Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Bells



Last week I got the crazy idea that we should have bell ringing for our children's Christmas program at church.  Hey, there's plenty of time.  We have two Sundays before the Christmas program.
So I ordered some color coded bells for kids from Kids Play online.  I wasn't too hopeful for quality, as they were fairly inexpensive.  I got my bells yesterday, and are they sweet!  I had to try them out right away.  I found "Joy to the World" for playing on an 8-note kalimba.  And if you don't know what a kalimba is, well, shame on you. 
I know what it is... 
now... 
You can look it up like I did.
I set out to play "Joy to the World" right away.  I found it to be difficult to maneuver the bells to ring them on the right beat without getting tangled in my own arms.
But then I found a wonderful tutorial on YouTube by Rod Lloyd.  And what a help! 

Now I can teach a brother and sister pair and let them take the bells home for two weeks and practice to their hearts' content.

This was my very early attempt at playing "Joy to the World" on the bells....


Then here's a later one where I experimented with the ringing, because unlike the real bell choir bells, these are spring loaded clappers, and they ring with any movement.  Plus I don't have a proper surface for lying them down.  They are on a towel and like to roll a bit and clang together when I'm not looking.  They are a pretty mischievous bunch of bells.


I want to be able to play this well enough that I can show the kids how they work, and see what I may need to do to be able to help make it easier for them to learn and perform.   So far, since I am able to do this much in one day, I'm thinking that kids will pick it up in two weeks even more easily.  I'm not worried.  It will be fascinating no matter how it turns out.  And it helps that we have a very forgiving membership.  They like everything.


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