New Bagpiper's Mom Seeking Earplugs


Last night was Adam’s first time attending a practice of the “Stag and Thistle” bagpipe band of Fresno.  Those who know my kids won’t be surprised at Adam’s selection of his latest instrument. Both boys are enthralled with Celtic and traditional Irish music.  Adam has been begging for months now to take bagpiping lessons.  I thought if ignored him long enough, the phase would pass.

Wrong!  He took the initiative to locate a local pipe band, reschedule his flute lessons and even save up some money for the eventual purchase of bagpipes.  Blessedly, the first stage of learning to play is to use a “chanter” which is a very quiet equivalent of a full set of pipes. So last night, we went off to his first lesson.  I deposited him in the company of some very nice men who seemed very enthused about seeing a fresh face.  When I walked back to my car, the strains of “Danny Boy”, “Amazing Grace” and that one famous Scottish anthem were droning loudly outside the practice room as the pipers warmed up.

Adam will start off for a few months with a one hour beginner’s lesson.  If his interest continues and he practices diligently, he can join the band – which means his own kilt and set of pipes.  Last night when I picked him up, he was positively glowing with excitement.  His teacher was impressed by his site reading abilities and interest level and gave him very positive remarks.  It’s so wonderful, as a mom, to see that look of unadulterated joy on your child’s face (even if it’s caused by bagpipes!)

I will keep you posted on our path towards a full set of pipes.  I’m still not convinced that this latest instrument choice will “stick”, but if last night was any indication I may be investing in bagpipes and earplugs very soon.


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. Mark Szewczak on

    Pardon the lack of knowledge but is your family of Celtic descent? While my name doesn’t betray my Celtic roots, I am Irish on my Mother’s side and do have a certain, shall we say…attraction to traditional instruments and music. Not that I can play…lol. But I am a fan. Good luck! I have heard that violin is much harder on the ears and psyche when a child is learning to play.

  2. That’s funny!! My older son must have inherited my Irishness because he’s a fan of bagpipes too. So far he hasn’t attempted to play them, but he does think they’re “awesome” which is the highest praise from a 17-year-old boy. Let us know how it goes.

    I guess it beats the accordion, in terms of ethnic instruments….

  3. Mark Szewczak on

    Oh my….the accordion. Now that is an instrument for which I have never had an interest. In this case I think my Polish genes lost out…lol

  4. Mark – I’m 1/4 Irish so does that make my boys 1/16th? Of course it’s the part of our heritage we hold most dearly! For some reason, about two years ago my boys got really into traditional Irish music. It was their own project, not something I encouraged, but of course I loved it!

    Barb – we actually have an accordion too – one of my priest friends gave it to the boys. It doesn’t get played very often. I keep threatening to learn it, so maybe Adam and I can do duets together…LOL!

  5. Mark Szewczak on

    Lol….I would really rethink the accordion….unless you can do polkas…that is the PERFECT instrument for the polka. I love the Chieftains and their traditional music and instruments. I have also been known to sing along to myself to the Clancy brothers but only in an Irish bar…lol

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