Attendees to our virtual event, Handbell Encounters of the Area 12 Kind, can  expect a variety of sessions geared toward improving your ringing technique, conducting, musicianship, social distanced ringing, current copyright policies, and much more!

There is something for everyone, so we hope you’ll join us for as many sessions as possible throughout the day.

Each session will include a live chat Q&A with Area 12 handbell experts, where the questions are in your hands. 

Equipment needed, if any, is indicated below. Any class notes provided by the instructors are available on the password protected Class Notes page.

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100,000 Measure Tune Up

Instructor: Michèle Sharik

Whether you’re a brand new beginner or a “veteran ringer,” this class will teach (or remind) you what to do before you ever pick up a bell or chime. Learn ergonomic techniques to help you not only “survive” those long rehearsals, concerts, and day-long ringing festivals, but also do so without pain or soreness. Ringers will be introduced to the “Three S’s”: Stance, Seat and Stroke, and will focus on developing a relaxed ringing style to help control the bell, ring dynamically and make beautiful music. Equipment Needed: 1 small-medium bell and 1 large bell. OR could use salad dressing bottles, or pop bottles, or similar.

All the Techniques, Even the Dumb Ones

Instructor: Stevie Berryman

Gallop through a review of all the handbell techniques you are likely to encounter in published handbell music, plus a few you are unlikely ever to encounter in the wild. Then explore ways some of our cherished technique methods might be rethought, and retaught. Experience supreme liberation in the realization that marts and thumb damps don’t have to sound terrible. Equipment Needed: None.

Basic, Better, Best – Use of Video for Improved Performance

Instructor: Sharon Guilliams

Reviewing a video of a performance or rehearsal can help you identify areas for improvement in your own ringing habits. In this session we will review pre-recorded videos of “Basic, Better and Best”. Each “choir” will be playing the same song. We will identify good things and things that need improvement in each video so that you can identify what “Better & Best” look and sound like. This will then allow you to review your videos to identify areas for improvement. A self-evaluation checklist will be included in the class notes. Equipment Needed: None. 

Handbell Trees: Learn on Tuesday, Play on Sunday

Instructor: Linda Krantz

Handbell trees are a unique and interesting way to include handbells in worship, especially during these times when choirs may not be able to get together. This class will focus on equipment necessary, how to string one strand onto the belltree, and music that can be learned quickly and either recorded or performed live in a worship service. Equipment Needed: None.

Help! We’re Short a Ringer (or Director)

Instructor: Gail Berg

Taylor is transferring to another state. Chris broke a finger. Alex is heading to college. Patty got the flu. Charlie is retiring. Jamie is in the hospital. Emergency, short- and long-term solutions to (musically) ringing pieces when down a ringer (or few), or how to survive with a sub or without a director. Communication, social media, network building, developing replacements, music selection, bell assignments, shared bells, ensemble ringing, and how to prepare as a substitute will be some of the topics discussed. Equipment Needed: None.

SiP and Ring

Instructor: P.L. Grove

We’re all anxious to get back to making music together! This class will discuss options for ringing during the Covid-19 crisis. We’ll cover why, how (ways in which it could happen), and resources (music, as well as guidelines from Malmark, Schulmerich and the new HIC guidelines that just came out). Equipment Needed: None.

Score Study – Where’s the Melody?

Instructor: Brad Hendricks

How many times have you heard your director say, “Bring out the melody!” but on a page filled with notes, how do you tell what is melody and what isn’t? If you want to play more musically, one of the most important things to understand is the functions of all the notes you play, whether they are melody, harmony, accompaniment or counter-melody. We will show you the hints and clues in the music that point to those elusive melody notes, and what we can do with that knowledge to play more musically. Equipment Needed: None.

Starting and Running a Children’s Ensemble

Instructor: Karen Carlisle

This class is based on working with kids, starting a kids group or learning new tricks for an existing group. We will look at a system that gets kids ringing a song in a short period of time and feeling successful right away. What is an appropriate length of rehearsal and rehearsal techniques. Teaching dynamics and note value. Looking for music what works best, what if we only have 6 kids what are the options? Making group expectations, curriculum suggestions and music suggestions. Equipment Needed: None.

The Conductor as Interpreter

Instructor: Barbara Walsh

In this class, we’ll explore how to go beyond being a human metronome and into becoming an interpreter and musical messenger. Equipment Needed: None.

Understanding HMA’s Copyright Policy

Instructor: Tessique Houston

Participants in the class will get the instructor’s perspective on copyright law and how HMA strives to enforce it. This will include the policies in place for print music, music use on tablets (iPad, Surface Go, Surface Pro, Galaxy Tab, etc.), recording concerts, and posting concerts on the web (YouTube, Facebook, etc.). Registrants can expect to come away with a better understanding of HMA’s policies, and strategies for working to make our music happen within these guidelines. Tessique is not a lawyer (nor does she play one on TV). She just likes to follow the rules and make sure that we all play nice together! Equipment Needed: None.

When You Want to Be a Bell Hog

Instructor: Beth Mays

While it’s great to share bells in our handbell ensembles, sometimes it’s fun to ring all the bells ourselves. This class will review the basics of solo ringing and how to apply “solo ringing techniques” to all styles of ringing. Learn how to apply basic weaving and four in hand techniques to play music in an ensemble or as a soloist. Equipment Needed: None. Optional: Spoons, to practice along.

You’re the Director, Now What?

Instructor: Kendra Symonds

Are you a ringer taking over your choir? Are you a choral, orchestra, or band person that got handed a bell choir? Are you just interested in what directors do all day long? This class will cover various criteria that new handbell directors should consider when leading a church or community choir. Equipment Needed: None.