January 2017 Piping Times
We hope you begin the year determined to improve your piping – and no matter how good we may think we are, we can all improve our piping – but also to enjoy it. Instead of pledging to practice more in the new year, it would be more effective to ask yourself, “Will I practice more this year?” This is because of something psychologists call the ‘question behaviour effect’ and it’s apparently more effective than bold statements. In any case, we made a New Year resolution 25 years ago that we have stuck to unerringly. It was to not make any more New Year resolutions.
Stuart Letford, Editor, Piping Times
Why has the onus been on the judges and not on the pipers themselves? I understand that the CPA requests that its members do not compete in front of their tutors and relatives. Clearly, given my experience around the games last summer, this is something its members ignore.
To mark Dugald MacNeill’s retirement, the College will hold a social evening in tribute to him. Dugald started lessons in 1943 (aged 13) with Seumas MacNeill and Tommy Pearston in a group which shortly afterwards officially became the College of Piping. Dugald went on to be a College teacher, its Principal and a Director. Details will be announced soon.
The College of Piping
I never really wanted to be a piper as a boy. My father was more keen than that me. My brothers and sister played and as a lad I enjoyed playing with the Pride of Murray Pipe Band, which was going really well at the time. I put the pipes down until well after I’d left school, though. I was well into my 20s when I started to compete again. I had always wanted to compete at the South Uist Games, and that really got me going. However, I was nowhere near the standard for a long time.
It was said of Will [Nicholson] that he was 50% poetry, 40% music and only 10% business aptitude. Instead of attending assiduously to his business he “frittered away his time and opportunities by indulging in musical rhapsodies.” (Be warned, all you frittering pipers!).