The DrummingMad workshops that have been held at Brisbane Boys’ College recently leave a lasting impact on those who attend. Not only do they provide a whole day of learning and fun, they also provide excellent tutors to help all students.
No DM workshop is the same, each focuses on a specific element of playing in a Pipe Band. The last workshop was geared towards timing, in which we worked with other sections of a Pipe Band to find out how to play in time with each other.
The latest DrummingMad workshop on the 16th of January was geared towards Grade 3 and 4 players with the goal of perfecting the execution of the massed band tunes. The information might say it is for players in Grade 3 and 4, but whether you’re a Grade 1 player, or a Novice-Juvenile player, you can always learn something from the tutors at the workshops. Morning-tea, lunch and afternoon-tea are also provided which is great!
The workshop wasn’t completely focused on the playing side of things, it also covered the theory aspect of execution and what it takes to execute a rudiment, phrase or whole tune perfectly.
I found out that it takes a lot more than you think, in fact, it takes 1000 repetitions to execute something perfectly.
We learnt how to practice the repetitions correctly, using the Circle of Consistency and the 10 Pennies Exercise. We learned a bunch more about ensemble as it was built upon from the first workshop.
It was great to see so many people from different parts of South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. There was a whole range of people from different bands and people of different ages.
It was great that the tutors implemented some phrases from Susan MacLeod (Grade 1 strathspey) which challenged all of the players attending and helped the players strive to achieve perfect execution of the phrases.
It wasn’t all serious piping and drumming the whole day, we had a massed bands marching drill at the end of the day and ended up playing on our backs at the very end – that was an experience and a half!
All in all, the day was an amazing learning opportunity and I encourage everyone, if you can, to go to one of these great DrummingMad workshops.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you go to pipe band workshops? What was the best thing about attending? Let me know in the comments below!
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