The GHB: It just got real
Last summer at the Labor Day parade, the high school band was passing out flyers for free bagpipe lessons at the school on Thursdays. C was so excited! Not our high school mind you; the high school I went to which is now 80 minutes from home.
“Mom, we’re down here on Thursdays! I can do this!”
We had vaguely talked about maybe getting him some bagpipe lessons after we moved and got settled. But this was an even better proposition. Let’s just say the Scottish is strong with this one.
Of course, then I misplaced the little flyer, and we were technically homeless at that point anyway, so really can you blame me? But eventually I found it and contacted the bagpipe teacher, then C went to youth conference, and then we had to wait for his practice chanter to come in the mail. Finally at the end of October, he got to start chanter class while I taught cello lessons.
Truthfully, I’ve only heard him play a handful of times. The first time I asked him to play for us, A, E, and I got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing. Then C got the giggles and you just can’t play the practice chanter while laughing. So he’s mostly practiced in his room with the door shut ever since.
But last week his teacher told me that she can tell he practices and that he seems to be really serious about continuing to play, beyond just the high school band years. She can also tell that we’re serious musicians at this house and know how to take care of instruments. So she helped me customize a set of bagpipes for C. She was going to put together a set from the school that he could borrow, but we’ve been putting aside money and figured why not buy him his own set now. It would be a definite improvement over a school instrument. (Anyone who’s ever rented a school instrument knows exactly what I mean!)
Today these came in the mail:
I feel like I should apologize to our neighbors. I can see it’s going to be quite an ordeal to master the Great Highland Bagpipe! Some of the difficulties can be found at this link. Quite an educational read. I really had no idea! But apparently we’re in it for the long haul. Maybe some day he’ll look like this:
Incidentally, when I tell people he’s learning to play the bagpipes I get one of three responses:
- “Oh, how awesome, I love the bagpipes!”
- “Oh, you poor souls . . . I’m so sorry!”
- “Oh, wow, the bagpipes! Well . . . that’s different, but way to go for letting him follow his dreams!”
That’s us, the “let them follow their dreams” parents. We’re just grateful we have a large basement. I have a feeling practicing is going to get a lot louder.