All Areas within the Handbell Musicians of America offer chimes for loan through an application process.

Each Area has shared with us many of their successes with the chime loan program:

Area 1

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  Holly Cerullo  (

Comments from previous recipients:

Orleans Elementary School:

 “Over the school year all of the students within the school were introduced to the chimes during music class.  While their experiences differed, the reaction and participation were among some of the most positive experiences in music class to date.  The students that participated in the program not only grew musically, but grew collaboratively as well.  This summer (2016) the Orleans Elementary School received our own 3-octave set of chimes.”

Orleans Elementary School Blog Entry:

Comments from Holly Cerullo on Beverly School for the Deaf

“This was a first for me.  I delivered the chimes, personally, and was able to experience the music teacher’s classroom with its vibrating floor and large bass speakers.  We discussed several ways to introduce the chimes and music to children with hearing loss.  I am looking forward to retrieving the chimes and seeing how the year went.”

“Over the seven years that I have been chairperson of the Chime Loaner Program, no less than 3 sets have been loaned out in each year, with most years having 4 sets out.  Area 1 also has a set in Canada with a contact person who accepts applications, delivers chimes and materials to those eastern provinces that are in Area 1 and keeps in touch with me.”

“In my experience, about 90% of the schools to which we have loaned chimes have been able to procure their own set of chimes.”

Area 2

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: Bob Ward (

Comments from Bob Ward:

“One of our applicants requested a set of chimes for her special needs students, who did not receive any form of music in their curriculum. Basically, a class of autistic, intellectually disabled or multiple-disabled students, aged 12 to 14 years. She wanted this experience to enhance auditory and motor sections. With coupling of music and action, and continual training, the pathways of the brain needed for speech can be augmented and improved. The chimes were every other day for 42 minutes.  Color coding the chimes made the task easier.  After the loan period, the administration thought it was worthwhile to purchase a two-octave set of hand chimes.”

Area 3

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  Kath Wissinger (

Comments from previous recipient Heidi Thurmond, Veritas School:

“Participating in the Area 3 Chime Loan Program was truly a blessing! I teach at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, and participated in the loan program in 2013.  Through playing in a chimes ensemble, fifth and sixth grade students were able to put into practice things they had learned through their younger years in music. The sixth-grade class was able to learn repertoire throughout the year, performing for Christmas and the Spring Concert.”

Fifth graders performing in our Christmas Assembly, 2016

They also had the fruitful experience of participation in the Shenandoah Valley School Handbell Festival, hosted by Kath Wissinger. Four years later, I still have students from that class tell me how great that day was.  As a result of such a successful experience with the loan program, my department director requested, and was approved for, purchase of our own three octave set of Schulmerich chimes.  Since then, fifth through eighth grade students have performed in chimes ensemble each year.  Thank you, Area 3, for the amazing gift or you chime loan program.”

2017 Shenandoah Valley School Handbell Festival


Area 4

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: Marcia Brantley  (

Comments from the 2017/2018 recipients:

Scott Beck, Keens Crossing Elementary School:

“Scott is a very active in handbells, playing with “Magic of Bronze” and working with church youth handbells.  He plans to use chimes with his 5th grade music classes to help with music reading and working together as an ensemble and in an after school performing group.”

Paula Summers, Oakleaf Elementary School:

“Paula plans to use her set of chimes with 4th, 5th, and 6th grade music classes to reinforce music reading and a 6th grade extracurricular performing ensemble. She has wanted to add handchimes to her school for several years. Paula already has as drum club and an Orff ensemble and is excited to add a handchime ensemble to those afterschool activities.”

Erin Bromely, Newington Elementary School:

“Erin is an active handbell ringer and has taught handbells in previous teaching positions.  She jumped at the chance to be able to incorporate handchimes in her 4th and 5th grade music classes for the coming year.  Erin hopes to be able to encourage the purchase of chimes or handbells for her school. Her desire is to also have an afterschool performing ensemble.”

Area 5

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  April Murphy (

Comments from previous recipients

Geoffrey Schiefer, Cross Lanes Christian School

“Just left my FIRST-grade music class after having played a passable hand chime version of Happy Birthday! Am currently using them in grades 1, 2, 3 – having good time learning some basic music theory and chime technique.”

Linda Holzwarth, Portage West Middle School

“After receiving the refurbished chimes, I started a Chime Club at my middle school. I had eleven 6th and 7th graders ring each Friday afternoon in my classroom. The Club ended up trying out for the Talent Show last May and actually made the final cut. Eight of the girls dressed up in baseball uniforms and played “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” as an audience sing-a-long. The students loved it and the teachers thought the group was fantastic!”

Ashley Hill, Reid Primary and Middle School

“Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to use these handchimes for the school year at Reid Primary and Middle School. The students learned a great deal, and enjoyed using them in many ways.

Our biggest project with the handchimes was the creation of a Sixth Grade Handchime choir. It was made up of twenty students that were already enrolled in Sixth Grade Choir, and they rehearsed for one period each week. They learned a great deal throughout the year, and performed for the School Board Meeting in November, and also in both the December and May choir concerts at Reid. These students loved being part of the group and are looking forward to continuing to play handchimes in the future.”

Comments from students

“I learned how to read music. I liked the sound that the chimes made. It was hard learning how to read music. I didn’t know about chimes before this.”       Adam – 3rd grade

“I loved the chimes! Thank you so much for teaching us the chimes. I have never been able to read music before you taught us how. It was kind of hard to play “Jesus Loves Me” with two chimes to handle, but I figured it out. I thank you a lot. “      Whitney – 3rd grade

Area 6

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  Sondra Tucker  (

Comments from past recipient Dana Parker, Norwood Elementary School:

“Thanks to the generosity of Area 6 Handbell Musicians of America, Norwood Elementary School in Knoxville, Tennessee had the opportunity to be a family of musicians during the 2014-15 school year.

Our handchime choir was open to any student in third, fourth, or fifth grade. As a community school, we offer many varied opportunities for our students. These opportunities are offered after school during Boys and Girls Club. Norwood has a transient population. Students often move between several local schools during a school year. Knowing that this might impact the cohesiveness of the group, I offered handchimes during both semesters, each with a final concert. This allowed many more students the opportunity to learn, play, and perform. Our first semester ended with a taped show featuring holiday songs, shared during the morning announcements in December. The second concert, a live performance played while the audience was being seated before our graduation ceremony in May, was a high note of our hard work.

We had some low notes as well. In November, we lost one of our fifth-grade students, a member of our Norwood family. Our handchime choir dedicated our final performance to the memory of our friend Steven.

Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the loan of the chimes. Through your generous gift, my students learned more than how to play, they learned the beauty of playing.”

Norwood Elementary School Staff

Area 7

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: Jennifer Cadwell (

Comments from previous recipients

“Students, staff and parents were extremely excited about the music, and the students were very engaged.  Even students who usually have difficulty in music class were focused.”

“It is hard to measure or describe all the musical growth that has transpired in our classrooms this year.  The handbells have taught them so much about the elements of music—dynamics, melody, harmony, rhythm, and form.”

“There is a magical experience when handbells or handchimes are put in the hands of young people.  We are providing a unique educational experience and having an impact on music education.”

“Music educators using handbells or handchimes today agree that it is one of the better ways of developing such musical skills as note reading, rhythmic response, melodic perception, a sense of harmonic progression and of ensemble playing.  It encourages a spirit of interdependence and cooperation of students.”

Area 8

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: Nancy Youngman  (

Comments from Nancy Youngman

“At the present the chimes program has been very successful.  We have a couple of states with two sets to loan out, and we are trying to see if there may be other states that would like that.  I have been chair for the state of Nebraska for several years and we have always had the set loaned out.  It does help that I’m an educator and have contacts throughout the state.  I have taken information packets to the Nebraska State Music Educators Convention, plus, we get references from those who have used the chimes in the past.  We always give out information at our state rings, too.  Area 8 also supplies the school that is using the set for the year a membership in the guild for that year. “ 

“I actually used our set one year with middle school students in a music exploratory class.  The students absolutely loved the chimes, as a matter of fact, they preferred playing the chimes to the singing!  The principal was so thrilled with their enthusiasm that the school purchased their own set of chimes.  Since then, I moved to another school, but I taught the incoming teacher what I did, and the chimes are still being used!  Plus, that new teacher joined a bell choir in her church.  Success all around!!”

Area 9

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  Jill Fite (

Comments from previous recipients

Bill Nave, Briargrove Elementary

“Briargrove is a school in the Houston area with about 860 students ranging from kindergarten through 5th grade. The chimes were played by the students in 1st through 5th grades.  We spent some time talking about caring for the instrument, how it made its sound, and what instrument family it belonged to. Then we worked on the correct way to play the chime and damping. (They loved playing using the vibrato technique!)  We started with some chord clusters (low, middle and high ranges – they had to watch when to play). We played chords with folk songs they knew. The most fun was adding the chime sound to our class set of xylophones (they played with the glockenspiels and metallophones) and with hand drums and tubanos.  We also used them with movement activities. I played a beat pattern on the bass xylophone or keyboard while the students moved around the room to the tempo and style I was playing as they randomly played notes in a pentatonic scale.  We loved using the chimes! They added so much to our music classes this past year. Our PTO is considering purchasing us a 3-octave set. The kids and I hope it’s soon!”

Lani Garner, El Sistema

“El Sistema OKC is a unique after-school music program that serves over 250 underserved public school children in the heart of Oklahoma City. Students receive an orchestra instrument and music instruction five days a week and participate in one of three orchestras: Nueva, our newest and youngest musicians; Alegria, our intermediate-level musicians; and Esperanza, our advanced musicians. El Sistema OKC students are bused from area schools to our facility, given a small meal and time to work on homework, then attend guided small group instrument practice and participate in a music class. Daily music classes guide students in reading, writing, and creating music in an interactive classroom environment. Students meet bi-weekly in both a Creative Music class and a Music Fundamentals class. Our wonderful Area 9 chimes were incorporated into the regular Creative Music curriculum. El Sistema OK students range from the 3rd through 9th grades. This year, students from all levels had the opportunity to experience the chimes. The students were so excited for the opportunity to play the handchimes.”

“In the spring of 2017, our oldest students in Esperanza learned more contemporary pieces of music such as Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ While this piece proved extremely challenging, students rose to their highest potential and succeeded in performing this piece. Our youngest students in Nueva used the chimes to help accompany numerous vocal pieces they were learning, while our young middle school students from the Alegria Orchestra learned to create new compositions and extend their improvisation skills. One of the teachers often played his guitar to accompany the students while they were playing their chime pieces. It has been a very productive year, and we are truly grateful for the opportunity to incorporate chimes into our program.”

Laura Hyatt, Trinity Episcopal Church

“Trinity Episcopal was a grateful recipient of the chime loan program for the 2016-17 school year. The chimes were used by the 4th-8th grade school choir and 5th-6th grade general music classes. The approximate number of children using the handchimes would be fifty. We used the chimes in connection with the standard music curriculum. These students have had two years of recorder instruction, and they built on this knowledge by using the chimes. I’m sorry that I don’t have a recording of the first day when I introduced the chimes when we played that first C major chord. For an instant, they were absolutely still, and then one student said: “That was awesome!”  The highlight of the year was our Lessons and Carols service. Our 6th grade of 23 students played an arrangement of Silent Night. Proud parents shared it on social media throughout the season. Our school is exploring the possibility of adding handchimes in the future. Thank you for this opportunity to expand our program!”

Area 10

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner:  Ellie Hodder  (

Comments from Ellie Hodder

“When we think of hand chimes, we often think of kids, but they are a fabulous instrument for use with seniors . . . over 55, rather than graduating high school.

2016 Symphonius Sounds Senior Handchime Festival

In 2014, Area 10 loaned a set of chimes to Ellie Hodder for use with ensembles from Portland, Oregon area independent living senior retirement communities. At that time, Ellie had inherited 2 existing ensembles and added a third. In the senior communities there is a mix of experienced musicians and folks brand new to reading music. Some ring two chimes, others just one. Laila, for instance took a chance on this class at age 87. “I have no idea what I’m doing,” she often announces, but at 93 she arrives early from exercise class wearing a smile. I can tell you that she has learned quite a lot and is mostly right on!

The program is solid and growing in participation to the point Ellie needs a secondary 2 octave set to supplement for the overflow membership in all three communities.

In 2016, Ellie launched “Symphonius Sounds Senior Handchime Festival” including her 3 choirs and one from a neighboring community. It was a huge success.”

Area 11

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: Cathie Olds  (

Comments from previous recipients

Gerardo Collazo, Global Village Academy

“GVA is a K-8 language immersion charter school in Northglenn, Colorado. This year, the middle school program offered students the opportunity to participate in music classes to enhance their language skills. Thanks to the members of the Handbell Musicians of America, AREA 11, and their Chime Chair, Cathie Olds, our students had access to a set of 3 octaves of handchimes chimes, making the implementation of an effective music program very successful. Students have learned how to play this magnificent instrument under the direction of Mr. Gerardo Collazo, GVA-N music teacher, who has already led them in various concerts throughout the school year. Students have been able to enhance their music skills, as well as their teamwork skills by playing handchimes together. Mr. Collazo and the GVA-N students integrated a variety of percussion instruments and rhythms to their songs.  A total of 75 students have participated in the handchimes program, 6-7-8 graders from the Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian Program.   Our students who practice on a weekly basis, have performed in cultural nights, as well as the winter concert. It has been a magical music year thanks to the handchimes experience!”

Dave Gilbert, Heritage Elementary School

“My name is Dave Gilbert. I teach music, preschool through sixth grade at Heritage Elementary School in Nibley, Utah. Nibley is located in Cache Valley a few miles South of Logan. I’ve had the opportunity to be the recipient of the chime loan program. My students and I have really truly enjoyed this beautiful set of chimes. I’ve found the chimes are intriguing, and very motivating to students. I’ve used them in my instruction to support our music curriculum in several ways. Students played the hand chimes in many different ways to learn how the major and minor scales are built. We used the chimes to learn and reinforce musical alphabet, singing pentatonic scales, and singing major scales in the key of C, F and G using scale degrees. We also used the chimes to introduce pentatonic scales and major scales in solfege as well. The highlight of the year thus far was the use of the chimes in our Christmas program. The sixth-grade classes learned to play the chimes to provide harmony following simple chord progressions of two Christmas carols. The chimes added so much beauty to the program. I had many parents and teachers comment on how much they enjoyed the chimes. Although I must admit, I still have so much to learn on ways to use chime in my classroom and performances, I again express my sincere gratitude to Area 11 and this loan program.”

Janet Ruleaux, Big Horn Elementary

“We began the school year by learning that there was more than one octave in music. The chimes helped us by having the note on the chime right there for the kids to see. Next, we had to develop the technique required to ring the chimes. The kids were a bit clumsy at first but managed to quickly figure it out. Our main focus for the first semester was chords. The kids played half, dotted half, and whole notes in the three Christmas songs they performed. This worked out well as they didn’t have to damp the chimes as often and the notes were easier to read. We were joined by members of the Methodist Church bell choir who played the difficult melodies on their handbells. The audience was captured by the beauty of the sound and the collaboration of the two groups. Right now we are working on a very complex song by Ed Sheeran. He is a popular musician the students like. The piece we are playing is called “I See Fire” and is from The Hobbit movie. We will be adding the keyboard, drums, singing and guitar for this song. There are no chords but a lot of syncopated rhythms to play. Certainly, this is not a traditional chime piece but the kids are excited about performing it.”

Liz Shields, American Heritage School

“American Heritage of South Jordan, Utah is benefitting from the Area 11 Chime Loan program this year! Not only are we borrowing chimes from Area 11, we are also renting bells from Malmark with the intention of securing financing to purchase three octaves for next school year. Having both chimes and bells has helped our school to play a variety of music and to create an enhanced course. We currently have two sections of Bell Choir in our upper grades (6th-12th). Starting a new program as a first-year teacher has been a learning experience in recruitment, music teaching, and adaptability. We started the year with four students in one class and two in the other. About half of the students are music readers. We were able to recruit a few more students and learn some creative strategies in both four-in-hand and bell sharing in order to play our Christmas music. Our first performances included a combined Christmas concert with our school’s music program, as well as miniconcerts at Festival of Trees and South Jordan Senior Center (followed by lunch at Chick-Fil-A). The performances went very well; “Carol of the Bells” was a favorite. As word has spread, more students have joined during the second semester, bringing our total to nineteen. With more students and a little experience, our choir has chosen to raise our level of playing significantly by participating in the upcoming Spring Ring. After starting at Level 1, the Level 3+ pieces are definitely a challenge. The level of commitment to bells and to helping each other is improving our playing skills and our values of hard work, perseverance, and cooperation. The chimes are also being used in our elementary music as an introduction. The elementary kids enjoy learning the chimes as part of their music class time. So far, we have done simple, familiar songs with colored-circle posters. The hope is to include chimes in our performances and to add an elementary chime choir. Having chimes has been a blessing to our students. Thank you to Area 11 for making this program possible. We look forward to continuing this program at our school!”

Area 12

Chime Loan criteria:
Chime Loaner: KatRyn Howell  (

Comments from previous recipient Mark Henderson, North Shoreview Montessori School:

“The Tubular Percussion Ensemble at North Shoreview Montessori School started five years ago with a set of Boomwhacker tuned plastic tubes. This year we are delighted to add a three-octave set of handchimes on loan from Area 12, adding resonance to our tubular percussion sound. So far, the group has performed Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on chimes and is working on combined chime-boomwhacker arrangements of “Chicken Dance Polka” and “We Know the Way” from the movie “Moana.” North Shoreview is a public Montessori magnet school in the San Mateo-Foster City School District serving Kindergarten through eighth grades; students in grades 6-8 are eligible to join the Tubular Percussion Ensemble as a music elective.”

North Shoreview Montessori School