Bagpipe Immersion on a Whole New Scale...
August 6th-11th, 2024 • Edinburgh, Scotland
Join the Piper's Dojo Family in the heart of the piping world for workshops, immersion, and sight-seeing.
A whole new kind of "summer school"...
I remember my first bagpipe summer school. It was in Castleton, Vermont at the Invermark College of Piping. If I'm being honest, I had no idea what was about to hit me. I instantly made friends with the same bagpiping interests as me! I was put into a class with other pipers of my ability level, and got instruction and guidance from Jim McGillivray, Donald Lindsay, and Norman Gillies (Alasdair's father). On the Thursday night, there was a recital and ceilidh where we experienced the best piping you could possibly hear for hundreds (maybe thousands?) of miles.
And that was just year one. Over the years Invermark was a place I returned to over and over again because it was such a great place to immerse myself in the thing I loved to do.
A few years later on, at the age of 17, Jack Lee invited me to teach at his summer school called "Piping Hot Summer Drummer". It was here that I developed an instant love for teaching the bagpipes. Here I got to share with others so much of the knowledge and insights I had developed over the years. Again, the immersive school environment provided a rush of excitement and the perfect environment for a quantum leap to be made!
Well, over the years, we've wanted to create our own summer school, for obvious reasons! Immersion is the single greatest correlate to bagpiping success (and happiness), and there's no better time or platform to do it than a bagpiping summer school.
But, it doesn't make sense to just cram another summer school in amongst the amazing schools throughout North America each summer. Our other friends are already putting on great schools... so throughout the years we just opted to "table" the summer school idea.
But then, recently, we had a conversation with Cameron Drummond, great piper, Dojo teacher, and Head of Piping at Fettes College in Edinburgh. (Yes, Edinburgh, Scotland).
The idea was raised - how about a summer school... in Scotland?
The International School
A bagpiping summer school in the heart of the piping world, during the biggest piping and drumming festival in the world.
Enjoy learning from your favorite Dojo instructors, and, in addition to that, enjoy guest instruction from several of the world's best pipers.
Piping Live!, the Worlds, the Edinburgh Tattoo, Highland Games, the world's best pipe bands, the countryside of Scotland - it's all here.
The school is hosted at the beautiful Fettes College in Edinburgh.
Read more below!
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
Three Full Days of Immersive Instruction, in the "Dojo Style"
It's time to take our community "off-line"! Join legendary members of the Dojo Staff each day, working through piping material and improving your skillset, with amazing Fettes College as our backdrop. It's the hands-on experience all Dojo students have been waiting for.
A Beautiful Venue in the Heart of Edinburgh
We'll all be staying at Craigleith House at Fettes College. It's a beautiful student facility with individual rooms, laundry and kitchen facilities, and plenty of social space. Fettes College is a short walk to the restaurants, pubs and shops in Stockbridge, and a short bus or taxi from the centre of Edinburgh. It's also easy to get to from Edinburgh Airport.
Legendary Daily Guest Instruction and Performances
Each day, we'll host a special guest instructor to join us at the school. These instructors will host special workshops, and perform for us. This is an unparalleled opportunity to get to know several of the world's most legendary pipers, in the best possible environment.
Immersive Experiences in the Heart of the Piping World
During the school, you'll have opportunities to immerse yourself in great piping, such as an Inveraray and District Pipe Band practice, the North Berwick Highland Games, and the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Personalized, Hands-On Guidance And Mentorship
Ever felt stuck while learning online, wishing for a mentor who could help? That's what these in-person workshops are for. Invest in this "hands-on" experience, and you'll be so glad you did.
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 Edinburgh! As you arrive at Edinburgh International Airport, it's time to head straight to the Fettes College campus to check in. By taxi, it'll take about 20 minutes to drive to the school.
Upon arrival at the college, check-in is straightforward. Simply head to Craigleith house and members of our team will be waiting to welcome you. Upon checking in, you will receive a welcome packet from us that includes the workshop schedule and other useful information.
From here, you'll settle into your room and, with any luck, you'll have time for a "power nap." International travel can be exhausting.
After dinner on Tuesday, we'll get together for our first session as a group in the Prep School. It won't be a grueling session though - that all starts tomorrow!
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Approx 8am - BREAKFAST
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your enrollment. The food at Fettes is excellent, and they can cater to all dietary needs. The dining hall is an easy stroll from Craigleith House.
9am-1pm - MORNING SESSIONS
After breakfast, it's time to pipe! We'll have a wide variety of classes each morning, some large groups, some small. The name of the game with our sessions is, as always, to help you improve as a player and love the process of playing bagpipe more and more.
1pm - LUNCH
We'll relax together for a nice lunch.
2pm - GUEST PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS!
In the afternoon, we'll welcome our guest of the day to perform for us and to teach a workshop to the group. This a truly amazing element of hosting a school in Scotland - who knows who might make an appearance!
5:30pm - DINNER
Dinner is provided in the dining hall.
7pm to ??? - CHOOSE YOUR OWN (AMAZING) ADVENTURE
In the evenings, your time will be your own. We are just minutes away from Edinburgh city-centre and all it has to offer. Additionally, we will offer special piping events for you to participate in (if you'd like to) each night. The sky is the limit here - perhaps we can see an Inveraray practice, go to the Tattoo, attend an Eagle Pipers' Society meeting, tour a bagpipe factory.... the list of possibilities go on and on!
Saturday and Sunday
Saturday - NORTH BERWICK GAMES
Edinburgh is about an hour by train from North Berwick, the home of the incredible North Berwick Highland Games. This is a quintessential "real" Scottish Highland Games, with many of the best pipe bands in the world in attendance, drum major competitions, heavy events, highland dancing, and an incredible parade of bands through the town at the end of the day.
We'll take the train together from Edinburgh Waverly and enjoy North Berwick as a group. (Note: Train tickets and games entry not included in your registration fee)
Sunday - CHECK OUT
We'll check out Sunday before noon. For those of you headed to Glasgow for the Piping Live! festivities, it's an easy 50min train from Edinburgh Waverly to get there.
Had enough piping? That's ok too! From here in Edinburgh, all of Scotland (and Europe, too for that matter) is easily accessible to you.
Your Stay at Craigleith House
Craigleith House is a beautiful accommodation facility on campus at Fettes College, boasting single and double en-suite rooms, with all meals provided.
single and double "en-suite" rooms
Craigleith House has single and double rooms available, each with their own shower and bathroom.
The first floor of Craigleith House features amazing common rooms for guests to relax and socialize.
three square meals a day
Continental breakfasts and three-course lunches and dinners prepared by Fettes' in-house chefs are served in the College dining hall.
It's all included...
The accommodations and meals are all included as part of your registration fee.
International School - Featured Instructors
Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Cameron is a full-time professional piper and Head of Piping and Drumming at Fettes College. In addition to a World Pipe Band Championship title as a bandsman, Cameron has also been successful at the highest level of solo competition in both Light Music and Piobaireachd, taking some top prizes including the Silver Star at Inverness and the Silver Chanter on the Isle of Skye. Cameron has been a valued and popular member of the Dojo U teaching faculty for many years for his gentle, good-humoured approach and fun selection of repertoire to work on in his weekly classes.
Alasdair is from Dunoon, Argyll, and began his piping journey under his uncle, P/M Jim Henderson. Later, he moved to Glasgow to study Scottish Music - Piping, benefiting from the guidance of many respected pipers. A regular competitor, Alasdair boasts several wins, including the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness and the Former Winners MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban.
He played for the Scottish Power Pipe Band and then joined Inveraray and District in 2010. By 2014, he became Pipe Sergeant, leading the band to two World Championship titles. After university, Alasdair taught piping at prominent Scottish schools like George Heriot's and currently Fettes College. Additionally, he's conducted workshops globally, from Europe to New Zealand.
... and more great instruction!
In addition to our featured instructors, many other favorite Piper's Dojo instructors will be in attendance. More instructors will be added based on enrollment - we'll keep you in the loop with updates as we go.
And, don't forget - we have several special guest instructors visiting the school throughout the week that you are 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
The International School
August 6th-11th, 2024
- 5 full days of bagpipe instruction and immersion, focused on developing performance skills, on a great sounding and comfortable bagpipe.
- Lectures and hands-on small group sessions with Cameron Drummond, Alasdair Henderson, and more Dojo instructors.
- World-champion guest performances and workshops.
- Comfortable, pristine environment at Fettes College's Craigleith House, with great food, all included in your price.
- Seamlessly transition into the world's most amazing immersive piping and drumming festival, "Piping Live!"
- Only 40 spots available!
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, tuning, and fingerwork competency 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 improve.
And of course - if you're not 100% thrilled with your results from the International School, we'll give you your tuition back in full. Please let us know within 14 days of the conclusion of the event of your dissatisfaction and we'll refund your tuition fee. (Note: the portion of your fee paid towards food/lodging is not refundable.)
Frequently Asked Questions
You can sign up any time before the event, IF there’s enough space left. We are limiting sign ups to 40 registrants, so it might be best to sign up quickly!
Early Bird: Save $150 on your enrollment, with the option of a 4-payment plan by signing up before December 31st, 2023 at Midnight New York Time.
Deadline: If we haven't reached 40 registrants, the deadline to sign up for the event is Wednesday, April 30th, 2024 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 (December 31st). This plan allows the event cost to be split into a $100 deposit, followed by three equal payments separated by three months. 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 April 1st, 2024: If you cancel your registration before April 1st, 2024, 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 April 1st , 2024: Due to the limited spots and the demand for our event, we are unable to offer any credits for cancellations made after April 1st, 2024.
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.
Your booking at Craigleith House, and three meals per day, are all included with registration. Once you register, we will handle your accommodation booking for you.
It's definitely a little bit daunting thinking about international travel. However, one of the reasons Edinburgh is such a popular travel destination is because it's very convenient to get there, from anywhere in the world.
If you're from North America, here's a synopsis of the art of getting to Scotland:
- Preparing for the Trip:
- Passport: Ensure you have a valid passport. If traveling from the U.S. or Canada, citizens typically don't need a visa for short visits, but always check the latest visa requirements.
- Pack Accordingly: Weather in Edinburgh can be unpredictable. It’s a good idea to pack layers, including a raincoat or umbrella.
- Money: Consider getting some British Pounds (GBP) for initial expenses. Many places also accept major credit cards. If you're up to speed on Apple Pay (or other smartphone equivalents), you'll be able to purchase almost anything with just your phone.
- At Your Departure Airport in North America:
- Check-In: Arrive at least 3 hours before an international flight. Check in your luggage and get your boarding pass.
- Security: Pass through security. Follow the instructions of the security staff, remove shoes if required, and place personal items in bins.
- Wait: Once past security, find your departure gate. You might also find shops, restaurants, and lounges to pass the time.
- Board the plane when your group number or seat row is called.
- Settle into your seat, buckle up, and relax. The flight to the UK can range from 6 to 10+ hours depending on your starting point in North America.
- On board, there might be entertainment, meals, and drinks.
- Arrival at a UK Airport (likely Edinburgh Airport for direct proximity, but it could be another UK airport with a connecting flight or train to Edinburgh):
- Once landed, follow the signs for "Arrivals" or "Passport Control."
- Go through Immigration/Passport Control. Queue in the lane for non-EU/EEA passports. Answer any questions the officer may have.
- After clearing immigration, proceed to Baggage Claim to collect your checked luggage.
- Pass through Customs if required.
- From Edinburgh Airport to Fettes College:
- By Taxi: This is the most straightforward way. Taxis are available outside the terminal. The drive to Fettes College should take about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
- By Tram and Walking: Take the tram from Edinburgh Airport towards the city center. Alight at the 'West End' stop. From here, Fettes College is about a 20-minute walk. Or, you can hail an Uber from here and avoid the taxi line at the airport.
- Arrival at Fettes College:
- Once you arrive at Fettes College, head to Craigleith House, where we'll be waiting to help you get checked in.
- Additional Tips:
- Always keep important documents, like your passport and boarding pass, in a secure and accessible location.
- Consider getting a SIM card or ensuring your phone has roaming capabilities to stay connected.
That's it! It might seem like a lot, but with a bit of preparation, the journey can be smooth and even enjoyable. Safe travels!
- Practice Chanter
- Note-Taking Apparatus
- Ear Plugs
- Travel-Safe Bagpipe Maintenance Supplies
- Drone and Stock Corks
- Highland Dress (unless you want to, of course!)
- Linens/towels/etc (these will be provided)
As questions come up on what you may need to bring, don't hesitate to ask us!
If you'd like to bring friends or family members with you who won't be participating in the workshops, simply email us after registration to add their accommodation fees to your registration. Your guest(s) will enjoy the same accommodation and food .
Some rooms at Craigleith house are double-occupancy, but if those aren't available you can book a separate room next to your companion for your stay at Fettes.
Price per added (non-piping) guest is $650USD.
Yes. We can refund accommodation fees easily after registration. Please register as normal, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a refund of the accommodation portion of your fee.
We can also arrange for certain meals (i.e. lunch each day) to be provided for you.
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.