The Handbell Musicians of America Resource Library offers a large and growing collection of articles, interactive PDFs, PowerPoint webinars, videos, and more to help you expand your knowledge as a handbell musician. All Handbell Musicians of America resources are available exclusively to our members. They are divided into Educational, Community, and Worship categories, but most groups will find valuable resources in all three categories.

These resources were created as a result of the New Initiatives Project launched in 2010.  We are continually seeking new resources to add to the list.  For information about submitting a resource please contact J.R. Smith at [email protected].

Creating Your Handbell Musician’s Handbook

by Kristin Kalitowski-Kowal   Various topics are provide for use in creating a handbook for the members of your handbell ensemble

Budgeting for Not-For-Profit Organizations 

by Michael McCrary   This resource takes a look at why a budget is important and why you should create one and provides background information on budgeting, the actual budgeting process, and some common pitfalls to avoid.

The Challenge of Selecting Ringers – Auditions for Community Groups 

by Janet Van Valey   There is nothing a community choir does that has a larger impact on its future than the selection of members. This resource discusses components of an audition and assesment of ringing skills. It also includes drills to use during the audition process.

Speak to Your Audience – The Art of Successful Programming

by Janet Van Valey   A video presentation discussing the various approaches to selecting repertoire for a concert or program.

Fundraising for Community Groups: Now and Later 

by Sherry Graham   Some ideas to get you started on the road to bringing funds into your organization.

Connecting with Our Audiences 

by Stephanie Wiltse   Community and professional groups face the unique task of creating a loyal following. This article focuses on the desire to provide a connection with listeners, in the hope of providing a meaningful, emotional, and musical experience for your audiences.

Setting the Stage 

by Kay Cook   Dealing with different venues and different performance spaces is something active community groups deal with on an ongoing basis. Here are some ideas for making the most of every performance space.

Connecting with the IRS 

by J. Stanley Schmidt   If your handbell choir is a community or professional ensemble, the I.R.S. indeed can help you. How? By designating your choir as a 501(c)3 organization.

Community Choirs – The Challenges of Team Building

by Janet Van Valey   This resources discusses the finer points of building a solid and dedicated team of musicians, including recruitment, group dynamics, and group decision making.

Measure Mania: Rhythm Flashcard Games 

by Allison DeMarco   Flashcard games in various skill levels used to teach rhythm concepts. Includes flashcards to download and print onto full-size sheets or pre-cut card stock.

Handchime Curriculum for Schools 

by Marilyn Lake   A complete handchime curriculum based on the nine content standards in music education. Each lesson is designed to accommodate any length of music class as well as any grade from kindergarten through sixth. Performance pieces are included throughout.

Lesson Plan: Improvisation with Handchimes 

by Paul Weller   A lesson plan designed to introduce the concepts of melodic improvisation with handchimes. Includes animated Powerpoint slides.

Lesson Plan: Composition with Handchimes 

by Paul Weller   Elemental music is music in its most unadorned state. It employs patterns, simple forms, ostinati, and sequences. This lesson plan focuses on composing a 16-beat melody using the pentatonic scale. Includes animated Powerpoint slide examples.

From Movement to Learning to Musicality 

by Donna Kinsey   How does the director get from reading the spots on the page to making music that touches people’s souls when they hear the piece performed? This article discusses the use of Dalcroze concepts of anticipation, time and space, and energy to take music making to a new level.

Music’s Effect on Academic Achievement 

by Joyce Kelstrom   This article discusses how the teaching of handbells and handchimes can be an integral part of the music curriculum, which in turn can influence students’ achievement in academics.

See It, Hear It, Do It 

by Martha Avery   There are three areas of learning applicable to all ages. This article focuses on the cognitive (involving elements of perception), psychomotor (motor action directly proceeding from mental activity), and affective (relating to feeling or emotions).

Time to Perform: Thinking Outside the Box

by Marilyn Wilgocki   How can we create a handchime or handbell experience with our students, with limited preparation, using just class time to prepare? What readily available opportunities might be utilized for the enjoyment and education of other students, teachers, or members of the community?

Bell Trees 

by Barbara Brocker   Learn to use bell trees in various worship settings. Also learn about selecting music and equipment.

Organizing a Handbell Program: Mission Aspects of a Handbell Program 

by Karen Eastburn   If you are starting a new handbell ministry, revitalizing an existing program, resurrecting a dormant ringing ministry, or looking for more focus for your program, take a few minutes to think, dream, and verbalize where you are, where you are going, and how you would like to get there.

Organizing a Handbell Program: Recruitment and Assimilation

by Karen Eastburn   Finding new handbell musicians is a three-step process consisting of first defining your target groups and then marketing the opportunity in order to recruit those who will be a good fit, followed by a plan to assimilate them into the group to ensure immediate and continued success.

Organizing a Handbell Program: Retention of Ringers

by Karen Eastburn   This resource continues the “Organizing a Handbell Program” series by offering suggestions to help retain those ringers whom you have successfully recruited.

Care and Feeding of Youth Handbell Choirs 

by Karen Thompson   This resource takes you through the steps of creating and building a youth handbell program, specifically in the middle school and high school age ranges.

Motivation of Members 

by Kathryn Aspenwall   Resources to aid you in keeping your musicians motivated, including ice breakers, covenants, games, and communication strategies.

Structure of the Communication Process in Faith-based Settings 

by Kathryn Aspenwall and Michael J. Glasgow   Communication is one of the most important tools a director utilizes. The structure, or the “nuts and bolts,” of HOW to communicate is the first step.

Handbells in Contemporary Worship 

by Ron Mallory   This resource contains ideas to help you present the case for including handbells in a contemporary worship setting. It also provides ideas for adding handbells to a praise band arrangement using a typical music lead sheet. The following videos, with accompanying lead sheets, show handbells being used by a solo ringer, small ensemble, and full choir along with a praise band.

Pastoral Care of Ringers 

by Kathryn Aspenwall   In this video, Kathryn Aspenwall share ideas to promote caring, consideration, love and appreciation for the musicians in your ensemble.

More Ideas for Handbells in Worship

by Anna Laura Page   Resources and ideas for ways handbells can be utilized throughout the worship service.

Making Handbells an Enhancement to Worship through Surprise

by Andrea Handley   Ideas for answering the challenge to make handbells a meaningful and integrated part of a worship service, rather than an occasional add-on prelude or postlude.

Recruiting and Retaining Ringers in a Church Setting

by Gail Kiley   Simple strategies for recruiting ringers and keeping them ringing are the keys to a thriving handbell program.

Ringing in of Christmas Morning

by William Payn   Use this simple but effective resource to help make the handbells a meaningful part of your Christmas morning service.

Ringing the Psalms

by Michael Helman   The Book of Psalms is the hymnal of the Bible. This resources provides ways that the handbell choir can be used in presenting them during the worship service.