The National Piping Centre (NPC), whose Royal Patron is HRH The Prince Charles, was established in 1996. A registered charity, the NPC strives to be the world centre of excellence for the study and promotion of the Great Highland Bagpipe. Its aims are to provide encouragement and inspiration for the study and promotion of Scotland's national instrument.
The NPC teaches over 900 people per month and has given over 100,000 lessons to students from 58 countries since opening. The NPC established and teaches a BA (Scottish Music - Piping) Degree with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as a study abroad programme with Glasgow, St. Andrew's and Edinburgh University. In 2003 it established The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, which now draws more than 90 members from across Scotland's 32 councils. In the same year, the NPC established the Glasgow International Piping Festival. Known as Piping Live!, the festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors to 150 events across seven days.
The NPC museum displays artefacts on loan from the National Museums Scotland and the library serves to collect, preserve and make accessible educational piping resources. With support from The Heritage Lottery Fund, the NPC is currently undertaking a two year oral history project title Noting the Tradition. The NPC publishes a tutor book and journal Piping Today.
The National Piping Centre, in partnership with Glasgow-based digital media consortium Yellow Brick House, is now embarking on an ambitious e-learning project which will deliver high quality bagpipe tuition digitally using webinar technology and live streaming services. This will allow NPC tutors to deliver interactive virtual piping tuition to individuals anywhere in the world. As part of an integrated e-learning package, the NPC seeks to make available digitally its library of archive print and audio resources and utilise its social media channels to encourage dialogue which will increase engagement in piping and the NPC. The NPC launched its live event streaming at Piping Live! Festival 2012 in the NPC Auditorium.