Welcome. I play the bagpipes, teaching and performing in Central London.
I teach adults and children from beginners through to the higher levels of the Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board's playing certificates. More about my teaching practice, including frequently asked questions, is available on the left.
I am available to perform at all kinds of events, from weddings and funerals to corporate functions and international events. I have many years experience playing at these and I am happy to provide advice if you are just thinking about having a piper, with no obligation.
More information and contact details can be found on the left, plus some resources mainly intended for pipers. Please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help in any way. I'm always happy to answer questions and respond to comments with no obligation.
I've updated my availability tracker - Wednesday remains as busy as ever but some space has opened up on Saturdays and the elusive 6pm Thursday slot is currently open....bag it while you can!
Last year I started teaching at Cothill House school in Oxfordshire, which has been really good fun, despite the 4am starts! I've also invested some time in studying Gaelic which has been a new learning experience for me, and much more of a challenge than music or mathematics! I was prompted to (finally) learn by joining the Gaelic Choir of London, which has been great fun and a new musical challenge.
I also launched at the end of 2018 a new project, called BagpipeTechnique.net, which I've created to house my thoughts on piping technique and how that feeds into playing music on the bagpipe.
Finally, I now have a live (well, almost) availability tracker showing my availability for regular lessons - you'll find it under the Teaching page. After the departure of a couple of regular longstanding pupils for foreign shores, I now have a couple of primetime slots available on Thursday evenings, and there's also some availability on Saturdays (including the dreaded 9am slot).
If these times don't suit you, do please get in touch and let me know how your availability looks and I will put you on the waiting list.
Still firmly in the grip of winter, but nonetheless, time marches on, and it's about time for a Spring update. Wedding enquiries are starting to mount up, and if you have a date fixed I'd advise getting in touch sooner rather than later. Saturdays in July and August go very quickly; there doesn't seem to be very many of them. Remember as well that if you want a bespoke piece of music played - a unique arrangement, a new composition, or a performance with other musicians, then early booking is essential.
A final update for 2015 - a busy year of piping and we're not done yet! I have a last few lessons early next week and then we're heading off to Scotland for Christmas. I'll be back from the 4th of January, so if you're thinking of taking up the pipes in the New Year, get in early!
On the Burns supper front, the Fridays 15th, 22nd, and 29th are booked up, as are the 23rd and 25th. I have more availability during weekdays at the moment, and the 24th (surprisingly) remains free. And it will be time to start thinking about weddings for the summer!
It only remains to say a big thank you to all my pupils and clients throughout 2015 for making this job - if you can call it a job- possible, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I'll see you in 2016.
As the schools are heading back at the moment, the evenings are filling up fast, so if you're thinking of bagpipe lessons on an evening from Monday to Friday, be quick!
On the performance front, as summer fades the focus turns from weddings to formal dinners, parties, and similar events. It may be early, but it is definitely time to think about Burns Suppers. The 25th this year falls on the Monday. That weekend is likely to be very busy, and I am already booked on the Friday and Monday.
Phew, the time is flying by! Lots of teaching going on and happily you're all still busy practising despite the sunshine...
In other news, I have set up a small slow session focusing on Scottish music in particular. We play tunes by ear (taking as long as necessary!) and are slowly building up a little repertoire of traditional favourites. Do get in touch if you'd like to come along.
I'm starting to take quite a few wedding bookings for the summer at the moment; Saturdays especially are starting to get a little full up! If you're considering a booking I'd suggest moving quickly - I am quite happy to reserve a date for you until you decide whether to go ahead with your booking.
Even further in the future, I'm already taking bookings for Burns 2016! I'm still free for Hogmanay though...for now...
And...we're back! Apologies if you first visited during our little outage - I upgraded webhosts, but in the process a rather vital setting got lost and it took us a few hours to find it again.
Well, that's Burns Season just about over for another year - Rustic Labour has hung up his knife, the auld men are back to riving and the surviving haggis are grazing safely upon the hills. Meanwhile, evening teaching slots are still available, here and there, though it's very much first come first served at the moment. As usual, daytimes and weekends are a little more flexible. I'm also fully set up with Skype, for those of you lucky enough to live far away from London!
Happy New Year! I hope Santa brought all your piping-related desires.
Burns Night is soon upon us and dates are filling up very fast; at the time of writing I have availability for the 21st and 23rd. The 17th, 18th, and 30th are also available. I do recommend booking sooner rather than later!
It's taken a while to get a printer organised, but I can now offer gift vouchers for lessons and performance.
After a dozen years or so, I've finally upgraded the site from static HTML files to something a little easier for me to keep up to date. Hopefully this will lead to me adding more material and updating more frequently.
I have moved a copy of everything that was on the site into a subdirectory called /old/ so if you were looking for callingthetune.co.uk/foo/bar, update the URL to be callingthetune/old/foo/bar/