Learn from Scratch

Turn your living room into a classroom and learn pipe band drumming from a professional instructor at your own convenience!

The AR2 Drumming Studio self-guided learning series puts you in the driver’s seat with the confidence that you’re getting it right every step of the way.

How does the whole system it work?

  1. When you buy your first lesson, you will get access to an online video demonstration and a few lines of exercises which will help you reinforce the skill or skills being learned.
  2. Take as much time as you want working on this – replaying the video and practicing the exercises on your own schedule.  You will be provided in the lesson notes some very specific goals and guidelines on how to pass the level.
  3. If you think you have gotten the hang of the exercises – it’s time to submit your exam.  You will make a video recording of yourself demonstrating the required material, upload it to an online video site (we highly recommend Vimeo which is how we host all of our videos, but will also happily accept YouTube if that works better for you).  Then you submit the private link to your exam video via our online grading request form. During each level, it is entirely up to you to decide when you feel ready to submit your examination.
  4. Every single video is examined by AR2 himself!  This should give you the confidence in our system knowing that a professional pipe band drumming educator is monitoring your progress every step of the way.  You will receive a response via email with your exam grade, along with instructional notes on what you’re doing well as well as what needs further development.
  5. The grading system will be setup as follows:
    • Each of the 5 lines of exercises per level will receive a grade out of 10 points
    • How to get a passing grade:
      • You must receive an minimum overall grade of 35/50 (70%)
      • You may not have any line below a score of 7/10
    • What if you don’t pass?
      • You may re-take the exam as many times as necessary by submitting another video.
      • Each exam is considered starting over so you have to play all 5 lines again.
      • Re-take exams will only be accepted after a minimum gap of 48 hours.
  6. Once you are given a passing exam grade, you will be able to gain access to the next level and begin the process again.  If you have purchased one of the lesson packs (details below) the next level will be automatically unlocked for you.  If you are paying as you go, you’ll need to purchase the next level in order to proceed.
  7. Your progress from level to level will be tracked in our system. In order to provide adequate development time, you may only submit an examination to “level up” once per week.

What are the costs involved in the self-guided learning series?

Lesson Cost – Each lesson level is $15.  There are 20 total lessons in the “beginner” series which teaches you everything you will need to know in order to begin learning your first actual pieces of pipe band drumming music.  So without purchasing a package, the lessons themselves are $300 … which compared to private lessons at $50 each saves you at least $700.

Exam Cost – Every time you submit an exam, the cost is $5.  This also applies to re-takes, and is due as part of the submission or resubmission process.  This puts your exam total – if you take your time, work hard, and pass each one on the first try – at just $100.  (So even though direct instruction doesn’t use the same exam process, your total cost of self-guided lessons and professionally-reviewed exams totals $400, which is only 40% of the cost of private lessons!)

Equipment Costs – You will be required to use an AR2-approved pair of pipe band style drumsticks and practice drum pad.  The typical cost of this setup is approximately $75, so don’t just run out and buy something or go online and order them without talking to us first!  Like anything, there are details that make certain products better choices than others.  There are specific requirements about what type of products you will be able to use and we will only accept exams submitted using approved products.  There are a few choices for each, but please wait until you have received your “class supply list” before buying anything so that you don’t get something you won’t be able to use in this learning system.

*** All prices are listed in United States Dollars ***

À la Carte Pay as you Go


per lesson and exam

5-Pack Save $10


5 lessons and exams

10-Pack Save $25


10 lessons and exams

15-Pack Save $60


15 lessons and exams

20-Pack Save $75


20 lessons and exams

What if you’re just not getting it by yourself?

Being motivated, hard-working, and keen to succeed are some critical ingredients to your ability to learn an instrument without a personal instructor customizing every lesson for you.  If you get into this series and find that you have reached a stumbling block at some point, don’t give up!  It might be time for you to schedule a real-time video lesson to get personalized assistance.  For some people, one lesson can help them get past key issues and then return to the remainder of the self-guided series.  For others, you may find that you prefer to continue to private instruction and the details associated with that can be discussed at that time on an individual basis. Get information on individual lessons here.

Sorry, but this exciting new self-guided learning program is not yet available.

If you would like to be notified when information becomes available, please complete the form below an you will receive an email as soon as details are ready!

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