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Inspired by Bells

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Oct, 2020 05:15 PM

In these challenging times, working with children and young people may seem an added challenge - but traditional practices can pay dividends.

Inspired by Bells

Original photo courtesy Pixabay

It's well known that learning a musical instrument has a range of benefits, promotes personal discipline and wellbeing, and can make a real difference to the life of a local church.

At Holy Trinity Weymouth, some of the young people - and their parents - have started handbell ringing, taught by Lizzie Peacock, the wife of the church's Director of Music.

Vicar Andrew Gough said:

"The handbell as a musical instrument provides a wonderful educational tool for teaching music to children and at Holy Trinity Weymouth we are making effective use of handbells to teach children music and performance skills.

"The skills learned through ringing are transferable to any instrument – we are hoping that our church children will go on to learn a musical instrument and sing in the church choir.

What makes handbells such an effective music teaching tool?

"Well, for one thing, handbells make instant music. Within 5 minutes our young people had started ringing under Lizzie's direction.

"Also, handbells require no tuning on the part of a player so they can start to make music right away, making this an instrument which is accessible to all. It encourages our children to enjoy the fact that they make music in a group – but also distanced and in their family bubbles.

"They learn together how to make the instrument play in the correct place at the correct time, working as a team to replicate rhythmic patterns. The interaction with others adds to the fun. We believe that this activity is fostering community and cooperation."

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