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What Would True Musical Freedom Mean to You?

Dear Passionate Bagpiper,

In the past 10 years of teaching pipers en masse at Dojo University, I’ve learned a lot about the “improvement-oriented bagpiper” (a piper that wants to get better).

In general, I’ve found that improvement-oriented bagpipers fall into two camps. 

One small camp (perhaps 5% of pipers), a camp that I was lucky enough to be a part of as I was growing up, I call the “on-a-roll” camp. These players have inherently good fundamentals (based on great teaching, readily available, from day one), and are on a steady trajectory “upward” into piping, and they are ever-hungry for new tunes, new information, new experiences. These pipers enjoy the ride all the way up to the point where they cross over into the realm of true instrument mastery, where they are then free to create music in whatever style they so choose, until long into old age. 

The remainder - probably at least 95% of pipers - fall into the “stuck” camp. Pipers in the “stuck” camp have at least one major gap in ability (usually more than one), and this has resulted in a great plateau for the player, a certain point in their musical development that they can’t get past. No matter how much they practice, now matter how many tunes they learn, no matter how long they hang around great players, no matter how long they stay in the game -- it really doesn’t get all that much better. 

Unless these players can somehow break free from the shackles of “stuck”-ness, they’ll never get to the point where they are free to explore the complete scope of bagpipe music and develop their own creative voice.

Well, as you likely already have guessed: this program, our “Bagpipe Freedom Intensive,” was created to un-stick even the most stuck piper. All you need is a strong will, and this program will provide the way. 

(By the way, this program works wonders for “on-a-roll” players too. Dig into this program, and watch your playing sky-rocket!)

The Bagpipe Freedom Intensive is a potent cocktail of essential bagpipe lessons, specifically catered to your current (actual) playing level, presented in the right order, and attacked with 100% effort. 

The program will break down every detail of what you’re currently doing. Your strengths will be reinforced, and your weaknesses will be exposed, broken down, and rebuilt. 

Over the course of twelve 3-day “sprints,” you’ll exhaustively attack key concepts and exercises. 

At the end of the course, you will be a drastically better bagpiper. Period. Will you still have weaknesses? Yes. But - you’ll know exactly how to attack those weaknesses, and to build control over them over time. You’ll be on the path to true Bagpipe Freedom.

It's my sincere hope we'll see you at our upcoming Intensive!

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Douglas
Founder, Creator, and "CEO" of Dojo University


"I have nothing but great things to say about the Dojo U Freedom Intensive. I will admit to a bit of 'sticker shock' when I first saw the price, though. I thought to myself, 'is this worth it?'

But, after breaking it down, I found I honestly couldn't point to another opportunity where you would get to spend 12 private sessions with an active competing piper of Glenn Brown's achievement level for anywhere near that amount--let alone a program with all the additional material, curated support, personal direction, and progress planning the Dojo was offering.

I expected to be challenged--and I was. I expected to be shown, point blank, trouble spots in my piping technique, as well as how to fix them--and I was. What I wasn't expecting was that it would be in such a nurturing environment--from Glenn, from Andrew and the entire Dojo staff, and from the rest of the FI participants. It really became like family.

So, at the end of the day, was it worth it? No...it was worth a whole lot more."

Matthew Quinn Martin - Upstate New York 

The Program Works Like This:

Our program starts by identifying your baseline playing level. From there, we utilize twelve 3-day "sprints" to transform you as a musician. Each 3-day sprint begins with a video-lesson with accompanying textbook lesson. From there, you will have a detailed assignment to work on as you prepare to attempt to "graduate" from your current playing level. Each three day sprint includes a private lesson with Glenn Brown, tons of supplemental materials to help you fully understand the current task at hand, and ample "open office hours" with Andrew Douglas and Carl Donley to help you with anything you need.


Finding Your Starting Point

Before the intensive begins, you have the option of submitting recordings that place you at a specific stage of musical development (we call these "freedom phases"). Your current freedom phase will determine exactly what your first 3-day sprint will entail.

If you don't want to do pre-recordings to determine your level, that's 100% fine. You can start at the beginning and within a week or two you'll ascend to the perfect level organically.


Let the Games Begin - Your First Sprint

The program will start with your first 3-day sprint! Based on your current "freedom phase," a lesson will be released to you in video form. Your job will be to watch the lesson, and work to complete a very specific task that is given to you. For the next three days, this will be your singular focus. And we're not going to stop until we can do it!


At The End of Each Sprint - An Evaluation

Each mission you receive as part of your 3-day sprint will be accompanied with tons and tons of support. Supplemental video, audio, and text material will help you really dig deep and learn what you need to learn. During each and every sprint, you'll receive a one-on-one lesson with Glenn Brown, helping you with your own specific needs in a private setting. Each day, there will be at least one "open session" for anyone on the plan to tune in with Andrew Douglas or Carl Donley for extra help.

On the final day of the sprint, it's time for you to record your progress, and submit that recording for critique. We will give you detailed feedback on your work, and, if you meet the requirements, you will "graduate" to the next freedom phase. If your work doesn't meet the requirements, no problem! We've got another detailed assignment for you in the next sprint to help you get over the hump.



For the six weeks of the plan, we are going to repeat this process with different repertoire, and a different fundamental focus.

The result? Drastic bagpipe improvement in a short period of time.

The Program Comes With...

Here's what you'll receive to help you through your program...


The workbook contains all lessons, ample space for note-taking, and a practice log.


Experience 12 one-on-one sessions with many-time World Champion Glenn Brown.


Ample video, text, and audio materials. A Dojo Manometer. Open help sessions. Everything you need to succeed.

Meet Your Instructors

Andrew Douglas

Andrew Douglas

2017 & 2019 World Champion with Inveraray and District
2017 US Silver Medal Winner
Pipe Major of Oran Mor Pipe Band (14th in the World, 2011)
Founder and Creator of Dojo University 

Carl Donley

Carl Donley 

Carl is a co-founder of the Dojo and student favorite! Former Pipe Major of Iona College Pipe Band Professional Soloist 

Special Guest! Your Private Instructor For This Intensive Is...

Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown

3 Time World Pipe Band Champion
Gold Medallist
Senior Piobaireachd, Bratach Gorm, Glenfiddich Piobaireachd winner

Our program features 12 private lessons - twice each week. Your private instructor helps give you the 1-on-1 attention you need to achieve the goal of next-level bagpipe musicianship in just 6 short weeks.

" When I found out about he Dojo Freedom Intensive course I was immediately on board. I had some reservations about the cost, however once I received the pre-course material and we got going I realised that I was going to get an awful lot out of it.

The course was certainly intensive, it continually pushed you, often out or your comfort zone, however the support from the instructors and other participants was invaluable. Personal instructor feedback is twice a week and we had regular open zoom sessions so we could get answers to any questions, you really are fully immersed.

One big element of the Freedom Intensive is regular playing, both on the practice chanter and pipes, if you make this commitment you will get the most from the course.

Personally I found the regular playing of my pipes and developing my blowing techniques of huge benefit. The manometer, which is supplied with course materials, will become your best friend (and possibly at times worst enemy) and for me was instrumental in developing my blowing and as a result the tone of my pipes.

In addition to the bi-weekly instructor feedback, I had 2 lessons each week with Glenn Brown which were superb. His manner immediately puts you at ease and his attention to detail is second to none. I found this a fantastic element of the course as it is not very often you get the opportunity for regular one to one contact with one of the best pipers in the world.

In summary I really enjoyed the Freedom Intensive course, it has changed my mindset and how I approach my practice, I am also playing my pipes much more because it is enjoyable and not a physical chore.

If you are thinking about it just go for it... I am sure you will not be disappointed."

Sally Mason - Lincolnshire United Kingdom 

Who Is This Program (Really) For?

This program is for almost any piper that is feeling in any way “stuck,” and will also work for any piper who is already “on a roll” but wants to accelerate to the next level. 

A piper in this program should:

  • Have at least 6 months experience on the full bagpipes. 
  • Should have several tunes, memorized, playable on the pipes.
  • Be able and willing to spend a minimum of 1 hour per day, six days per week for the duration of the 6-week program. 

Please note, these are the minimum requirements. If you have 35 years of experience on the pipes, and have played hundreds of tunes - this program is still ideal for you if you are feeling like you’ve hit the ceiling and need to get un-stuck so you can pursue your musical freedom.

Perhaps most importantly, a piper in this program needs to have “fire in the belly” - a strong desire, willingness, and availability to really attack our weaknesses over the span of the 6-week program. 

If you fit this description, you’re ready.

Magnified Progress by Pin-Pointing Our Focus

Our six-week intensive is broken into twelve 3-day segments we call "sprints."

Each sprint will be laser-focused on a single, solitary task to work on.

During the three days of your sprint you will use the wide variety of resources we give you (and the help you get during special sessions and 1-on-1 work) to try to master your task.

Glenn Brown

World Champion 1-on-1 Guidance:

During all twelve of our 3-day sprints during this program, you'll get a chance to sit down for a 1-on-1 session with Glenn Brown, our resident world champion piper.

Whether you're struggling or thriving with the current assignment, Glenn will be there to zero in on your individual needs, so this program is truly 100% catered to you.

Whether you're a beginner trying to become an intermediate, or a seasoned player reaching for that higher level - there can be no better help than Glenn!

Action, Not Just Words and Theory.

You'll never be bored during this 6-week intensive. You're going to be busy practicing, and figuring out what you need to do to master each new mission as it comes along.

On the first morning of each 3-day Sprint, you'll receive a mission from Andrew that gives you a bit of background theory, but mostly will involve good old fashioned elbow grease!

If you're ready to dust off those pipes and put some real mileage on your instrument, this intensive is for you.

An Abundance of Support:

In addition to the amazing 1-on-1 session you will get during each sprint, there is ample other support available to you as you undertake this intensive.

Regular online "office hours" with Carl and Andrew, a secret forum for all students and instructors to interact in, direct "chat line" to any instructor headline the primary channels you can use if you need anything at all throughout the whole program.

Learning Materials That Can Last a Life Time.

To help you with the plan, the following materials are INCLUDED in the price of admission:

  • 200+ page workbook
  • A comprehensive video lesson at the beginning of each sprint
  • Supplemental Audio materials you can listen to as you go about your day while on the plan
  • A Dojo Tube Manometer for developing great tonal quality on your bagpipe

Sleep Soundly At Night with Great Peace of Mind...

Perhaps the most meaningful feature of this intensive is our robust guarantee. No other piping school in the world is willing to guarantee great results, but we are.

If you're not a drastically better bagpiper/musician by the end of this course, we promise you give you back your full investment.

You can read more about "Our Promise" below.

"I was blown away by the professional presentation of the program, the ongoing support, and encouragement from all.

As an adult learner lacking confidence in piping, the patience shown to me throughout the program was exactly what I needed. I learned an incredible amount and highly recommend this course, it is excellent value for the money."

Janet Cox - Prince Edward Island

" I approached the Freedom Intensive without any specific goal in mind. I could have rattled off several areas I wanted to work on but decided to just see where the course would take me. And, oh boy, did I go for an amazing ride!

I knew ahead of time that I didn't always hit the "click" but never dreamed how hard it would be to pass Freedom Phase 1 with the clapping of a tune.

The FI certainly helped me go from not only hitting the click more consistently, but hearing when I'm off and adjusting. I now understand and can play basic rhythm structures better and have surprised the Dojo regulars in morning classes that I am playing on the "click" more often than not. I think the other positive from the course was understanding just how to practice and the time and effort involved in actually getting better. Thanks Dojo Staff! "

Toni DeVore - West Virginia

How the Bagpipe Freedom Intensive Works

The “Bagpipe Freedom” process works by breaking down bagpipe music into one-dimensional (singularly focused) pieces, working to develop each piece to perfection, then putting the pieces back together again - layer by layer. 

The theory here is that, if you can’t do one thing extremely well, you won’t be able to do a whole bunch of things simultaneously very well. 

Meanwhile, if you can do one thing so well that you can literally perform it without thinking, this puts us in the position to begin to develop a second thing to add on top of it. Once this is “unconsciously competent,” we add in the next skill. And so on, and so forth.

A bagpiper that has achieved musical freedom can (must) perform 10 simultaneous skills with a very high degree of competency, without needing to consciously think about a single one (unless they choose to). 

The 10 Skills are:

  • Rhythmic Accuracy
  • Scale Navigation (with no crossing noises)
  • Excellent Gracenote Quality
  • Physical Blowing Mechanics
  • Tuning the drones to each other.
  • Identification of the Chanter Reed’s Sweet Spot
  • Tuning drones to the chanter.
  • Awareness/avoidance of Mental Blowing Anomalies
  • Embellishment mechanics
  • Micro-dynamics (what we call “ALAP/ASAP”)

Note 1: There are other bagpipe skills, such as bagpipe maintenance for example, that are important but are not necessary during a performance. 

Note 2: I’ve arranged the 10 skills in what I consider to be their order of musical and/or developmental importance. The best path to bagpipe freedom is to attack each of these in this order.

What this program will do is to dig deep into these 10 items, in the right order, beginning to open up your path to achieving bagpipe freedom. 

Sprinting Towards Your Break-Through

Each of the 10 essential piping skills will receive your attention in the form of at least one 3-day sprint, where you will spend every possible ounce of your energy on that one single thing. The goal of each sprint is to become “unconsciously competent” at the skill we are focused on, so that the performance of that skill will be automatic for you. In the perfect world, you’ll then be ready to add in the next skill on top.

However, it’s not realistic that we’ll always achieve this level in 3 days. In the case that we fall short of our goal, the next rung down in our “hierarchy of competence” is what we call conscious competence - where we are indeed able to perform this specific skill, but only if we think hard about it. If we end up in this situation at the end of our sprint, at least we will have a clear path to become unconsciously competent at some point in the near future. 

For some of us, we may not have even been aware that certain skills existed before this program! And, that’s ok! In this case, it’s possible that the “big win” that we’ll get out of our 3-day sprint is simply a clear picture of the skill at which we’re still not competent. Now that we have dug deep on this concept, we’ll be in the position to fully understand our plan of attack for mastering this skill in the future. 

Regardless of whether we reach “unconscious competence” or not in each sprint, it should be clear to you that your piping will drastically improve over the course of the program. It’s common that people aren’t just happy with how far they’ve come in 6 weeks - they’re truly blown away.

Before you continue on, take a few moments to contemplate the image below - it represents the “hierarchy of competence” that we will aim to progress through 12 times during this program.

The above image shows the natural progression of skill building. We want to get all 10 of our simultaneous fundamental skills we need to perform while playing the bagpipes to be “unconsciously competent” so that we can focus on self-expression. (This is the definition of “bagpipe freedom”).

Our Promise To You...

You shouldn't invest real money in a program like this unless you know for sure it's going to work for you, that's why...

We promise that you'll super-charge your piping during this intensive program. If you're not playing at what you would consider to be a much higher level upon completion, receive a full refund.

 No shenanigans here. If the program doesn't work for you, you get your money back. It's that simple.


Price: $1499

Early Bird Price = $1199


Bagpipe Freedom Intensive, March 27th through May 8th, 2021

  • 12 High Intensity Sprints Across 6 Weeks
  • Twelve 1-on-1 sessions with World Champion Glenn Brown
  • 200+page Workbook, Video Lessons, Dojo Manometer, and more to help you achieve your break-through
  • Iron-Clad Money-Back Guarantee
  • Effective For Any Playing Level.

Program Details

  • Desire: This program is for pipers with a burning desire to have a major break-through in their bagpipe music making!
  • Level: Beginners on full pipes, through to Advanced levels (you should be able to play a few tunes on the pipes before considering this program).
  • Setting: Online/Virtual
  • Course Time Commitment: At least 1 hour per day, 6 days per week, for 6 full weeks beginning October 4th.


Price: $1499

Bagpipe Freedom Intensive, March 27th through May 8th, 2021

  • 12 High Intensity Sprints Across 6 Weeks
  • Twelve 1-on-1 sessions with World Champion Glenn Brown
  • 200+page Workbook, Video Lessons, Dojo Manometer, and more to help you achieve your break-through
  • Iron-Clad Money-Back Guarantee
  • Effective For Any Playing Level.

Program Details

  • Desire: This program is for pipers with a burning desire to have a major break-through in their bagpipe music making!
  • Level: Beginners on full pipes, through to Advanced levels (you should be able to play a few tunes on the pipes before considering this program).
  • Setting: Online/Virtual
  • Course Time Commitment: At least 1 hour per day, 6 days per week, for 6 full weeks beginning October 4th.

" I had to think pretty hard about whether to sign up for the Freedom Intensive, not because I’ve ever questioned the value of Dojo programs, but because that was a lot of money to spend all in one chunk on piping.

Man, did I get my money’s worth!

The Intensive is extremely rigorous. 

It is frustrating. 

It is maddening. 

It is supportive. 

It is community. 

And the quality of the instruction is unparalleled. 

I am a different piper now than I was before the intensive.  I feel like it short-cut about three years’ worth of learning.  Six weeks and a few bucks were cheap when you realize what can come out of it."

Sue Kennedy - Nevada

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bagpipe Freedom Intensive is a BIG investment, and that can raise a lot of important questions. Here are some of the big questions and their corresponding big answers for you.

Is This Taught Fully Online?

Yes. This program is designed to happen from the comfort of your own practice room!

Your weekly online "missions" will be distributed as part of an automated online course, with full supplemental materials to give you all the resources you need to dig deep on each topic as it arises.

All interactive sessions with instructors will use Zoom software to interact. Zoom is extremely user-friendly and works on any computer, phone, or tablet.

What if my internet is unreliable?

Take a moment to test your internet speed by clicking here now. Click the "Go" button when you get to the page to test your internet speed.

Wait for the test to finish. If you have at least 5 mbps (that means "megabytes per second") DOWNLOAD speed, your internet should be good enough for this program.

Below that, and we would recommend faster internet before undertaking this program.

What tunes will we be working on during the program?

This is a great question, and a very important detail about our program. It's important for you to know that you won't be allowed to pick the tunes we focus on during this intensive. There is a very good reason for this.

Perhaps the most important thing about actually getting better is recognizing that organic diversity in all aspects of your bagpiping playing is the secret sauce that leads to success.

In other words, we are often our own worst enemy when it comes to “practice” because we (and sometimes even our teachers) consciously or subconsciously sabotage our own development with our biases. 

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you stink (I mean really stink) at tuning your bagpipes. No matter what you’ve tried over the past several years has gotten you nowhere. 

Today, when you sit down to practice, what are you going to focus your energies on? I bet you $50 I know what it’s NOT going to be. It’s not going to be tuning! 

Humans are notorious for avoiding what they aren’t good at. It’s a way for us to avoid failure, avoid bad moods, and to trick ourselves into believing we’re getting better. But, obviously, if we never work on tuning because we think we “stink” at it, we can never be a good piper. Because tuning is part of bagpiping. 

Now, it’s possible you’re one of the special ones. “Andrew,” you say, “I’m smart. I work on my weaknesses! I work harrrrrrrd on my weaknesses.” 

But, if you’re in this camp, you’re no different than bicep curl guy. Focusing only on our weaknesses shuts out all of the other things we need to do on a regular basis to maintain and/or upgrade our musicianship.

For example, isn’t steady blowing an element of good tuning? If you only ever focus on tuning (and ignore other fundamentals that are related to good tuning), can you see how this will cause major problems as well? 

In other words, over-focusing on our weaknesses doesn’t work either. 

The thing I want you to take away from this is - it’s the musician who is regularly in new challenging situations that improves the fastest. This is why kids who grow up in musical families tend to become the best musicians. An environment where we are regularly exposed to a wide variety of musical stimuli and technical challenges is the correct environment to be in if improvement is the aim.

So, if you’re not a young kid in a musical family, how do you put yourself in the right environment? Well, the fact that you’re here in the program now is a good start. 

In this program, your 3-day sprints are going to come at you in unexpected ways. You will not know ahead of time what tunes you’ll be learning. You will not know ahead of time what technique we will be focusing on. You will not know ahead of time if what you’ll be playing this week will be “easy,” or if it will be “hard.”

You see, the fact we constantly vary our focus and that we don’t get to pick our practice material is essential. It’s the secret sauce of this program.

What if I have to miss a day on this plan?

We get it, life happens! If you have to miss a day here or there, you will be fine on this plan. There is a "day off" built into each week for this very purpose. Missing one or two days during the program will be managable.

However, if you have major conflicts during the plan, this will definitely be an issue, and would void your money-back guarantee. 6 weeks of solid learning continuity is a big part of how we can promise great results. If you have major conflicts during the time period that we're offering this intensive, it is best to wait until a future offering of this program to sign up.

What materials do I need for the program?

We provide all of your learning materials and a Dojo Tube-style Manometer for your plan. However, by the time the program begins, your practice room should be equipped with:

  • A fully distraction-free practice space
  • A fully functioning bagpipe, and of course a practice chanter
  • A metronome that's loud enough to clearly here when playing the full pipes
  • A recording device that does a decent job recording the full pipes.
  • A solid internet connection (see above)
  • A printer is recommended but not required.

That really just about all you need!

What happens if I have an emergency and need to bow out of the plan?

In the case of emergency, we will follow the common sense rule here. If you need to cancel part-way through the plan due to a personal crisis or emergency, we will offer a pro-rated refund.

Can I Cancel Before the Program Starts?

Yes. You can cancel up until Feb 27th to receive a full refund.

Is there any "fine print" regarding the satisfaction guarantee?

This program is designed for you! It’s a big investment on your part, and so it's very important that, if you're not satisfied, you can get all of your money back. With that said, you must play your part and "buy in" to the program in order to be eligible.

In order to be eligible for a refund, you must “show your work,” demonstrating that you’ve:

  • Fully attended all course events and lessons.
  • Followed the course prescriptions to the letter.
  • Used your workbook and practice log as directed.
  • Demonstrated a “coachable” demeanor and a willingness to change your approach when necessary. 

Also, we will always adhere to the rules of common sense when doing business together:

  • In the case of a true life emergency, we can offer a pro-rated refund for course materials. 
  • In the unlikely event that the Dojo is unable to deliver all of the agreed upon goods and services outlined by the Intensive, you will be refunded a fair amount. 
  • And so on, as per the rules of "common sense."

Is Piobairechd Part of this Intensive?

We will focus on Light Music during this plan, and no Piobaireachds will be used from a repertoire standpoint.

However, this intensive will drastically improve your bagpipe intonation, tuning, setup, and more. It will drastically improve your technique and embellishments as well.

So, this intensive will drastically improve your Piobaireachd playing even though it's not a direct focus of the program.