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Isle of Skye Piping School

START: 14 August 2017
END: 18 August 2017
COST: £250.00
COST (STUDENT): £175.00

MacKay by Johnson




Angus MacKay, Raasay

Taigh a’ Phìobaire – The Piper’s House, Raasay


Dr Decker Forrest


Prof Hugh Cheape

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig are delighted to introduce the Isle of Skye Piping School to their Short Course Programme for 2017.

The Isle of Skye Piping School is a new concept devised by well-known piper and scholar Dr Decker Forrest. The School aims to provide students with first-rate practical tuition from leading pipers in the cultural and historical ‘home’ of piping on the beautiful Isle of Skye.

Based at the stunning campus of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Piping School capitalises on its extraordinary geographical setting by offering annual ‘themes’ based on Skye’s rich piping history which interconnect the taught repertoire, evening lecture and mid-week tour to provide a stimulating, one-off experience which is unlike any other piping school anywhere in the world.

The theme for the 2017 inaugural school will be ‘Clann ’ic Ruairidh’: The MacKays of Raasay and will include a tour to the small island of Raasay where students will visit ‘Taigh a’ Phìobaire’ the home of John MacKay through whom subsequent generations of pipers have inherited their repertoire and style of ceòl mòr. Click here to read a related article by Dr Decker Forrest and Prof Hugh Cheape.

The Piping School is based on regular group teaching at two levels which use theme-based repertoire as a basis for developing core piping skills, including:

  • technique
  • musicality
  • performance skills
  • and sound production.

The exact aims of these classes will, to an extent, be tailored to the needs of the students in each class and some 1:1 time will be provided to help address the needs of individual students even further.  This teaching is punctuated by daily ‘highlight’ activities which round-off the unique learning experience of the School and include a lecture, trip to a traditional Island pub with live music, a public recital featuring a leading piper and a tour connected with the annual theme allowing students to see more of the Island whilst connecting music and piping history with geography. The final evening features piping from staff and students in an informal ceilidh/pub setting at the College.

The Piping School is aimed at pipers of different levels of ability but should be able to play a range of ceòl beag and who have, at least, a basic understanding of ceòl mòr.


Staff for the 2017 School currently include

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