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30/10/13

Australia #1

When you open your big mouth you may and up with more than you bargained for.  When I was in NSW in February I visited a Steiner School in Central Coast.  It was a beautiful school with well set out grounds and lovely wooden classrooms that had a really nice ambience.  The school had begun a senior department that ended at class ten.  To divide the junior school from the senior school some very thoughtful person had planted a hedge of Bambusa Textilis var. Gracilis. [sold in NSW as Gracilis] This is the perfect pipe makers bamboo.  So eight months later I found myself in the same school teaching 22 enthusiastic students of class six how to make Irish Whistles [read pipes] out of bamboo.

The students were very attentive and worked very hard.  Most of the steps were easy but the hard one that caught many asking for help was cutting the top of the fipple airway to fit.  This is an exacting task and has to be done just right if the pipe is to "speak".  By the end of the second session on day two all of the sudents had pipes that would play.  True some of them were a little husky, but they played.  

So to all of you out there who belong to a group of students at a school [and your group is of students over 11years old] you could have a workshop session with a pipe maker learning how to make bamboo Irish whistles!!  You will need to arrange this with your teacher of course!!  Cheers Chris the pipe maker. 

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