work on skills as you go.
- Comfortable environment and social atmosphere at the Marriott hotel in Kansas City.
- Seamlessly transition into North America's most amazing immersive piping and drumming event, MHAF's "Winter Storm".
- BONUSES 1-3: 4 Steps to an Easy Bagpipe Course, Steady Blowing Trifecta Course, and Tuning Cycle Course ($141 value) completely free!
- BONUS 4: Those who register before the Early Bird can receive 1 free month of Dojo University Premium Membership. Existing members can receive a credit for one month.
- BONUS 5: Sign up before the early bird and receive a free signed hardcover copy of Finding Bagpipe Freedom by Andrew Douglas.
- BONUS 6: Any registrant that signs up that is competing at Winter Storm can arrange to have help from Carl Donley or Andrew Douglas on the day of their competition.
- BONUS 7: Sign up before Early Bird, and Receive a $100-Off coupon for any other Dojo University in-person event in 2024.
- BONUS 8: Sign up before the early bird and have the option to split the registration fee into 4 payments.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
We promise that you'll experience real progress at our event, and actionable steps you can implement afterwards. It's as simple as that.
Bagpipe comfort and tuning are the main ingredients to FEELING GOOD about playing the bagpipes. It's what gives you confidence, what makes others respect and admire you, what allows you to use the bagpipes to transcend the toils of every day life.
If our usual methods don't work for you, we'll turn over every stone we can think of to help you learn to tune.
And of course - if you're not 100% thrilled with your results from the clinic, we'll give you your money back in full (and you can keep all of the bonuses you received, "on us.") Please let us know within 14 days of the conclusion of the event of your dissatisfaction and we'll refund your tuition fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can sign up any time before the event, IF there’s enough space left. We are limiting sign ups to 20 registrants, so it might be best to sign up quickly!
Early Bird: Save $100 on your enrollment, with the option of a 4-payment plan by signing up before September 1st, 2023 at Midnight New York Time.
Deadline: If we haven't reached 20 registrants, the deadline to sign up for the event is December 14th, 2023 at Midnight New York Time.
We value financial flexibility for our attendees, which is why we offer a four-part payment plan for those enrolling before the early bird deadline (September 1st). This plan allows the event cost to be split into four equal monthly payments. However, please note, this option is only available until the early bird deadline. After this date, we require full payment upon enrollment and do not offer further payment plans.
We understand that sometimes plans change. However, due to the limited availability of spots at our workshop, we do not offer refunds. Instead, if you find that you are unable to attend, we provide the following options:
Cancellation before November 30, 2023: If you cancel your registration before November 30, 2023, we can offer a full credit towards a future Dojo U event. This allows you to reserve your opportunity to experience the value we offer at a more convenient time. Note: this credit must be applied within 18 months.
Cancellation after November 30, 2023: Due to the limited spots and the demand for our event, we are unable to offer any credits for cancellations made after November 30, 2023.
We have implemented this policy to ensure fairness for all potential attendees and to allow for the most efficient organization of our event.
Acts of God: We recognize that sometimes unforeseen circumstances, or "acts of God," can disrupt even the best-laid plans. In such circumstances, we will apply a common-sense approach and handle these cases individually.
We appreciate your understanding and your commitment to our event. We look forward to providing you with a rewarding and enriching experience at our bagpipe workshop.
We will share complete information about the hotel upon registration.
For now, what you need to know is that we'll be operating at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, 4445 Main Street, Kansas City, MO and that we have rooms guaranteed at a rate of $119 per night.
You can share rooms with friends. You can upgrade your room if there is availability (they have some awesome suites there).
Whether you're coming by plane, train, or automobile, Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza is accessible and welcoming to guests from all over North America. Here's a general outline of how you might reach it:
Kansas City International Airport (MCI) serves the region, and it's the most likely landing spot if you're flying. Upon landing, you can take a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or rental car for the approximate 35-minute drive to the Marriott Country Club Plaza. Some guests may also opt for a shuttle service, which may be offered by the hotel or third-party companies.
Kansas City, located near the geographical center of the United States, is conveniently accessible from Interstate 70 (East/West) and Interstate 35 (North/South). If you're using a GPS, simply input the hotel's address: Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, 4445 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64111.
Amtrak serves Kansas City with a station located at Union Station (about 4 miles from the Marriott Country Club Plaza). From Union Station, you can take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to the hotel.
These are all general guidelines, and your exact travel arrangements may vary based on your starting location and personal preference. As always, we recommend checking with the hotel directly for any specific or updated directions or travel advice.
- Practice Chanter
- Note-Taking Apparatus
- Ear Plugs
- Travel-Safe Bagpipe Maintenance Supplies
- Drone and Stock Corks
- Music Stand
- Dojo-Style Tube Manometer
- Highland Dress (unless you are competing at Winter Storm)
If you can, please ensure your pipe bag is air-tight prior to the event. Dojo University members are encouraged to have their posture evaluated beforehand. These steps are not mandatory, but they will enhance your learning experience at the workshop.
There are a few odds-and-ends logistical details we will provide to you between your registration and the workshop itself. Don’t stress about it – oh, and, of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us any time – email email@example.com.