2019 has been an exceptional year for teaching at Falkirk Piping! Neil has been delighted with the number of pupils who have signed up to learn bagpipes, or to improve their playing, and with those who have stayed on from previous years. There have been a few new records set this year…breaking down the statistics proved to be an interesting – and encouraging – exercise for us! As at the 20th December 2019, we have:

55 regular pupils, 31 of which are on Skype, and 24 from the house. 5 younger pupils have transitioned from chanter to pipes this year. There are 15 or so casual pupils also.

Pupils reside in 10 different countries, including the USA, Canada, Sri Lanka, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, France, the Falkland Islands and the U.K. Overseas pupils continue to visit the house for intensive tuition, with 4 individual course already booked for 2020. There have been solo prize winners in USA, Austria, Australia, Scotland and England.

There are approximately 2 pupils under 10; 14 under 18; 5 over 65 and 34 of 18-65 year olds.

Neil is now an Examination Assessor for Level 8, the highest PDQB level. He has also coached pupils through the SQA system. He took workshops in San Diego, the Isle of Man and Ardersier Folk Festival – the last one was for whistle. Neil also teaches smallpipes.

A new development this year was that Kathryn started teaching ukelele to a 5 year old girl, which proved to be great fun all round – especially as Kathryn had to teach herself to play it first!

Social media has been a very useful platform for us. Our YouTube channel currently has 5,300 subscribers and over 2 million views! Neil set up a fundraising appeal for Parkinson’s UK (his dad has the disease) and has raised £1300 since August. It will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. The link is: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-clark28

Our Facebook page (Falkirk Piping & Glenbervie Folk Duo) currently has 4,445 ‘Likes’ and 4,356 Followers.

Although we are generally full for teaching, slots do become available now and again so please feel free to contact us! We look forward to the challenges that 2020 may bring…