What to do in the pipe band off season…?

100’s of you pipers and drummers have finally completed the 2012 Pipe Band competing season…and what a magnificent season it has been – I have personally enjoyed the great music produced by so many great pipe bands from around the World.

Now the big question we have to ask ourselves is… how long of a break will we take before getting back into the routine of band practice? The thought of “pipe band free” weekends is like a dream for you all – actually spending some time with your family, rather than your pipe band “family”.

Personally – I do enjoy the winter down time with my family and friends, and getting into other projects that have been cast aside for 6 months. However, I know there is a fine balance between having a “break” and going backwards.

The winter season consists of a few key factors that can help set up up for the season ahead :

Rest – take a month off to enjoy some other non pipe band activities and to reinvigorate yourself.

Recruitment – looking at new players to join the team and bring a new dynamic and experience with them.

Development of Technique – the winter season provides you with the time to work on individuals, hone in on technique issues and develop the corps musically.

Composition – the leaders of the band can use this time to plan the musical journey for the season ahead. This is such an important and time-consuming task. Picking the right music is extremely important – not only the skill level of the music, but also how they flow together.

Socialising – its super important to keep the team together during the off-season, planning quiz nights and fundraising events can be very productive to keep a sense of community within the band – and also a chance to raise some $$ for the band.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to use the off season?




4 thoughts on “What to do in the pipe band off season…?

  1. I think the off-season provides a great opportunity to conduct a self-assessment by analysing all the judges sheets from the previous season and concentrate on ironing out any re-occurring points.

    I also believe it’s beneficial for the whole Corps to spend a couple of weeks going back to basics; working through lots of rudimental, stick control and phrasing exercises prior to learning any new content for the next season.

  2. The winter should be a time for productive reflection and planning for the future. The band AGM should be a public platform where the season can be evaluated across the entire band, and clear goals and objectives established for the season to come, so that every member knows what they are working towards.

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