Banjo vs. Bagpipes

This is going to be a quick post, because it’s the long weekend and our little family is going to attempt a hike when the baby wakes up in a few minutes.  Hiking with C is a challenge because she dislikes baby carriers, but we’re attempting to desensitize her to them by taking her on pleasant, short hikes once in a while.  This is (we hope) going to result in baby who will be happy to go on a 10 km hike in July when we take her camping in Algonquin Park.  I’m only half joking.

I’m writing this as a bit of an update to my last post about how to play a loud instrument with a baby around.  This past Friday, at a pre-party for the mountain race that I’m doing in less than two weeks (eeek!) I met a woman who plays the bagpipes.  She also has a baby boy who is a little older than C.  I asked her a million questions.  She told me the following:

1) She can’t play bagpipes in the house, even when her baby is awake and happy, because they’re too loud and they scare him.  A lot.

2) She practices with her pipes & drums group, but can’t practice anywhere else unless it’s with a little kazoo-type, bagpipe-practicing contraption that doesn’t make much noise.  I’ve heard of these.  They’re good for learning new songs and developing muscle memory.

3) She couldn’t play her bagpipes much at the end of her pregnancy because it’s so physically demanding that it would cause painful contractions.  Apparently she would still play with the pipes & drums but would have to sit out the odd song because of this.  She is tough stuff.

What I took away from this conversation is that I should make a better effort to keep up my practicing.  If this awesome bagpipes-playing woman can manage to keep up her practicing with a baby who is terrified of her instrument, I have no excuse.  Even though the banjo is loud, it is nowhere near bagpipes-level noisy.  So it’s decided.  There will be daytime hoedowns in this house.

Now I just have to deal with the fact that my tuner is broken.  Its demise involves peanut butter.  I’ll discuss this later.  In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a fantastic long weekend!  Happy Victoria Day!


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