Ring in the New Year with Appealing Lesson Plans

 

Ring in the New Year with these lesson plans all about bells!  Christmas break is just a few weeks away and will go by swiftly.  Be prepared for the classroom or rehearsal on January 2nd with these easy to teach lessons that will resonate!

For centuries, bells have played a major role in the lives of people around the globe.  They were used to chase away evil spirits and yet, they also rang to center one’s own inner self.  We hear bells to sound an alarm but also to gather us into communities.  Peals ring at joyful times such as weddings and also, mourn those we have lost.  Bells come in all shapes and sizes and continually reverberate in our lives.

At ChimeWorks, we have created the following lesson plans to celebrate the joy of ringing.  Surely, bells are worth singing about!

All of the lesson plans below are available for immediate purchase and digital download with license to copy as much as needed:

 

Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques is a traditional French nursery rhyme.  This song is about a monk who has overslept and is urged to wake up and sound the bells for the matins, the midnight or very early morning prayers for which a monk would be expected to wake.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Bells
  • Language: English, French
  • Origin: France

 

Frère Jacques II

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Type: Icons
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Bells, Nursery Rhyme
  • Language: English, French
  • Origin: France

 

Great Tom is Cast

Great Tom Is Cast is an English round traditionally sung in three parts.  It tells the story of the completion of the great bell of Christ Church, Oxford.  The great bells in England are given names. “Tom” is the name of the great bell of Christ Church.  The bell tower is also known as “Tom Tower”.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Bells
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

 

Oh, How Lovely

Oh, How Lovely is a German round traditionally sung in three parts.  It was brought to the United States during the early 19th century.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon:Y es
  • Topic: Bells, Evening
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Germany

 

St. Paul’s Steeple

St. Paul’s Steeple is a traditional English folk song dating from the mid-17th century.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Type: Scales
  • Topic: Bells
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

 

 The Bell Doth Toll

The Bell Doth Toll is a three-part canon taken from the Twice 55 Song Collection published in 1918.  Its origin is anonymous.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Bells
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

 

The Great Bells of Oseney

Oseney Abbey, once located in Oxford, was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1129, becoming an abbey around 1154. It was dissolved in 1539 but was created a cathedral at that time. It was one of the four renowned monastic houses of medieval Oxford.  It no longer stands.  The Tenor bell is the largest, heaviest and lowest sounding pitch in a peal of bells.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Bells
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Hanukkah Lesson Plans using Handchimes

Looking for Hanukkah lesson plans using handchimes? Lessons of light and dedication are perfect to teach in December as many around the world commemorate Hanukkah.  ChimeWorks has assembled lesson plans below that sing of Hanukkah, peace and joy!

But first, more about Hanukah as explained by Chabad.org.  It is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.

The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.  It is also spelled Hanukkah.

In the second century BC, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.

When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah.

At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting. The menorah holds nine flames, one of which is the shamash (“attendant”), which is used to kindle the other eight lights. On the first night, one flame is lit. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Hanukkah, all eight lights are kindled.

Special blessings are recited, often to a traditional melody, before the menorah is lit, and traditional songs are sung afterward.

A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a doorway or window. The menorah is also lit in synagogues and other public places.

The lesson plans below are available for immediate purchase and digital download at $2.29 each:

 

Hanukkah using Icons

Hanukkah II using Chords

Good and Joyous using Ostinati

Greeting of Peace using Chords

Hava Nagila using Chords

Shalom Chaverim using Chords

Toembai using Chords

Toembai II using Ostinati

You’ll Shine in the Light of the Silvery Moon with These Winter Concert Pieces

 

 

By now preparations are underway for your Winter Concert!  ChimeWorks has some suggestions for easy to teach songs with handchime accompaniment that will bring your program ringing success.

During this busy time of the year, let us do the work for you! The lesson plans below are available for immediate purchase and download from ChimeWorks and include goals for NAfMe music standards, objectives and process for teaching in addition to the music score.

Check out the titles below that will have you shining in the silvery moon:

Alleluia by Mozart

This popular melody is taken form Mozart’s larger work, Exultate Jubilate.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 4
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Germany

Alleluia Round

Alleluia Round is a traditional canon.  Its origin is unknown.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Unknown

Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem is a traditional song in round or canon form.  The text translates to Grant Us Peace and is taken from the Latin mass.  While the source of this canon is unknown, it is believed to date from the 16th century.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, Peace
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

Gaudeamus Hodie

Gaudeamus Hodie translates to Let Us Rejoice Today!

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Christmas, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

 Jubilate Deo

Jubilate Deo can be challenging as a six-part canon.  Adding the ostinati will make it sparkle.  The translation of the Latin is: O be joyful in the Lord.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

Now We Say Farewell

Now We Say Farewell is a two-part canon (round) published in Chapel Gems for Sunday Schools published in 1866.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Farewell, Labor
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Ode To Joy

Ode To Joy was written by Ludwig van Beethoven and is part of the final movement of his Symphony No. 9.

  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 5
  • Topic: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Germany

Rise Up O, Flame

Rise Up, O Flame is a traditional campfire song sung by Girl Scouts in North America.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Sing Together

Sing Together is a folk song of unknown origin.  It is a three-part canon or round.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: General, Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Unknown

Welcome Every Guest

While the song, Welcome Every Guest, appears in Walker’s Southern Harmony published in 1847, it can found earlier in Brownson’s Select Harmony published in 1783.  The reference to the Sacred Nine probably refers to the nine muses of Greek Mythology.  This would be a wonderful opening to a concert program.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Topic: Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

 

The above lesson plans are on the ChimeWorks website and available at the low price of $2.29 each.  If you’re not already a member, log on for your two-week trial membership today!

Christmas in a Snap

 

Christmas is less than two months away and preparation time for holiday music is quickly diminishing.  Whether you are planning music for a concert, a social gathering or worship, you’ll find the resources below helpful as you choose repertoire.

The collections  feature well-known Christmas carols with the text and  melody line written along with simple chords to be accompanied by handchimes or handbells.  Not only do they avail themselves to almost any ringing ensemble, they are a perfect way to engage your audience this Christmas by having them participate in your program.

Whether you are working with beginning or experiences ringers, these Level 1 arrangements lend themselves to all types of performance possibilities:

  • Solo voice with rung accompaniment
  • Unison Voices with rung accompaniment
  • Bb or C Solo instrument with rung accompaniment
  • Keyboard with rung harmonic accompaniment
  • Combined instrumentation with rung accompaniment

Click the titles below to see sample pages:

Ring & Sing Christmas

12 Christmas carols and 7 secular Christmas songs are presented here as texts paired with simple, chordal, handbell/handchimes accompaniments. Each title is presented in both 2-octave and 3-octave settings. All are in the key most commonly found in hymnals and carol books. The vocal parts can be sung by soloists, choirs, carolers or congregation. The settings may be used alone to accompany group singing or may be added to keyboard-accompanied congregational singing or “sing-alongs.” All the music may be reproduced for use by your choir. 

 Christmas Carol Accompaniments

Christmas Carol Accompaniments, Volume 2

These collections will be an invaluable resource for the Christmas season! They are also a wonderful budget stretcher. With the purchase of these collections, the original purchaser (church, school, or community ensemble) is granted permission to make copies as needed for their choir. The easy accompaniment chords may be played on either handbells or handchimes. The carol melodies may be sung and/or played by an instrument. Sing-along sheets are included, as well as instrumental parts for B-flat and C-treble instruments and C-bass instruments. The accompaniments may be rung with or without keyboard, and a list of harmonically compatible hymnal settings is provided. Suggestions are also included for combing carols into a medley. This flexible collection is ideal for your carol accompaniment needs–whether the melody is sung or played–throughout the holiday season.

The above resources are available on the ChimeWorks website for immediate purchase and digital download

Ringing Thanks – Repertoire for Thanksgiving

Autumn is here and Thanksgiving is seven weeks away. If you haven’t already chosen repertoire for the holiday, ChimeWorks has some great ideas for your ensemble.  The popular tunes below have several settings for beginning to intermediate choirs and feature handchimes or handbells alone to arrangements that are more flexible to include percussion, keyboard or optional instrumental and choir parts.  All of the titles listed below are available for immediate purchase and digital download.  Click the links to view sample pages and listen to a recording upon availability.

The Ash Grove (Let All Things Now Living)

2 Octaves, Level 3

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1

 

Many and Great

2 – 3 Octaves with Percussion, Level 1

3 – 5 Octaves with Percussion, Level 1

3 – 6 Octaves, Level 2 with Keyboard & Narrator

 

Now Thank We All Our God (Bach)

4 – 6 Octaves, Level 3 with Keyboard, Optional Brass & Optional Choir

 

Now Thank We All Our God

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1+ with Optional Bb or C Instrument

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1 + with Optional Bb or C Instrument

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 2

 

Processional on All Things Bright and Beautiful

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1

 

This Is My Father’s World

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1+ with Flute

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1+ with Flute

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 3- with Optional Flute, Organ and Congregation

Handchimes with Choral Music

Handchimes accompany voices beautifully.  Even if you own handbells, consider using handchimes with a choral anthem.  Their resonant sound will lead to a powerful performance when added to a choral ensemble.  Undeniably, there are times when handbells are more appropriate as on Easter Sunday with SATB voices, brass and organ however, there are times when the simplicity of handchimes is the perfect choice.

 

Because of their design, handchimes produce the purest of tones.  Depending on the tube shape (square is best), no other instrument has so few overtones.  This is a useful quality when working with younger musicians as children will be able to hear the pitch of the handchimes easily and this will be helpful with intonation.  Sometimes, when handbells are used to accompany choral anthems, the overtones present in the handbell sound may confuse the children when finding pitches.

 

The softer, vibrating aluminum tines of handchimes produces a mellower tone which does not overpower the youngers voices.  The tone of the handchimes is ever present but not too bright or obtrusive.

 

In a two-part or SSA choral setting with handbells, the prominent fundamental pitch may be welcome without the overtones to “ground” the sound, providing a richer foundation.

 

SATB voices will welcome the sustain of handchimes to their music when singing slower tempos with sustained phrases.  The ethereal sound of handchimes will provide musical line and add a rich thread of sound.

 

If you have a favorite anthem with a simple keyboard part, consider replacing the keyboard setting with handchimes as in this setting of Babylon Canon arranged by Roger Emerson as performed here by the Westminster Choir College Concert Bell Choir.