Click on the courses below to find out more

“Getting Started” Northumbrian Smallpipes Course

“Getting Started” on the Piano Accordion" workshops

‘Northumbria’ Pipe Week Course

Taster Sessions Course


‘..thanks to Susan Craven and her team for improving the general standard of piping beyond recognition.‘

Jim Bryan, President Northumbrian Pipers Society. Jan 09 


Non Residential Courses at Sandpipers

“Getting Started” Northumbrian Smallpipes Course

2017 Dates to be arranged


These are 2 day courses designed to allow new pipe owners, or neglected pipe owners the opportunity to as it says, ‘get started’. It is also an opportunity for anyone who might be interested in trying the pipes to ‘come and have a go – no pipes required’.

Courses will generally run with a group of 3 – 6 participants and can be arranged at various times throughout the year to suit the participants.
The course content will vary depending on the experience and progress of the participants but will generally contain the following elements: Picking up your Northumbrian Pipes, Putting on the bellows, Drone tuning, Notes on the chanter, Safe handling of
pipes, Basic maintenance - you can do it!, Brief ‘History of the NSP’.

Provisional Programme

Day One

10:30 Registration / Coffee

11:00 Getting strapped in —Bellows and Drones

11:30 Safe handling and pipe check

12:00 Getting started / Drone practice

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Pipe anatomy and basic maintenance

15:30 Tea

16:00 Chanter fingering

18:00 Dinner

19:30 Session with invited guests

Day Two

10:30 Coffee

11:00 ‘My First Tune’

12:00 Brief history of the pipes

13:00 Lunch

14:30 Individual practice / tuition

15:30 Final session

To download our Getting Started Information Leaflet Click Here

To download our Getting Started Application Form Click Here


"Getting Started" on the Piano Accordion" workshops

We are hoping to run a 1 or 2 day course for beginners on the piano accordion, probably one weekend. Please get in touch if this would be of interest to you.

Residential Course

‘Northumbria’ Pipe Week

This is a 5 day residential Northumbrian Smallpipe course for players of all abilities, which will take place from Sunday 15th to Friday 20th October 2017, in the Northumbria School of English. The cost of the course will include tuition and activities from Sunday afternoon (15th Oct) to Friday (20th Oct) 5pm, and lunches Monday to Friday. Accommodation costs are extra and will depend on type of facilities chosen. Evening meals are at participants expense

The course is designed to be a fairly intensive learning experience on the Northumbrian pipes, spread over 5 days. It allows an opportunity to mix with local pipers, both non-residential participants, and others, at sessions and concert events. It is hinged between the annual NPS concert, and the NPS competitions.

It is based in a licensed language school near the centre of Whitley Bay. This is 2 minutes walk from the nearest Metro station (which connects most of Tyneside, and gives access to trains and planes), on a quiet road leading to the sea. There is limited car parking at, or very near, the hotel.

Teaching will be in “pipers pitch” (‘F-ish). We aim to have several group sessions on most days, with a number of tutors available. There will also be a shorter, self programming themed, session every day in which participants will study two or three tunes, that they are interested in, in more depth, working towards a performance on the final evening.

There are likely to be sessions on maintenance and reed making, history and tradition, repertoire, duet and playing with other instruments, some graded and some suitable for all comers. There will also be outings and evening events, both on the premises and elsewhere in the region.

When appropriate, lunch and the evening meal will be in the hotel, otherwise we will seek a range of fairly economical options, allowing choice and variety. There will be some free time for participants and non-piping partners can be provided with information on local attractions as required.  

To download our information leaflet and application form Click Here  




Taster Sessions

Is there an instrument you would like to try? We are looking to hold a series of ‘taster sessions’ for different instruments. Let us know what you fancy and we’ll see if we can arrange it.

Should you be interested in any of the above workshops please contact us. Further information will be posted to the Website as soon as it is available.