Published Thursday, 12 December 2013
Fixers, an organisation that gives young people a voice in the community, has organised a project highlighting the benefits pipe bands can bring and how schools can incorporate them into lessons.
Ross Hume, from Antrim, has been playing the bagpipes since the age of 10.
The 20-year-old said: "Pipe bands are almost a lifestyle with having to practice all the time and preparing for competitions.
"I guess there is a bit of a stigma, but religion and politics really isn't an issue and everyone just enjoys the music."
Tineke Westerhuis, from Kells, was influenced by her grandfather to take up the pipes.
She said: "I was 11 when I started on the Bagpipes and it is a big part of my life, it's something I do all the time.
"My granddad used to play the pipes, he used to play all sort of instruments, but he always tried to get me to play the bagpipes.
"I wouldn't have any of it but then after he died, I thought, you know what, he was really passionate about it and it was something he wanted me to do, so I'll give it a go.
"At first people teased me a bit because they said bagpipes were for big Scottish men.
"But when they heard me play in assemblies and at remembrance services, with the whole school standing watching, they realised that it's actually a brilliant thing to do.
It doesn't matter where you're from or what your religious background is, it's all about coming together for the music.
"And it's really nice to come home and say to your granny or your mummy, oh look at the tune I can play.
"Our Fixer's project is about showing people what pipe bands are all about and trying to incorporate it into schools."
Fixers has helped Tineke and Ross create a DVD to help promote the benefits of marching bands to the likes of the Department of Education and the Education and Library Boards.
Grace Anderson from Slemish College which runs classes said: "There has been such a great interest in piping and drumming in the school.
"We have about eight students who do snare drumming and another 10 who learn the bagpipes.
"It isn't something that's offered as part of our regular music tuition but it is something we'd love to see introduced as part of our music curriculum."
Paul Crisken from the North Eastern Education and Library Board added: "I'm very impressed that these young people have taken it upon themselves to promote this, which is not covered generally by the education and library boards so they are to be admired for it, and I hope that this lands on my desk and I can do something about it."
© UTV News