Piping has strong roots in traditional Gaelic language and culture in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton and is closely connected to the rhythms of the language. The repertoire of tunes is lively, and at times, challenging. The tunes chosen by our instructors focus primarily on ones that are traditional from Cape Breton and Scotland, however contemporary tunes may also be introduced. These tunes are taught with an emphasis on expression and musicality that stems from Gaelic language and dance traditions. In our beginner and advanced beginner classes, the fundamentals and rudimentary techniques taught are exactly the same as those taught for competitive enthusiasts.
Recent history in North America has seen a major resurgence in bellows blown pipers, enthusiasts, as well as high end pipe makers. These classes are not designed for new beginners; students must have fundamental proficiency in piping, and are required to bring their own Border pipes or Scottish smallpipes. 3 basic sets of smallpipes will be available for loan through the Gaelic College on a first come first serve basis. Advanced beginner classes will be offered and instruction will focus on the basics of playing bellows blown pipes (e.g., technique, pressure, consistency of sound), and basic tunes. Open classes will also be offered and instruction will me more varied, and topics will include learning more advanced tunes and sets of tunes, learning by ear, group and session playing, and tuning.