The John F. Nicoll Pipe Band


What do I need to start piping lessons?

Once you decide to make the commitment to begin lessons, you will need a good practice chanter and the College of Piping Tutor Book 1. These items can be purchased via a reputable bagpipe shop for around $150. You do not need (and should not buy) a full set of bagpipes.

How long will I have to take lessons before I can play with the band?

This will depend on the student. It generally takes students anywhere from 9 to 12 months. Your instructor will discuss expectations with you throughout your learning experience.

What do I need to start drumming lessons?

Nothing! The band will provide sticks and a training pad for drummers.

Can I participate in band events while I take lessons?

Absolutely! We want to have our piping and drumming students participate as soon as possible with our Colour Party. This helps students get familiar with our marching styles and formations.

Do I have to buy my own uniform and instrument?

The band will provide all parts of your uniform except your shoes. Additionally, drums and sticks/mallets are provided for all drummers. Pipers receive a band chanter, pipe bag (if/when necessary), and matched chanter and drone reeds. Pipers are responsible for purchasing their own bagpipes.

I'm 80 and I've always wanted to learn bagpipes. Is it too late?

Well, it might be. The pipes are a very physical instrument and require a lot of fine dexterity to play. Additionally, the majority of band performances are outdoors in extreme temperatures and require walking up to 2 miles. If you are interested in participating, you could become a member of our Colour Party.