Madison Pipes and Drums - Title Bar


Teaching new drum and bagpipe students is one of our highest priorities and we are eager to instruct new students. Our primary expectations for all of our students are:

  • regular attendance
  • frequent practice
  • a commitment to play with the group after the instrument is sufficiently mastered

Expenses to get started are low, consisting of:

  • the cost of practice chanter and tutor book for piping students (about $100)
  • drum pad and drumsticks for drum students (about $60)
  • and the cost of the lesson


On Highland bagpipes, the band provides opportunities for both private and group lessons. More experienced band members provide lessons. Beginning students must purchase a practice chanter and lesson book. The practice chanter is played similarly to a recorder and serves for learning the fingering and embellishments. After about nine months, most students are ready to begin work on the bagpipe.

After mastering coordination of blowing with arm movement on the pipe, the students play simple tunes. At this point the student is ready to attend band practice and rehearse with the full group, and lessons apart from band practice become less frequent.

The instructor will provide guidance in selecting an instrument. The cost of an acceptable set of pipes is normally about $1200. (Note, please do not purchase a set of Highland pipes in anticipation of starting lessons as this may result in purchase of an unacceptable instrument and waste of your money.)

Our doors are open to all who wish to learn and are willing to apply themselves and we welcome youth aged 8 - 18. Most of the best players in the world began instruction at an early age, and we want all our students to reach their maximum potential. Those who start later in life certainly do become valuable contributors to the group, most of our current pipers began to play as adults.


Drumming in a pipe band is a fun and exciting experience. A full pipe band drum corps includes a bass drum and tenor, alto, and snare drums. The highland style of snare drumming uses the traditional grip. The drumming is rudimental and reminiscent of military style drumming, though the road to excellence takes one through many twists and turns. The highly accomplished highland snare drummer has the ability to wow the audience with technical proficiency, play in perfect synchrony with several other drummers, and feel the varied rhythms behind individual pipe tunes in order to create drum scores that complement the pipe section and create real excitement in the music.

Drummers must purchase appropriate drum sticks and pads at a cost on the order of $50. The band provides drums.

We encourage learners of all ages and welcome youth from age 8 on up, as most of the best players in the world began instruction at an early age. Regardless of age we want all our students to reach their maximum potential. We hope to hear from you.

Band Manager - Steve Melde          Pipe Major - Christopher Brand          Band President - David Bradley
Madison Pipes and Drums is a non-profit organization for the purpose of education and entertainment through the promotion of Celtic music and heritage.