Friday, January 28, 2011

Handbell Ear Training

My students are very drawn to the handbells I have in my studio.  They are always wanting to play them and of course, LOVE the colors! 

I use them frequently at group lessons and during camps, but I wanted to try and use them more and possibly incorporate them in regular weekly lessons.  The biggest problem, as you can imagine, was adding another thing to a very tight lesson time.

So, I tried something quick.  I had my 4 year old student pick a couple of bells in her favorite colors - red and purple - and asked her to play them and then try to find which key on the piano matched the note she heard.  It was a bit of an impromptu ear training session!

 It required quite a bit of my help, but she started to catch on.

I wanted to try something easier for her, so I had her play both bells, one at a time, and try to figure out which pitch was higher.  She was much more successful at that!  In fact, we did that one quite a few times! 

It took less than 5 minutes, which is good for lesson planning (and for the attention span of 4 year olds!), it added another way to work on ear training, and the handbells will get used more.  A win-win in my book! 
And just look at that smile...she loved it!


Angela Pyles said...

Great idea! Where did you purchase your bells?

Sheryl said...

I purchased them originally through but I think you can get them on Amazon as well, maybe even less expensive. Enjoy!