Unfortunately I missed blogging about the letter G. Although it was a G word that kept me from blogging last week. Gastro-intestinal upsets for the entire family. “Ugh”, is about all I want to say about last week.
This week is the letter H. H for me stands for Hand bells. Our church has a Hand bell choir, which Sarah and I became members of last August when we moved here. The rest of the Hand bell choir have been playing for 4 years. This is Sarah and my first year playing. What an experience.
Sarah and I both read music, which I think is the only reason we could come in and just pick it up and start playing. I played the flute in high school and I have sung in various choirs for many years now. Sarah takes piano lessons and has for quite a few years. When we joined the Hand bell Choir, I began playing treble clef notes and Sarah plays bass clef.
Generally, my notes tend to be melody notes. I think it is fun, but very challenging to play Hand bells. You really have to pay attention. I am in charge of bells, G, G# (or A flat) and A. You have to watch the music and play, using the right timing, when your note comes up. This is not so hard when you are playing a simple piece with a lot of half notes and quarter notes, but it is not usually as simple as that. Since the Hand bell Choir has been playing for 4 years, the music can get quite complicated.
Sarah, in my opinion has an even tougher job than I do. I can’t remember exactly which bass clef bells she plays, but I know they are fairly large. Since the bells are big, they are a bit heavy and she has to use a lot of strength to ring them. One reason I wanted Sarah to be a part of the Hand Bell Choir is because she tends to have a few problems with her timing while playing piano. Hand Bells can really teach you timing, because if you do not play at the right time,you can throw the whole choir off. I have noticed it is helping her piano playing as well. It is also a good thing because the Hand bell choir director is also Sarah’s piano teacher.
I really enjoy playing. I think it helps keep my brain active and stretching each week. I love the challenge of trying to figure out complicated rhythms and being part of a group making a joyful noise unto our Lord. That is the goal of our Hand bell Choir, to enhance the service and play praise to God.