As you wind up your summer activities and vacations we know there's plenty to do in preparation for the new ringing season. First, don't forget to take care of your carry cases - they have an important function in protecting your instruments, so they deserve some attention. Perhaps your program is in a growing stage or even a re-building process in which involving senior citizens may be a vital part of the future. Find inspiration and get acquainted with Barbara Peaker in our Meet the Crew section. See all that Soundwave has accomplished over 40 years of their ringing ensembles for special needs students – they are truly inspiring! Shawn Gingrich offers up simple but effective ideas to involve young children, teens or any age in ringing for worship which are fun and easy! Most of all, we hope that you are finding ways to ring, to share and to make your world a better place with music!
If we may be of service in any way or you have a topic to share, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) HANDBEL.
Caring for your Carry Cases
Most handbell owners consider carry cases to be essential for the protection and transportation of their instruments. After all, you've invested a lot in your instruments over the years in terms of cost, time and effort Your handbells have become an essential part of your organization's programming and message, and protecting your set with well-functioning carry cases is essential.
Here are a few tips for keeping your cases in tip-top shape so they can continue protecting your instruments:
Low Pressure – High Enthusiasm Ringing
One of my passions is to involve children in the work of music ministry. These days there are so many activities from which children can choose so we don't get the commitment we had even 15 years ago. It might sound impossible but start small and you'll be surprised at how much life you can breathe into a congregation with some small efforts. Many of these ideas will also translate to school or other settings.
Barbara Peaker discovered bells at age 18 after moving to a new town and discovering that her new church was lucky enough to be the only one in the county with handbells. She knew instantly she wanted to learn this unique instrument. Barbara had always been an avid musician, learning many instruments throughout her childhood including piano, flute, clarinet, and violin, many of which were self-taught. After learning about handbells, Barbara began to do quartet and duet ringing and within a couple years became a solo ringer and youth handbell director. She now enjoys arranging her own music for solo handbell ringing.
Choirchimes® are a great instrument to use in the church setting to accompany handbells and when working with young children. But handchimes are not just for the young, they are also for the young at heart. Senior citizens benefit from playing handchimes and handbells just as much as young children. Many groups enjoy spending time ringing at senior homes and retirement communities, but the benefits of music go far beyond simply listening to the music being played by handbells and handchimes. Allowing the seniors to play these unique instruments brings great benefits physically and emotionally to them and gives them a lasting experience of their time playing a musical instrument.
Soundwave Handbell Choir of Abilene, Texas is a handbell music program specifically for students with special education needs in the Abilene Independent School District. Using an adaptive music notation developed by the founding director, Letha McGrew, this program has been performing in the Abilene area and around the country since 1978. Originally the Woodson Handbell Choir, then Abilene Gold directed by Cathy Taylor, this music program highlights the potential of students with special developmental needs.
Comprised of students from both Abilene High and Cooper High Schools, the Soundwave Handbell Choir continues to entertain as they perform for area schools, retirement centers, hospitals, churches, civic groups and community events. Watch this performance from their 2017 Spring Concert.