Music, Not Just Frustration "Bagpipes".

With a Dojo University Premium Membership

Piping should be fun. It should enable you to express your own  voice. It should bring you fulfillment.

  • Bagpipers around the world continue to struggle despite endless hours of hard work and fierce determination.
  • We believe, there's no excuse for this! Your hard work must be leading you towards real self-expression via your bagpipes (or why do it?)
  • Read on to learn about how the Dojo University Online Bagpipe School can help you transcend your current musical frustration.
Purchase Dojo U Premium

Hi, I'm Andrew Douglas. I'm a 2x World Champion, a multi-prize winner at the Silver Medals in Oban and Inverness, and a certified bagpiping examiner with the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

If any aspect of your piping is a struggle, don't settle! Let's build great fundamentals from the ground up so we reconnect with why we wanted to do this in the first place – to truly express ourselves!

Andrew Douglas

Dojo Founder

I feel a genuine sense of belonging...”

"Through Dojo U I’m finally getting much of the formalized and theoretical training I never obtained through private instruction in the past. On top of this, I’m regularly able to have my playing constructively critiqued to continue to focus my improvement areas and moving forward.
Dojo U has been very accommodating with their instruction from all sources and I feel a genuine sense of belonging with so many that participate in the various programs. Thanks Dojo U!

Anders Udsen
British Columbia, Canada

“The Dojo has given me an extremely affordable outlet where I can learn on my time from some of the top pipers in the world..."

“In today’s technological age, Dojo University has created an educational institution where pipers of all levels can obtain much needed instruction. Offering not only live weekly classes that suit anyone’s schedule, they also have a full back catalog of old lessons covering all aspects of piping.
Living in Memphis, I am devoid of higher instruction, so the Dojo has given me an extremely affordable outlet where I can learn on my time from some of the top pipers in the world!"

Ken Hiner
Tennessee, USA

Dojo University is the longest-running and most successful online bagpiping school in the world.

We teach thousands of students around the world how to play good music – mastering the art of learning and playing the bagpipes in the process – in a highly accessible way that is completely unlike anything else you'll find online or in person, anywhere in the world.

We created Dojo U because we noticed that too many pipers were struggling out there in the world. Bagpiping should be a joyful experience, each and every day you pick up the pipes. If it's not, we strive to fix that before it's too late.

And whether you're a complete beginner, a parade player, an experienced piper, a pipe major, or a pro-level competitor... you can free yourself from musical frustration at Dojo U.

At Dojo U, we do things a little differently to how you may have approached learning to play the bagpipes before.

One of the key reasons for our ongoing success is that we're always evolving, improving, and growing, so if you've been a student and left us for any reason – you'll probably notice that the Dojo looks a bit different to what you might remember (and has a lot more value to explore). 

We'd love to welcome you back and show you around!

Here's a quick preview of what you'll enjoy access to as a 

Dojo U Premium Member:

  • an extensive, hundreds-strong, global community of pipers from all walks of life and levels of ability, who share advice, stories, and banter daily through our Discord server and live classes.
  • 20+ live classes, running every week on every timezone, where you can get instant feedback from world experts, both to constructively critique your own playing and get support and advice on any topic you're curious about.
  • one-off workshops from world-famous guest instructors like Jack Lee and Stuart Liddell, as well as fascinating talks from authors, pipe-makers, performers, researchers, and more.
  • 50+ self-paced interactive courses (see the full catalogue) on every piping-related topic that you could think of – including a comprehensive beginner's tutor, a guide to transitioning to the bagpipes, instrument and fingerwork fundamentals, introductions to piobaireachd and composition – basically, more knowledge at your fingertips than you could work your way through in a lifetime!
  • thousands of tunes, articles and other resources to help you find answers to your questions.
  • regular, ongoing technical support – we understand that getting started in an online school can be challenging, especially if you're not used to working with lots of different kinds of technology and online systems. Our friendly team and supportive student community are at the ready to help you every step of the way – we run orientation sessions with you, answer your questions through our Discord community forums, have a dedicated support email address with a super-fast turnaround time, and are always on hand to assist you with every technical aspect of Dojo U.

Meet the Dojo University Teaching Team

Our Dojo University team are led by world-champion bagpipers who have been master instructors for decades, working with bands and soloists all over the world, from complete beginners all the way up to professional pipers and Grade 1 bands. 

Our teaching faculty are similarly skilled – all leaders in their own bands and extremely experienced instructors with a wealth of knowledge to guide you on your path to Bagpipe Freedom. 

As a Dojo U student, you'll be getting the best advice in the world, from people who don't just talk the talk; we've walked (and won!) just about every walk there is at every level in the bagpiping world. 

Andrew Douglas

Co-founder and owner

Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He was 2017 & 2019 World Champion with Inveraray and District Pipe Band, 2017 Winner of the USA Silver Medal for Piobaireachd, 2008–2013 Pipe Major of Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band, multi-prize winner of Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness, the 2004 B-Grade Winner Strathspey/Reel at Oban. Andrew published his debut and award-winning book, Finding Bagpipe Freedom, in 2021. He's also an Accredited Bagpipe Teacher and Examiner (Scottish Qualifications Authority) and holds a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University.


Carl Donley

Co-founder and Head Instructor

Carl is a professional piper who hails originally from Chicago. Over 25 years of playing, he has taken numerous prizes in solos throughout his rise to the professional grade. Carl started with the Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders in south Florida, and played in the Grade 2 Chicago Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band during high school, before joining the Oran Mor Pipe Band in 2008. Carl was also the Pipe Major of The Iona College Pipe Band and a major influence on the band during his four years at Iona College. Carl helped found Dojo University and runs several popular weekly classes. More recently, Carl has also been exploring bagpiping and bagad culture in France, after moving there in 2018, and still plays with local bands and musicians there. 


P/M Andra Stoller

Customer Service Manager / Instructor

Andra is the Pipe Major of the Pikes Peak Highlanders, a local competition, performance, and training band in Colorado Springs, CO. They are a band with a large number of military and first responders (as well as some other great non-service people). Andra has been an avid Dojo member for nearly a decade and has been integral to the smooth technical operation of Dojo U's business and classes since 2017. She is a full time pipe teacher and lifelong learner who works hard to become a better piper and leader every day.

P/M Andrew Fusco

Core Class Instructor

Originally from upstate New York, Andy is now well and truly a Las Vegas local. In addition to running the Las Vegas Pipe Band as Pipe Major for more than a decade, Andy performs and teaches bagpipes full-time, is a kit drummer for two Vegas rock bands, and co-hosts a notoriously popular piping podcast. Andy has played in the World Pipe Band Championships several times and enjoys travelling overseas to play at competitions and events. Andy has been a popular weekly class tutor at the Dojo for many years, and is also a Dojo U workshop, cruise, and special event regular.

Bruce Gandy

Premium Class Instructor

Having been one of the dominant players on the World scene for more than 30 years, Bruce barely needs any introduction! He has won the World Pipe Band Championships with the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Gold Medals for Piobaireachd at The Northern Meeting (Inverness), the Argyllshire Gathering (Oban), the Bratach Gorm (Blue Banner) in London, and The Silver Star for Former Winners. Bruce has published four books of music, developed his own pipe chanter with McCallum Bagpipes and has been a valued Dojo Premium Class Instructor for many years. 

Cam Drummond

Premium Class Instructor

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Cameron is a full-time professional piper and plays for the World Pipe Band Champions, Inveraray & District Pipe Band. Besides a World Pipe Band Championship title, Cameron has also been successful at the highest level of solo competition in both Light Music and piobaireachd, taking some top prizes including the Silver Star at Inverness and the Silver Chanter on the Isle of Skye. Cameron has been a valued and popular member of the Dojo U teaching faculty for many years for his gentle, good-humoured approach and fun selection of repertoire to work on in his weekly classes. 

P/M Chance Bell

Core Class Instructor

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Chance is an Eastern United States Pipe Band Association professional solo competitor, who has played with the Oran Mor Pipe Band and the Stuart Highlanders Pipe Band in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships. Chance has been a full-time musician for over a decade, teaching piping and serving as Pipe Major in his local pipe band. A long-serving beginner tutor with Dojo U, our students love Chance's classes and his calm, encouraging approach for new starters.

Ed Best

Rhythm Class Instructor

Ed is a 40+ year veteran of snare drumming, A level drumming and ensemble judge (WUSPBA / EUSPBA), and a qualified educator with a B.A. in Music Education and Percussion, who has won North American Champion, East Coast Champion Supreme, Ontario Champion Supreme, West Coast Champion of Champions, and Canadian Champion. Ed has placed in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships, previously served on the Music Board of WUSPBA and is currently the WUSPBA Southern Branch President. His valuable drumming expertise has helped our piping students master rhythm since Ed joined the Dojo team as our rhythm guru in 2020.

Greig Canning

Freedom Phase Grader

A piper with the two-time grade 1 World Champions Inveraray & District Pipe Band, Greig is a regular prize winner and A-Grade light music competitor on the highland games circuit, regularly competing at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting. His 9–to–5 job is as a full-time bagpipe instructor for West Lothian Council, where he is also the pipe major and lead instructor of the West Lothian Schools Pipe Band, and he is also a skilled reed-maker. Greig is a valued part of the Dojo U Team, who records our 'Tune of the Week' videos to demonstrate how to play each part, and grades student submissions every week.

P/M Rob Mathieson

Premium Class Instructor

Rab is a legend in the Scottish bagpiping scene who needs little introduction! Among his many accolades, Rab won the World Pipe Band Championships 5 times as Pipe Major of Grade 1 band Shotts and Dykehead, has won around 40 RSPBA Major Championships, and won the Macallen Trophy twice at the Interceltic Music Festival in Lorient, France. Rab has published several collections of his own tunes, released recordings, and also runs The Kilt Centre in Hamilton, Scotland. Rab has been a valued Premium Class Instructor at Dojo University for many years.

Sally Mason

Beginner Class Instructor

After beginning on pipes as a teenager playing for RAF Waddington Pipe Band, Sally took a hiatus from piping to start a family. Sally joined the Dojo teaching team as a beginner's tutor in 2020, and has been helping brand-new pipers find their way around the Dojo University Tutor ever since, teaching the fundamentals of rhythm, reading music, and playing a practice chanter in multiple classes every week. 

P/M Tim Gatehouse

Fingerwork Class Instructor

Hailing from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Tim joined Dojo University in 2011. In late 2017, he began the process of building a competitive band, Rail City Pipes and Drums, which he now leads alongside his non-competitive Shrine Highland Band. In 2020, Tim extended his piping goals to improve a little bit every day to other Dojo U students, starting a Dojo U class all about improving fingerwork, timing and embellishments. 


What's Under the Hood?

Bagpipe music has a fairly simple set of fundamentals that expand outward to encompass all bagpipe music. Our fully interactive online courses are designed to train you on these fundamentals, so you're ready to fully participate in the greater bagpiping world.

We run 20+ live classes through Zoom every single day of the week, where you can ask questions and get feedback on your playing – but if you're more of a 'in my own time' kind of person, you can also choose from any one of our 50+ bagpipe courses to begin your own individual, skill-specific training.

Dojo U Premium Membership is your VIP ticket to all* existing Dojo U courses, and we're adding new ones all the time!

Our courses average about 5 hours of video content in length (though some are shorter, and others significantly longer and more in-depth), and they come with all relevant downloadable handouts, as well as module-specific quizzes and usually a final exam.

The course levels are usually beginner to intermediate (some are more advanced, and are clearly signposted as such so you don't get in way over your head!), and are the exact same methodology and approaches that we've applied to pro-level players and world-class pipe band environments with great success!

* All of the courses listed below are included in Premium Membership except for the 'special events' noted, which are run as additional workshop-style events.


11 Commandments of Mastery

And Introduction to Bagpipe Freedom

The Dojo U Beginner's Tutor: The Bagpipe as an Extension of your Self 

Transitioning to the Bagpipes

Rhythm for Bagpipers

Fingerwork Fundamentals

Instrument Fundamentals

Bagpipe Composing Foundations (12-month course)

Introduction to Piobaireachd (Years 1–4)


4 Steps to an Easy Bagpipe

The Steady Blowing Trifecta

6 Steps of the Bagpipe Tuning Cycle

2 Steps to Great Expression

The Low G Embellishment Perfection System

The Tune Building Process

Sight Reading Mastery

Mastering Cane Drone Reeds

6 Months to the Next Level Game Plan

3-Stage Gig Perfection System

Defeat Performance Nerves with Digital Recording

PipePsych - Get Your Head in the Game!

The Strike-In Perfection System

How to Tie In Hide Pipe Bags

Drone Reeds and Calibration

Chanter Reed Manipulation


Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) Placement Course

Prep Course: PDQB Level 2

Prep Course: PDQB Level 3

Prep Course: PDQB Level 4

Prep Course: PDQB Level 5

Prep Course: PDQB Level 6

Prep Course: PDQB Level 7

Prep Course: PDQB Level 8

 (not included in Premium Membership)

The Dojo University Tuning Clinic (annual, in-person)

The Dojo University Bagpipe Cruise (annual, in-person)

The 30 Day Bagpipe Makeover (bi-annual, online)

The Bagpipe Freedom Intensive (bi-annual, online)

“The success of improvement builds on my desire and I look forward to the time of day I get on my pipes!"

“I've been piping for 30 plus years and struggling along the way. The Dojo U method works! My family and pets have seen and heard the improvement in my piping!.That has been the best kind of feedback for me. The success of improvement builds on my desire and I look forward to the time of day I get on my pipes! Thank You Dojo!"

Tim Gunn
Washington State, USA

“I desperately needed this lifeline..."

“I have felt "stuck" for many months in my bagpiping level. I had used up my bag of tricks in being able to progress forward. The 11 Commandments of Mastery Course* has (in just a few short weeks mind you) improved my mindset, my practice regime, and in turn my playing. I desperately needed this lifeline and for that I thank you!!"

Christian Nettell
Michigan, USA

***This course is included in a Premium Membership

Sign Up for a Dojo University Premium Membership Today

A Dojo University Premium Membership starts at $45 per month, and benefits all ages and stages.


$45 per month

Most Popular

  • 20 + weekly live online classes
  •  A worldwide community of like-minded pipers
  •  50+ immersive self-paced courses
  •  All for less than the price of one quality bagpipe lesson


$495 per year

Best value

  • Everything from Monthly
  • The value of one month free, PLUS,
  • Yearly membership includes our yearly Tune of the Week Book, delivered to your door each year.

About Dojo U's Founder

“My name is Andrew Douglas and I'm the founder of the Piper's Dojo and creator of Dojo University, our online learning portal for bagpipers. I'm super excited to be your guide as we drill into some of the most essential fundamental elements of being a great piper... we'd be honored to have you aboard!"

— Andrew Douglas

  • Founder, Creator, and CEO of the Piper's Dojo and Dojo University
  • 2017 & 2019 World Champion with Inveraray and District Pipe Band
  • 2017 Winner of USA Silver Medal for Piobaireachd
  • 2008-2013 Pipe Major of Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band
  • Multi-prize winner, Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness
  • Former Winner of B-Grade Strathspey/Reel at Oban (2004)
  • Accredited Bagpipe Teacher and Examiner with the Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Fully accredited piping judge with the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association

"Don't Believe" in Online Bagpipe Lessons?

Believe me, you're not the first person to have doubts about the effectiveness of online bagpipe lessons.  

 Our school is indeed a big shift from the typical "master-->apprentice" approach to teaching bagpipes. 

It is indeed harder to teach certain skills over the internet (as we can't do much that's truly "hands on.")

It's true, some of the "in person magic" that you can get from a truly great solo lesson or group session might not seem to be as magical in an online setting.


The Thought Experiment

All of these difficult challenges indeed crossed my mind one beautiful day in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was the year 2011 and my wife and I were on our honeymoon. We were sipping frozen cocktails, and daydreaming. My wife was presumably daydreaming about normal things... but not me. I was, of course, daydreaming about bagpipe stuff. 

The daydream went like this:

  1. "I really used to love bagpipe camp as a kid.
  2. As an adult, I love teaching at bagpipe camps, because no one has more fun (and gets better faster) than at a bagpipe camp. 
  3. It's too bad bagpipe camps are so expensive, require so much travel, time away from work and family, etc. It's really too bad...
  4. You know, if you could do a bagpipe camp using the internet, the price and challenges of going to piping school would be greatly diminished, and the school could serve far more people. 
  5. But that will never work. (and here I proceeded to list all the reasons an online bagpipe school would never work. It included many of the "objections" we discussed above)
  6. Ok, ok, but what if somehow we could make it work. What would be gained?"

And so, I proceeded to think about all of the incredible benefits that could be had at a fictional, mystical "online bagpipe school." 

  1. Instead of a great bagpiping experience for one week per year, we could up it to 52 weeks per year!
  2. The price of this service could be much less than "real" bagpipe camp. Much, much, much less.
  3. Wherever you were in the world, you could experience incredible bagpipe sessions from the world's best pipers.
  4. No commute, no gas money, (and in 2020 and beyond - no health risks!)
  5. We could teach students with a longer-term strategy (not confined to just one week). 
  6. We could teach students the art of integrating bagpiping into their daily lives; not that bagpiping is just something fun you might get to dive deep into one week per year at a far off place.
  7. We could develop an incredible community of pipers that grew together over time.
  8. And the list of "good" things went on, and on, and on.

So, just over a decade ago, it became clear that I couldn't afford not to try to build the world's first "online bagpipe school." And so that's what I did (with the help of my extremely talented team, and amazing world-class instructors).

All of the challenging bits above are still challenging. It would be amazing if I could some how magically reach through my computer screen and help a student whip their pipes into tune. 

But the reality is, these challenges have made student and teacher better as a result. And meanwhile, the positive benefits (many of which I predicted back in 2011) keep proving greater, and greater, and greater.

Advantages vs Disadvantages of Online Bagpipe Learning

Dojo University is a fantastic product for bagpipers with and without access to in person instruction:

Bagpipers without access to in-person instruction can utilize Dojo U to (quite literally) ascend from the very first day picking up a practice chanter to becoming an advanced bagpiper. Many have already done it!

Bagpipers with access to in person instruction can and should supplement their in-person lessons with the Dojo. The Dojo can help you develop a more rounded skillset than private lessons typically offer, and can provide you with the support an community any bagpiper needs to be successful.

The Pros List

Here's all the reasons Dojo U works so well...

  • World-class instruction from the comfort of home
  • Dojo U is wherever you are, and requires no travel.
  • No gas money, no battling bad weather, no commute - and let's not forget, no health risks!
  • Immerse yourself in a large community of like-minded, music-first bagpipers
  • Hundreds of weekly learning opportunities (not just one)
  • An endless archive of recorded classes, courses, articles, and more

The Cons List

Here are the downsides...

  • At Dojo U, you're not in the same physical space as your instructor.
  • Some of the bagpiping skills that tend to require "hands on" help are more challenging in the online environment. (But we overcome this)
  • No one will be there to just do things for you. You're going to have to be self-motivated and be ready to work a little bit each day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dojo University Is Different

Yes, you can find bagpipe instruction elsewhere on the internet and in person, but Dojo University is unique because it's built and taught by real-world bagpipers who have actually built these resources based on real-world experience (read: successes).

In other words, we aren't people who couldn't do so we made a course instead. We've been in the trenches teaching AND performing - we detest untested theory and believe that the best way to learn something is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty. If that sounds appealing, then welcome! In Dojo U you've found your bagpipe home.