News / Community / Education / 10th February 2022
Get piping: opportunity to learn unique instrument
Coonabarabran residents have a rare opportunity to learn a distinctive musical nstrument - free of charge.
Bagpipe players Robert Noakes and David Hunter have started a group that meets weekly to learn, improve and teach playing of the difficult instrument.
Mr Noakes has around 30 years experience playing the bagpipes and while he insisted he is not a musical teacher, he and Mr Hunter are willing to pass on the musical knowledge they have acquired over the years.
The group already has two success stories, with Kyle Doran and Doug King having come a long way since they began.
Mr Noakes said the goal of the group was to perform at this year’s ANZAC Day services on Monday, 25 April.
“Kyle and Doug aren’t quite there yet, but they’re doing pretty well and with more practice they should be ready on the day,” Mr Noakes said.
Beginners commence with the chanter, or mouth piece, before moving on to the entire instrument.
“With regular practice and coming to the meetings, we can probably turn someone into a bagpipe player in around 12 months,” he said.
“We’re willing to take on anyone at all skill levels, but they need to be able to physically do it, be dedicated and show some sort proficiency or interest.
“It is a unique opportunity because lessons with an accredited teacher can be anywhere from $35 an hour upwards and we’re doing it for free.”
Mr Noakes said bagpipe players are revered and often called on to perform at important life events such as ANZAC Day, weddings and funerals.
“If you’re someone who likes helping people and performing on the big stage, then this could be your calling,” Mr Noakes said.
“Not to mention - it’s a good way to meet people.”
The group is not only calling for prospective bagpipers, they also need drummers.
Resident snare drummer, Dave Lusby can pass on his knowledge of the percussion instruments.
The group meet each Wednesday afternoon at the RSL rooms at the rear of the Coonabarabran Sport and Recreation Centre.
Anyone interested in joining the group is urged to attend one of the meetings.
TOP: Robert Noakes, Dave Lusby, Doug King, Dave Hunter and Kyle Doran (seated) at the group’s rehearsal.