Education Initiative: April PDQB Examinations and Teacher Database

We are proud to announce the latest developments in our education initiative! This includes two components: PDQB examinations and a new teacher database (details below).


PDQB Examinations: April 25th and 26th

Expressions of Interest for Piping and Drumming Due March 9th

The pilot of PDQB examinations in November 2019 went very well, and we are happy to announce the next round of piping examinations, which will be facilitated by Bob Worrall in late April. We are also launching an expression of interest process for drumming, with a date for drumming examinations to be determined based on uptake and readiness.


Why is the Branch doing this?

This process is designed to help piping and drumming students have their performance and theory skills officially recognized.

In striving to increase the uptake of piping and drumming in our region, the Branch utilizes the framework established by Scotland’s Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB). This framework is divided into different piping and snare drumming levels as set out by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SCQF). The PDQB also has different levels for bass and tenor drumming.

This framework provides curricula for teachers, a way for students to progress in a non-competition based manner, and it provides fully recognized certification to successful examination candidates that could be leveraged for broader educational aims.


Next round of examinations: April 25th and 26th for piping

Where: The location in the Ottawa Branch region will be confirmed with candidates in the near future


How it works

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the material

Before moving forward, students (and their teachers) interested in certification should take the time to familiarize themselves with syllabi and test requirements (both theory and performance) for different levels.


SCQF Levels for Piping

SCQF Levels for Snare Drumming

PDQB Levels for Tenor and Bass Drumming


Step 2: Express your interest in taking an exam


We will hold two piping examination dates per year (one in the fall, and one in the spring), and drumming examinations once per year and/or when the number of candidates is sufficient.

To proceed, you must first complete an expression of interest.

The forms are available below. Expressions of interest are due by March 9th.


PPBSO Ottawa PDQB Expression of Interest Form for Piping

PPBSO Ottawa PDQB Expression of Interest Form for Drumming


Step 3: Complete the paperwork


Students that have completed the expression of interest will be contacted by the Branch to complete the required candidate paperwork by the specified due date.


Step 4: Prepare!


The onus is on students (and their teachers) to be prepared for both the theory and performance components of the exams for their respective levels.


Step 5: Take the Exam


Candidates will be asked to pay the associated fee on the day of the exam. Afterward, the facilitators’ assessments will be sent to Scotland for vetting, after which candidates will be informed of their results.


Frequently Asked Questions


How much does it cost to participate?


The price per candidate is $95.00. This cost partially offsets both the Branch’s cost of bringing in a PDQB recognized facilitator, as well as the PDQB’s administration fees.


Where will exams be held?


Exams will be hosted at a suitable facility in the Ottawa Branch region.


When will exams be held?


Piping exams will be held twice annually. Once in the fall and once in the spring. Exact dates may vary each year. Drumming examinations will occur once per year and/or when the number of candidates is sufficient.


When will I know if I passed my exam?


After exams, facilitators’ assessments will be sent to Scotland for vetting, after which candidates will be informed of their results. This process can take a few months. Successful candidates will receive an official certificate thereafter.


What if I didn’t pass my exam?


Candidates may begin the process again and make another attempt in the future.

Teacher Database


Alongside the PDQB exmination process, we are relaunching a regional Teacher Database to help piping and drumming students identify potential tutors in the area.


Looking for instruction?


For individual instruction, there are many tuition options in the Ottawa Branch region for both piping and drumming.


Those on this list have opted in and have self-identified their teaching areas. This list has not been vetted by the Branch, therefore it is the responsibility of students to confirm arrangements with a potential tutor. Individual fees are subject to instructor/student agreement.


Register as a Teacher

View the Teacher Database


Some bands also provide piping and drumming instruction to their members.  Click here for a list of area pipe bands.

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