RSPBA Pipe Band College – Educational Opportunities

One of the main objectives of the RSPBA Pipe Band College (PBC) is to ensure high quality learning opportunities for our members though a series of outreach and education programmes.

Below are some of the educational programmes currently available to members of the RSPBA via the RSPBA Pipe Band College.

    1. Pipe Band Musicianship Weekend Workshops:

    The RSPBA Pipe Band College can offer support to bands by providing RSPBA approved Instructors to deliver ‘In Person’ practical based workshops for bands. This type of workshop would be presented at Branch level and is aimed at bands involved in the lower level grades and is open to all members looking to develop their personal skill set, as well as the overall performance and presentation of their band.

    This course will focus on the Practical Aspects of Pipe Band Musicianship

    • The Player and the Performance.
    • Creating the Practice Environment
    • Musical Terminology
    • Creating the Sound Production of the Band in all aspects.
    • The Selection of Melodies
    • What is Ensemble?
    • Ensemble within the Coalition of Pipes and Drums

    2. SCQF / PDQB Courses Leading to Certification:

    • SQA National Progression Awards SCQF Level 2 Chanter and SCQF Levels 3 to 6 Bagpipes;
    • SQA Professional Development Award SCQF Levels 7 to 8 Bagpipes;
    • SQA National Progression Awards SCQF Levels 2 to 6 Snare Drumming;
    • PDQB Levels 2 to 6 Bass and Tenor Drumming.

    Link to PDQB Syllabus –

    The RSPBA Pipe Band College can offer support in the delivery of practical sessions by providing RSPBA / PDQB approved Instructors to assist in the Presentation, Tuition and Preparation of individual candidates at all Levels in the aspects of the Theory and Practical requirements of these processes involved in securing SCQF & PDQB certification.

    These courses are available to Individuals, Bands, Educational Organisations and RSPBA Branches. Costs would be based on the number of participants, number of different instruments as well as the SQA certification fee.

    An example of a Typical Course at Branch level would involve practical workshops over 4 weekends, these have previously began in October, with the examinations being held in January, however this can be tailored to the needs of the host:

    Day 1 – This is a 1 day workshop designed to inform candidates about the syllabus of the course, as well as ensuring that individual candidates are being presented at the correct SQA/PDQB level for their own skills. It is also an opportunity for tutors to attend, and understand what the expectations are for their students, and how they can offer support outwith the workshops, to ensure their students are fully prepared for the Examination Day.

    Weekend 2 – Theory and Practical Sessions.

    Weekend 3 – Theory and Practical Sessions including preparation for examinations.

    Examination Day – Individual theory and Practical Examinations at a suitable location.

    3. Pipe band Holiday/Weekend School:

    Events like the RSPBA 2023 Summer School in Glasgow, ( are designed to showcase the syllabus of education which the RSPBA promotes, the content of the timetable takes in the main points of the SQA/P.D.Q.B curriculum-

    • Reading and Writing music.
    • Understanding time.
    • Learning about Rhythm, Melody and Harmony.
    • Developing an understanding of their instrument
    • Practical performance as an individual and as part of a group (Ensemble)

    These Schools are however designed to be fun and help develop friendships, as well as being informative.

    Local Weekend Schools can also be supported by the Summer School Principle and his team, so please get in touch if you think this is something that would be of benefit to Bands/Players in your local geographic area.

    If you are interested in any of these programmes, please use the contact below and we will respond to discuss your requirements, and the potential associated costs.

    Paul McAndrew
    RSPBA Director/PBC Member

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