What to Expect at Sound Advice
Piping and Drumming Classes
All participants will have a full day of piping or drumming tuition. Classes are organized according to skill level, and students will experience a variety of instructors during their stay at the school. The emphasis at the summer school will be to give you the information and tools you need to be a better solo player, regardless of your current skill level. There will also be an emphasis at the school on band skills—learning to be good band players, and learning what makes a good band.
The amazing thing about a great summer camp experience is to see the growth of students in such a short (but intense!) period of time! Every year, we see exceptional improvements in students of all ages, and especially the young and eager.
Having such an experienced staff can also assist students in ways they don't expect...such as finding why the pipes are so hard to blow, figuring out why that drum has an overtone or extra buzz, or adjusting minute elements of technique, form or mechanics to make a huge difference in level of play.
Then there are the intangibles: giving people the confidence to be good musicians, to be social with new people, and to feel really good about the skills and value they bring to to the music. Every year, we see shy kids step forward to play an unexpected solo, nervous kids find their solid ground, and new friendships form that (from experience) we know will last a lifetime.
SO. MUCH. FUN.
Our students come from across Canada (and sometimes the USA) and our instructors are from different parts of Canada, the USA, Scotland, and Ireland. We don't think it's a good summer camp experience unless it's FUN. That's not to say that there's no hard work and no sweat, but our staff approaches everything with the sense that learning music should be fun.
One of the enduring benefits of a summer camp experience is sharing the trials and fun of learning music with new people, and making friends that you'll cherish for a lifetime. Over the years, we've seen a lot of kids grow up together playing music, and the friendships formed among students, and the great contacts with world-class staff, last a lifetime.
Players who normally compete against each other in solo and band suddenly find themselves working together to learn tunes, master a technique, or have fun on a break. Summer camp builds friendships and understanding, and helps people connect with music friends across Western Canada.
Other Bagpipes and Traditions
Each year we offer classes where students get the chance to hear and try smallpipes, lowland (border) pipes, and uilleann pipes, and learn about the music and traditions of these instruments. We are enhancing these programs significantly, and encourge students to bring their smallpipes, shuttlepipes, and other instruments. Don't forget to throw in the bodhrans, djembes and other percussion for the sessions and the ceilidh at the end!
If you own shuttlepipes, smallpipes, or other kinds of pipes, be sure to bring them! We will have an opportunity for people to improve their skills on these instruments, have some fun, and learn a new tune or two.
The Sound Advice staff includes very experienced players and performers on bellows pipes, and if you're interested in learning about the differeing styles and traditions of modern bagpipe music, there's no better place than Sound Advice.
Your Evenings Are Full!
At Sound Advice, we have workshops and special classes each night. Topics are sometimes divided according to instrument, and sometimes they are applicable to all. Our instructional staff always features players with top experience in bands and solos, and the information and guidance they are able to give is just not available other places. We change it up in the evenings so that students can listen, think, and engage with musical topics and experiences they might not usually have the chance to engage with in regular learning.
If you are 19+ at Sound Advice, there are social and friendship opportunities too, and also lots of great Regina places to stop in for a beverage and a visit. The University of Regina's LAZY OWL PUB is often open during the school, and we can recommend other local spots for fun and relaxation.
Performances You'll Remember
Throughout the school, you'll get to hear a recitals featuring the outstanding instructors that we have assembled for the week. Some of the top solo and band players in the world will perform, along with some surprise guests. Your recital tickets are part of your registration package, and the public is welcome to attend. We have a collection each night which goes toward a scholarship for the next year's school.