Bagpipe Lessons


Learn the Bagpipes

Piper Jonas offers lessons for those interested in learning the bagpipes. From casual players to soloists to bagpipe band competitions - the lessons are tailored to equip students with the skills needed to advance bagpiping performance.

Piper Jonas has taught beginning students with no musical experience to those who have played the bagpipes for years looking to sharpen their playing.

Lesson Plan

Depending on starting point and the student's goals, lessons will be customized to address the following skills:

  • Reading music - notes, rhythm, style, etc.
  • Finger placement
  • Bagpiping embellishments and movements
  • Learning tunes and developing a repertoire
  • Music memorization
  • Music theory
  • Sight-reading music
  • Transitioning from the practice chanter to bagpipes
  • Starting and stopping the bagpipes (i.e. "attacks" and "cut-offs")
  • Steady blowing and maintaining tone
  • Solo competition preparation and critique
  • Performing in a band/ensemble setting

My lessons are designed to teach technical skills and music learning in parallel - allowing students to begin playing music earlier than other forms of instruction. My format not only achieves the same mastery of piping embellishments found in traditional instruction, but also becomes a motivational tool as students are able to apply their learning faster.

Practice Chanter and Instruction book

Rhythmic Fingerwork by James McGillivray

Rhythmic Fingerwork by James McGillivray

When considering practice chanters - there are basically four options to choose from: regular and long lengths made in either polypenco or blackwood. While adults can use either length, I would recommend the regular length for children

For the material - polypenco is more durable and considerably less expensive while blackwood is more attractive and can have a more pleasing, woody sound.

I recommend students purchase Rhythmic Fingerwork by James Macgillivray (commonly called the "Green Book") as it contains all of the embellishments and exercises needed for a beginner or novice student. Copies generally cost $40-45 and contain a CD that helps students hear proper execution of the exercises.


  • First lesson is always complimentary before deciding to commit
  • Weekly lessons, paid weekly: $45
  • Weekly lessons, paid monthly: $150 (~20% discount)
  • Workshops and competition prep: please call 408-905-6042 or email


I live and work in the South Bay Area, so more often than not my students are also from cities within Santa Clara County. I'm able to take students from adjacent counties as long as a reasonable schedule and cadence is possible. Otherwise, I do offer online lessons that can be taught worldwide given the student has a high-speed internet connection. I will note that young beginners and even novice players may find in-person lessons to be more beneficial than an online format but does depend on individual taste.


Available upon request.

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