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#58546 - 04/17/12 03:57 PM hand bells
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
Ok, so I was in the toy store today looking for a gift for my son's friend and I saw a set of these brightly coloured hand bells that I totally wanted to buy to use in lessons. But I don't even know how I'd use them, lol... they just looked cool to me.

Actually, I had already had the thought of teaching Twinkle Twinkle in MFPA A by starting with just 2 handbells (C and G) and ringing the rhythm of "twinkle, twinkle", maybe having the student continue that as an ostinato while I play the melody. When I saw these bells they looked perfect. The C and G bells were even the same colour at the C and G stars in the book! Yeah, cool, but.... really... should I be going out and spending $$ on these things? I guess only if I have more activities up my sleeve than just the Twinkle one. Any ideas? Anyone want to enable me in this purchase???

Any use for handbells in piano lessons?

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#58552 - 04/17/12 09:40 PM Re: hand bells [Re: pianojazzgirl]
am&a Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 330
Loc: Georgia, USA
Just some brainstorms...

I suppose they would be useful for note recognition on the treble staff in particular... perhaps with flash cards during an individual student's lesson? For MFPA, they can match the letter of the bell to a picture of a piano key. Or maybe echo patterns - you play C D E on the bells, they play it on the keys, or vice versa.

In a group lesson environment, it might be fun with flash cards or a floor staff, assigning each student a bell (or 2) and making melodies from the floor staff or reading them. The bells probably have a very limited range, but so does most of the stuff in the primer books.

Just call me an enabler...
_________________________
Amanda Latona
online at latona.musicteachershelper.com

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#58558 - 04/18/12 08:19 AM Re: hand bells [Re: am&a]
Susan Kaye Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 180
Loc: Queensland, Australia
Pianojazzgirl, here's some more encouragement to give into temptation and purchase hand bells......

I'm glad I purchased mine and the students love them. I have a C major metal set and an F major plastic set of hand bells plus C major desk bells.(Thanks for reminding me, I haven't brought them out in a while!) I'd be careful to check first if they are in tune as some instruments such as bells and xylophones from toy shops are not. Yes, I am one of those annoying customers who wants to open packages and try first! I've even had to return an out of pitch xylophone from an education supplier. Yet I was surprised to find good quality bells in a 'two dollar' store sold individually so I bought an octave set plus an extra C E G. Bargain!

I use my hand bells for introducing the major scale/triad/arpeggio, for scale degrees, for stepping/skipping/intervals and for playing simple tunes and ostinato. I have used them at group class where 8 students have a bell each and myself or a student conducts the playing of a melody. In instrument free play with groups of young students the bells are the first thing to be snapped up.

Another thing to be careful of, my first set of plastic bells had black foam rubber to attach the bell shape to the metal chime and I stored them where it was too hot and the rubber perished.

Thanks Amanda, I like the idea of using bells for echo patterns and with flash cards. I will try this smile

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#58561 - 04/18/12 09:46 AM Re: hand bells [Re: Susan Kaye]
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
Thank you, you wonderful enablers!!! wink

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#58564 - 04/18/12 11:29 AM Re: hand bells [Re: pianojazzgirl]
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
Ok, enablers, it's a done deal. I just went and picked them up!

Anyone else want to chime in (no pun intended... tee hee...) with hand bell ideas feel free!

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#58565 - 04/18/12 12:22 PM Re: hand bells [Re: pianojazzgirl]
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
Oh, I think that pun was fully intentional! smile

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#58566 - 04/18/12 02:10 PM Re: hand bells [Re: Arlene Steffen]
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
busted! laugh

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#58568 - 04/18/12 04:20 PM Re: hand bells [Re: pianojazzgirl]
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: southern California
At Christmas my students play songs with handbells. A number of Christmas songs can be done within an octave. Take them to assisted living places and they play solo piano and handbells as a group.

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#58571 - 04/18/12 06:29 PM Re: hand bells [Re: Carole]
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
Great idea Carole! Carol of the Bells.... so to speak.... (oh I am so punny today wink )

I wanted to update that I did my Twinkle idea today and it went great! The student (who otherwise has a v. short attention span for any activity) was totally engrossed. smile

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#58623 - 04/22/12 08:20 PM Re: hand bells [Re: pianojazzgirl]
pianojazzgirl Online   content
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Montreal
I was looking ahead at what pieces were coming up for my level 1 student and I saw that we're nearly at "Handbell Choir" in the Performance book. Yay! Another chance to use my new hand bells. smile I was thinking of first giving him 2 hand bells and have him play the rhythm. And then maybe give him the G handbell to play the LH part while he plays the RH melody on the piano. Oh what fun...

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