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Bells

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Material

A series of 13 bells in duplicate, from Middle C to High C.
One complete set is mounted on brown stands.
A second complete set is mounted on white stands (tones) and on black stands (sharps and flats).

The bells stand on a green board marked with black and white spaces.
The black and white bells stand in a row at the back, on green.
The brown bells form a row at the front, on the black and white spaces (Which correspond to the black and white keys on a piano).
Striker and damper (mute).

Presentation

  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Show the child the bells.
  3. Ask the child to watch.
  4. Carefully take one bell to a table, holding the stem with your dominant hand, and your sub dominant hand under the base of the bell.  
  5. Show the child the striker and the mute, set both items on the table next to the bell. 
  6. Show the child how to hit the bell by gently hitting it near the rim with the striker. Let it ring until it stops ringing on its own.
  7. Invite the child to hit the bell and listen to it ring. 
  8. Invite the child to put the bell back and choose a different bell. 
  9. Hit the new bell, but this time show the child how to use the mute to silence the ringing of the bell by placing the soft side of the mute on the underside of the rim.
  10. Let the child perform the exercise.

Exercises

Exercise 1, Presentation

The child performs the exercise as presented, practicing striking and muting one bell at a time.

Exercise 2, Matching
  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Ask the child to watch you.
  3. Starting with the brown bells, strike them and mute them one at a time, going from left to right.
  4. Strike and mute the white bells one at a time, going from right to left.
  5. Remove a brown bell from its place, and put it in a random spot in front of the green board.
  6. Repeat this process for a total of 3 brown bells.
  7. Strike one of the white bells that is missing an adjacent brown bell.
  8. Carefully listen to the sound of the bell.
  9. Strike and mute the brown bells one at a time, from left to right, until you hear a match.
  10. Repeat this process until all three brown bells are matched and placed back in their proper places.
  11. Verify your matching once more by striking the white bell, then its adjacent brown bell, going from left to right.
  12. Invite the child to perform the exercise.
Exercise 3, Grading

Demonstrate mixing all eight bells, and then reorder them based on tone from lowest to highest as you make progress through the trial and error of their sounds.

Exercise 4, Naming Bells

Starting with two or three bells, give a three period lesson for the names of the bells/pitches.

Language

The names of the bells: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C; C Sharp, D Sharp, F Sharp, G Sharp, A Sharp.

Control of Error

Child’s auditory discrimination, white bells serve as control of error for the brown bells.

Direct Purpose

Discrimination of tone pitch, and preparation for music theory.

Age

3 +

Notes

Bells represent pitch whereas the sound cylinders represent volume. The child may work with the black bells after he knows the names of the other bells.

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