E-chanters have made piping lessons possible

As a result of Covid 19 restrictions being placed on the playing of brass and woodwind instruments throughout the country, bagpiping in Western Isles’ schools has been curtailed.

By John A. MacInnes
Saturday, 7th November 2020, 5:12 pm
One of the chanters purchased to continue piping lessons.
One of the chanters purchased to continue piping lessons.

After some out of the box thinking, local schools’ Piping Teachers tumbled to the idea of using electronic chanters instead.

At a cost of £300 to £500 a piece, and the need to have several E chanters to cover all Primary and Secondary schools in the Western Isles, cost was a problem. Not to be put off, teachers got together and approached piping friends and groups for help or to ask if they could loan or donate any E Chanters. Despite an excellent response, there was still a shortfall.

Direct approaches were then made to local businesses and organisations and the appeal attracted fantastic generosity from throughout the community.

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Esther MacDonald said: “Grateful thanks must go to all who loaned or donated chanters as well as those who so kindly contributed.

“During lockdown, instrumental lessons were provided on-line, however, pupils have been back full time since August so it has not been possible to provide piping lessons because of the restrictions again.

Piping Teachers are delivering lessons with the E Chanters and pupils are absolutely delighted.

”To be providing live tuition once again using the electronic chanters has been a complete game changer and brought a new dimension to learning - pupils are back with a fresh enthusiasm.

“It is great to see the community supporting the work of the Comhairle in such a positive way and making all this possible.”