To view each portion of the booklet click on the Chapter desired.
Handbells and Hand-Held Chimes in Music Therapy and Special Education
                                  by Joseph Pinson, MA, MT-BC
If you have any questions about anything in the booklet,
please contact me.  I will respond in a timely manner.
Rationale for using bells and chimes
Skills needed for success
    Goals and objectives
            Long-term benefits
Direct cueing: an effective method
Single line melodies
    Two part harmony
            Accompaniment patterns
Aaron Champagne and the Bayou Bell Ringers
Basic hand signals and chromatic variations
    Positioning fingers for melody
            Advantages and limitations
Light boards - an option worth considering
Building your own set of light boards
    Arranging music for light boards
            Advantages and limitations
Electromechanical devices for ringing bells
Electronic sensors for direct cueing
    Using synthesizers for accompaniment
            Arranging for synthesizers
Adaptive notation: Williams and McGrew
Teaching good ringing technique
     Basic elements of color-coding
             Preparing scrolls for performance
Cardinal numbers:  the work of Ken Moyers
Charting in the Moyers manner
     Useful aspects of cardinal numbers
Combining cardinal numbers and direct cueing
Denton Bell Band: the work of Joseph Pinson
     Scoring and charting for the Bell Band
             Benefits of public performance
Handbells for persons with visual imipairment
The work of Adele Trytko at Perkins
     Guidelines for teaching new material
             Adding words to instrumental music
Ordinal numbers for more advanced ringers
The work of Ellen Vanderslice
     Advantages and disadvantages
             Sample score and grid for one ringer
                                               About the Author

Joseph Pinson, MA, MT-BC, is retired from Texas Woman's University, where he served as
Assistant Clinical Professor.  He formed his first special needs handbell choir in 1978, when he
was director of music at Denton State School, a residential facility for persons with
devel-opmental disabilities.  He presently directs the Denton Bell Band, a choir composed of
adults with developmental disabilities who reside in the community, and the Denton Senior
Center Chime Choir.
Mr. Pinson is a former member of the board of directors of Handbell Musicians of America, and
has presented information about special needs choirs at national and regional conferences of
the organization.  He is author of
Let Everyone Ring ( published by Schulmerich) and Focus on
(published by AGEHR).


The information in this online booklet is derived from many sources.  Each director mentioned
has devoted many hours developing methods and techniques that have proven successful with
special choirs.  It is important to note that every method mentioned will not work with every
choir.  A person who wants to develop a special needs choir should be prepared to try different
methods, individually and in combination, in order to determine that which works best with the
particular group of ringers who will be served.
Note:  Any reference to handbells in this booklet also applies to hand-held chimes.  They are
distinctly different in terms of sound and capabilities, but the methods described here may be
used with either instrument.