At Fremont Christian School, we offer three levels of handbell choirs: beginning, intermediate and advanced.
Each choir is made up of 12 -16 ringers. Each ringer is assigned 2-4 bells to ring. Each ringer must read the musical score and only ring their notes when called for in the music. This is a very different musical skill than required on most instruments. Piano, for instance, requires that you play all the notes, while flute requires that you play the notes written for flute, which are only one at a time. Ringing bells require that you read the music, count, and play just your assigned notes. This takes great teamwork.
The ability to already read music is a plus, but not a requirement. Those entering with no prior music experience will be taught the skills they need - music reading and musicianship, along with learning to ring the bells.
Handbell music from a variety of periods and styles will be rehearsed and performed. As this is the advanced handbell group, emphasis will be placed upon excellence in the production of proper handbell ringing techniques. Several performances will scheduled during school hours, evenings and weekends. Attendance at performances is mandatory. A specific rehearsal schedule for morning rehearsals will be handed out and mailed to parents. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: (1) read and ring music notation of both the treble and bass clefs. (2) successfully perform level four and above handbell music, using correct ringing techniques (3) recognize music symbols specifically used in handbell music and implement the ringing techniques associated with these symbols as called for in the music.
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