For Young Ringers

Handbell Ringing is Especially Suitable for Schools, Colleges, Universities, Youth Groups and Young People Generally

"To perform a piece of handbell music, the highly cooperative work of a team of ringers is needed and each individual ringer is of equal importance in the team. Handbell performances provide their audience with not only wonderful music, but also the dazzling experience of witnessing the perfect cooperation among team members. Although there is a group of ringers performing on stage, they act as if they were one instrument.

No members of other orchestra or ensemble can experience such satisfaction gained from the cooperative spirit of handbell playing. Therefore, learning to play handbells is more than acquiring and perfecting individual skills. More importantly, ringers have to develop good team spirits.

Handbell ringers need to be aware of the roles of their assigned bells in the piece of music performed. An outstanding performance is the result of the perfect coordination of team members’ use of their eyes, brains, hands and ears. As in learning to play other musical instruments, learning to play handbells can cultivate personal accomplishment. At the same time, ringers can develop their patience and willingness to listen to others through cooperative team building. Such traits are valuable in the personal development of children" - Handbell Association of Hong Kong

The ability to read music is not necessary and results can be achieved very rapidly - usually a recognisable tune can be played within half an hour. Sometimes initial interest seems to die out as children leave primary school with little opportunity to carry on into teenage years – this is an area upon which HRGB will concentrating.

Fortunately, some young people do carry on to join adult groups and handbell ringing becomes a major element in their life. HRGB encourages the introduction of young people to handbell ringing because we believe that it offers lessons in life far beyond the simple, but very pleasurable, ability to make music.

In the UK, HRGB supports handbell ringing by young people in the following ways:

  • Innominate* membership for school and other youth groups is free of charge.
  • Junior or student membership for young people who are part of otherwise adult groups is also free of charge.
  • The Crescendo scheme for monitoring and encouraging progress; free of charge (unless presentation certificates and badges are required).
  • Distribution of Young Vibrations, part of the Society's journal.
  • The loan of handbells, chimes and Belleplates® to schools through the William Hartley Memorial Fund (WHMF)
  • HRGB members will sometimes be able to assist schools and other voluntary youth groups who would like either to try handbell ringing or to develop a new team.

*Innominate membership means that  the members of a team or group can change from time to time – a common occurrence during the academic year. An innominate group must have one full adult HRGB Member (usually the leader or teacher).

Below: young ringers from near Bath