Please Welcome Darin Knox

I started to play the bagpipes at the age of 8 with the Dartmouth boys pipe and drum band under the direction of Allen Kenny and Pipe Major Ken Grant in 1974.  In the fall of 1979 I joined the 33rd Halifax Service Battalion pipe band under Pipe Major Barbra Stewart. This was my first experience with a military Pipe and Drum band.  I continued in the military in the early 1980s, when I jointed the 1st Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) under the direction of Pipe Major (CWO) Harold MacDonnell. Two years later I was attached to the brigade headquarters in Halifax as piper to the Late Brigadier General A Robie MacDonald (Atlantic Area Commanding Officer). I was asked to assist with the cadet music program in Antigonish in 1997 and offered a position in the area headquarters a few years later as head of the pipe and drum program.

I am a former student of the Colaisge na Gàidhlig (Gaelic College) receiving instruction from former gold medalist and Seaforth Highlander Finley MacNeil of Inverness Scotland. My playing was also heavily influenced by The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada Pipe Majors (CWO) William Magennis and (CWO) William Gilmore.

Over the past 45 years I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to play for the queen mother, taken part in a movie, played on the ship Queen Mary and many other countless opportunities.
I also took part in many Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoos including the first show in 1979. I was very successful as a solo competitor on the bagpipes as well where I received many awards and recognition. In 2010 I started the Regional Cadet Pipe and Drum band and was awarded the Vice Chief Of Defence Staff Commendation for bringing interest to the pipe and drum program in 2020. Over the past 28 years in uniform I was also fortunate to receive the Canadian Forces Decoration with first clasp for military service.

Cpt. Knox's lessons will focus on bagpiping through South Shore Pipes and Drums Association, our non-profit Pipe and Drum School.

Please Welcome Zach Smith

Zach Smith began taking drum lessons at the age of 12 with the Rob Roy Pipe Band of Kingston, Ontario.  At 15 he joined the band - first as a tenor drummer before making the permanent move to snare .  At age 18 he led the Rob Roy drum corps to The World Pipe Band Championships winning "Best Overseas Band" in 1991.


 In 1992, Zach left the pipe band scene to pursue his education at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.  He graduated with both a performance degree in percussion and a Bachelor of Music Education.  After a brief stint working as a substitute teacher, Zach began a career as a private drum kit teacher and currently maintains a studio of 45 private students at the Fall River School of Performing Arts.

In 2012, Zach reentered the pipe band world joining the Dartmouth and District Pipe Band (Nova Scotia, Canada) as a corps drummer under lead drummer Jeremy Keddy.  Upon Keddy's departure in 2014, Zach assumed the post of lead drummer and accepted the challenge of building a sustainable teaching program.  


“Upon returning to pipe bands in 2011, I realized that large gaps existed in the educational materials available to aspiring pipe band drummers.” As a result, Zach decided to create to fill the gaps.

Zach has also performed and recorded with many well known artists including Richard Wood, Rachel Davis, Calvin Volrath, Kimberley Holmes, Christine Campbell, POGEY, Skip Holmes, Gordon Stobbe, Colin Grant, Alycia Putnam and Darren McMullen.  

He has performed at many Celtic and folk festivals across North America including Milwaukee Irish Fest, Chicago Celtic Fest, Celtic Colours and Stanfest.

Zach's lessons will focus on music theory and percussion.

Don’t waste another minute.

Follow your dreams, and contact Scotia Music today for your free lesson.

Please Welcome

Patrick Thompson

Patrick is a Singer/Songwriter from the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

His music comes from the heart with a spirit of positivity and optimism. His determination to music is bar-none and we look forward to his new journey instructing budding musicians. 


Patrick's lessons will focus on beginner to intermediate guitar, and beginner to advanced songwriting.

Don’t waste another minute.

Follow your dreams, and contact Scotia Music today for your free lesson.

Heather Armstrong

Owner and Director

Heather Armstrong is an award-winning musician inspired by her family traditions and her deep love of the power of music.

During Heather’s musical journey, she has been the recipient of countless awards. She is a world-class bagpiper and also excels at vocals and guitar. In 2018, she founded the South Shore Pipes and Drums Association – A Non-Profit School passionate in teaching bagpiping, drumming, and bringing Celtic culture to the community.

As you can see, music is the inspiration of her life. With 10 years in hospitality, over 20 years in customer service, and 27 years studying music, Heather is determined to encourage and teach a new generation of budding musicians.


Her online lessons build on musical foundations and can use household items as initial instruments. Her engaging teaching methods are delightful for both children and adults alike.

Heather's lessons will focus on voice, music theory, and bagpiping


Don’t waste another minute--follow your dreams, and contact Scotia Music today for your first lesson.

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