Curriculum and Exams

The New England Pipe and Drum Academy (NEPADA) is a week-long premier bagpiping & drumming school, hosted by Principal Robert Wallace and other world – class instructors. The aim of the Academy is simply to improve standards for all students in both piping and drumming.

tutor-1The piping curriculum followed at the NEPADA  is contained in the books Bagpipe Tutor 1, Bagpipe Tutor 2, and Bagpipe Tutor 3 by Principal Wallace. These books cover every aspect of learning the bagpipe from the very earliest scales to more complex competition tunes and piobaireachd, the classical music of the great Highland bagpipes.

One of the great benefits of these books is that they are backed up with free online audio and video lessons. This means that after camp is over, students have an easily accessible teaching resource to review their lessons and encourage them into the next stage of learning. The audio and video can be accessed here. The books will all be available at camp but can be purchased in advance from the Piping Press Shop. Scroll down for the NEPADA discount code.

A full range of piping examinations is available at the Academy, ranging from our own in-house exams to those of the Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board. Successful candidates for the NEPADA exams are presented with their certificates at the conclusion of the camp.

The new (2018) piping examination syllabus devised by Principal Robert Wallace is now available to all students. Click to download: Exam Syllabus and peruse at your leisure. Snare drummers also have a set of exams. These are over 12 grades and have been devised by leading Grade 1 drum Tommy Johnston, our regular instructor. Check them out here NEPADA Drumming Exam Syllabus.

For piping there are lots of grades all with small incremental progressions. These have been deliberately tailored so that more students than ever can match their ability to a particular grade.nepada-course-completion-cert The exams are not compulsory at camp and they are free to all students who attend. They can be taken outwith camp week via Skype or Facetime and for this there would be a small charge. On successful completion each student receives the appropriate certificate.

For the piobaireachd student there is also a series of examinations all designed to reflect gradual progress in the ‘big’ music.  Click Exam Syllabusto download the syllabus and scroll down to get the details. All exams are based on the three world beating tutors by the Principal:tutor-1


You can buy these books at a very reasonable price. Click here then quote this code at checkout to get the $8 NEPADA discount: 6ZC5MPG94M9R

Robert Wallace is a registered assessor for the Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board and conducts these examinations on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. He was for 15 years the Principal of the College of Piping in Glasgow (1999 -2014) and is recognised as a world expert on the bagpipe and its music.

Drummers should avail themselves of the Structured Learning books from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. These are available by free download from the RSPBA website and cover all aspects of pipe band percussion from snare drumming to bass and tenor.