Although as pipers and drummers we often joke about how pipe band is for masochists, that it’s a money pit, and that it’s a time suck… if we’re honest with ourselves, those jokes are rooted in truth, aren’t they?
Finding players. Finding gigs. Chasing payments. Registering players. Writing music. Finding somewhere to practice. Organizing practice. Getting people to show up to practice... the list never ends.
But one of the hardest challenges a band faces is setting up a pipeline of players.
Creating a quality piper or drummer can take years of ongoing time and effort before a new player can play a parade, let alone compete with the band.
And that's if they're prepared to put in the hard work in the first place. The drop-off rate among beginners is high, and it's soul-destroying when a beginner quits after you've invested weeks, months, or years of your time to teach them.
Trying to maintain a learner program while avoiding burnout in your tutors as they balance teaching and playing in the band is a delicate balance too.
And I'm willing to bet you also have a job and family and friends and just… well, a life. Time is a valuable commodity, and teaching eats up a significant part of it.