An award-winning musician from County Antrim wants to breathe new life into the music curriculum by encouraging schools to teach children the bagpipes.
Fixer Ross Hume (19) was recently named 'Best Junior Player' at the Northern Ireland Piping Society ‘Piper of the Year’ competition, and is surprised the instrument isn't already taught in schools.
With help from Fixers, Ross and his group have created a film explaining the benefits of pipe bands and how they bring people together.
‘I fell in love with bagpipes because I loved the sound they made,’ explains Ross, who’s been piping for 10 years.
‘Playing in a pipe band has also allowed me to meet some great friends along the way.
‘I find it remarkable how bagpipes are one of Northern Ireland’s more popular forms of musical expression, yet they’re not taught in schools in the same way as other instruments are.
‘Some marching bands in Northern Ireland are misconceived as being political, when really, pipe bands have nothing to do with it. The point of the film was mainly to encourage schools to teach the instrument to pupils.’
Ross currently plays with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band and has toured worldwide to participate in competitions.
He wants to use his recent triumph at the Adair Arms Hotel Ballymena as a springboard to inspire others to take pipe playing seriously.
‘The 'Piper of the Year' competition involved performing on stage with ten other pipers from across the country,' explains Ross.
‘It was a very proud moment when they announced my name as the winner. I don’t really play for the awards but it’s nice to be recognised.
‘I hope this will allow me to spread the message in schools and get more young people enjoying pipe playing like I do.’
Watch Ross and his group's film, 'Pipe Dreams', at the top of this page.