Ellie has years of experience as a handbell event clinician working with handbell musicians, beginners through advanced skill levels. Contact Ellie to schedule her for your upcoming local, regional or national event.
It’s tough to find a coach when you are the director (aka “Head Coach”). Schedule a session with your choir that is focused entirely on you as director.
- An opportunity to be coached as a leader of your handbell musicians. Tips to hone rehearsal technique and communication to better serve and teach your musicians. Use of words, gesture, and baton technique.
Seeking to troubleshoot specific challenges in your ensemble?
- Great music making is a shared effort for handbell musicians. What can you, as a musician, do to improve your contribution to the ensemble as a whole?
- Learn the harder-than-it-sounds skill of looking at the director.
- How do you interpret the information given by director, and listening to the line.
- How is your handbell technique? Learn some things you can work on every week to improve your ringing.
Clinics and Classes
Here are some suggestions for prepared Clinics and Classes Topics.
- Marts, Mallets, and Other “Whacky, Bangy” Things – How to Make Them Musical – A look at stopped sounds for handbells. Often they are mechanical rather than musical. And, plucks are ignored altogether because “they’re hard” (and directors cave!). Understand them, tame your hands, and make music.
- The Best Musicians Mark Their Music! – Other than a few, selective arrows, most handbell musicians make few marks in their music. As a result, we often make the same mistake over and over, completely ignore dynamics, and tempo changes. Expert musicians have found marks that a) get their attention, and b) ensure musical ringing. Options that work!
- Start to Finish – How can I approach a brand new piece of music with care and intention so that I can create a musical result quickly and with fewer bumps in the road? How we practice matters!
- Technique Brush Up – How to hold a bell…simple, right? Review of basic handbell skills towards making a beautiful sound and ringing well.
- Assimilating New Ringers – Very few directors have the luxury of a waiting list of qualified handbell musicians prepared to join their choirs. How do you invite new ringers into an existing choir, keeping them from feeling like they’re drowning while keeping your experienced ringers engaged? You’ll leave feeling as if you can juggle bells, chimes, and mallets without dropping a thing. Suitable for directors and ringers who “wanna know.”
- Rhythm’s Got You Beat – Does syncopation scare you? Feeling tangled in your bells, chimes, mallets, and gloves when the meter changes? Better than a Zen meditation retreat–learn how to keep your cool under pressure. Suitable for handbell musicians of all skill levels, and for directors too!
- Complicated Rhythms Tamed – “In the beginning there was rhythm. Everything else came later.” – David Davidson (and probably a lot of other musicians!). Ringing handbells with rhythmic accuracy requires more than understanding complex time signatures! Simplifying the mystifying, all while celebrating with wonderfully executed, beautiful music!
- Surviving “Crashes” – Every handbell director and musician lives in fear of a performance “crash.” This class looks at a toolbox of practices to help avoid them, and when best laid plans hit a bump in the road, you’ll have strategies to pull back from the brink and finish with excellence.
- Speaking and Hearing the Baton! – For handbell directors, gesture communicate most of our musical intent. The movement of the director’s hand, body, and facial expression are integral parts of how we “speak” through the baton. Tips on becoming our best communicators, remembering “one size does not fit all!”
Customized clinics and classes are also available on topics applicable to groups of all ages and skill levels. Please contact me for more information!
Previous Clinician Engagements
- Coppers Classic Handbell Event for Intermediate Handbell Musicians (Clinician, Founder since 2015)
- Siskiyou Summit Handbell Conference, Ashland, Oregon – Bronze Conference Choir (Clinician, Director since 2011), Event Clinician 2017
- Redding Handbell Festival, Redding, California 2014
- Pacific Northwest Youth Handbell Festival, Portland, Oregon (Clinician, Founder, Biennial Coordinator since 2008)
- Seventh Day Adventist Regional Middle School Festival, Portland, Oregon 2016
- Area 10 Regional Festival (Clinician, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017)
- Symphonious Sounds Senior Handbell Festival (Clinician, Founder, Director since 2016)
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