For more more information about education resources and support for you or your band, contact the education officer.
Where do I begin?
Learning to ring is a lifetime pursuit, and there is lot to learn! The best place to start is by getting in touch with a tower or band near you and start your bell ringing journey there. Even so, many beginners find a written resource they can refer to at home to be helpful. Here are a few books that might help you get started.
For tower bell ringers:
The New Ringers Book is a great place to start. This 157-page resource covers the basics of bell handling and introduces some basic methods. It's available via the NAGCR Book Service, or directly from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
For handbell ringers:
Change-Ringing on Handbells, Vol. 1 is a great first resource for beginning handbell ringers. It's easily available via Amazon.
Other good books for beginners:
The Companion series of books by Steve Coleman are great resources. These are difficult to order in North America, but the NAGCR Book Service can help you obtain them. In particular, once you have started dipping your toe into methods after learning basic bell handling, The Method Ringers Companion is an excellent resource.
Online and Other Resources
There are also great ringing education resources online. Here are a few places to get you started:
The Association of Ringing Teachers is an organization dedicated to ringing education, both for the student and the tutor. Among the many resources available on their website, their learning toolboxes are a great place to start.
Finally, not for the faint of heart, ringing.info is a mind-numbingly complete list of web sites devoted to all aspects of ringing. Start with their list of Recruitment, Training & Learning resources, but be prepared to be overwhelmed!
Calling it Round is an online resource on conducting authored by NAG's own Bryn Reinstadler. It is a great introduction to the art of conducting. Another good resource for new conductors is The Bob Callers Companion from Steve Coleman's Companion series mentioned above, which is packed with lots of simple touches and practical tips on how to call them. There is, surprisingly, not a lot of overlap, so enjoy them both!
Finally, if you are ready to transition from student to teacher, one of the best resources available is the Bell Handling DVD from the Association of Ringing Teachers, which they will ship to North America if you email and ask. It walks through all the steps of learning basic bell handling, with video clips of actual students and teachers. (Note that the DVD will not work in North American DVD players, but plays fine on computers.)
How the Guild Can Help
The North American Guild is here to help you and your band. Help can come in many forms:
- Arranging for a group of experienced ringers to visit your tower for a learning day or weekend
- Suggesting specific techniques or resources for teaching particular skills or students
- Arranging on online session or class for you or your band
- Training you to be a better teacher
- Creating opportunities for you or your ringers to ring in other towers with other ringers
Contact the Education Officer for more information, ideas, or resources.