Ring Sarasota Implements the Handchime Educational Outreach Program
By Steven Leadbetter
Ring Sarasota’s mission includes educating the community about the musical art of handbell ringing. Although the group has conducted brief informational sessions at its concerts, Ring Sarasota has also developed more formal handchime educational opportunities.
Ring Sarasota is proud to announce the establishment of the Ring Sarasota Handchime Educational Outreach Program. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded a Community Impact Grant to Ring Sarasota in Spring 2021 to purchase handchime equipment and essential program materials. The group also targeted contributions from the November 2021 Giving Tuesday campaign to implement the handchime program.
The handchime program co-instructors, Ring Sarasota Associate Conductor and ringer Terri Chapman and Board member Beth Ellis, have developed an eight-week/eight-session curriculum designed to provide hands-on learning experiences for students in the upper elementary and middle school grades. Although Ring Sarasota had planned to offer the Handchime Educational Outreach Program in an after-school program in Fall 2021, the program launch has been delayed by restrictions related to Covid-19.
However, the group was recently approached by a local senior living facility to request that we offer hands-on handchime experiences for their residents. Ring Sarasota member Larry Bauer adapted our handchime curriculum for senior citizens with cognitive deficits. During several weekly sessions, the seniors learned to play familiar Christmas carols on the chimes. Assisted by Ring Sarasota ringers Sara Lindgren and Suzi Regulski, the seniors simultaneously sang the carols and rang the chimes. Other residents enjoyed watching the chime sessions while also singing the Christmas carols. The seniors thoroughly enjoyed these sessions and the facility activities director was very pleased. They look forward to preparing a short “concert” for the entire facility later this year.
The Handchime Educational Outreach Program will intrinsically provide all participants with an appreciation for the musical art of handbells ringing. For seniors, the program benefits include mitigating issues with memory recall, stress, and anxiety, as well as providing social interaction. The musical training provided by the handchime program will also help students to improve their language and mathematical skills, auditory development, and creativity.
Ring Sarasota is looking forward to launching the Handchime Educational Outreach Program for students and continuing handchime sessions for seniors in 2022!
If you would like to be involved with the Ring Sarasota Handchime Educational Outreach program or are interested in having this program at your school or institution, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org