A Look At Me Playing Handbells

This video made me smile, and I needed that.

I attended a handbell workshop on Saturday, and it was a bit rough. A large group of more than 50 ringers were rehearsing four selections for a late afternoon concert, and it didn’t go well for me.

There were too many eighth notes, odd tempos and bell changes for me to keep up with. I quickly got lost in every song. The gentleman to my right kindly offered to share music in a vain attempt to keep me on tempo, but the songs were too challenging for me, and even with his help, I pretty much just stood there, listening to others play, feeling, if truth be told, pretty miserable.

It made me reconsider whether I even want to continue playing hand bells. Probably not the result that MMU had it mind when Campus Ministry sponsored me for the workshop.

Well, today I felt a bit better. I decided I could cut down to one rehearsal a week, and see if that lowered my stress. And I recalled that the most challenging song we’ve played this year we already played at the Holocaust Memorial, and I don’t have to deal with it again for now.

Also, the video helped me feel a bit better today. Will I continue to ring in the future? Right now, I’m honestly not sure. This was supposed to be my easier semester, compared with fall, but what with one thing and another I feel totally swamped right now.

Again, little of the stress has to do with the bell choir, but I have to figure out where to cut stress where I can. I was thrilled to have Amanda and her family come visit for a few weeks, but evening and weekend grading time was truncated during that visit, and this weekend I spent all day Saturday at a workshop, then ended up with family commitments all day Sunday. It’s coming on to Sunday evening and the new school week is ready to dawn, and I don’t have enough hours in the day.

Come to think of it—I guess that’s probably exactly how my students feel.

Anyway, I decided that quitting the bell choir in the wake of one discourating workshop would be a bit unfair to the group. So I will cut down to one practice a week and see where that leads. And the video is nice. I may feel totally clumsy in the music world, but with enough practice I can play a little.



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2 responses to “A Look At Me Playing Handbells

  1. Cate

    Music is good for your soul, Joe! I have had to cut out Quire a couple of times in the last few years (due to similar stress problems) and always missed it. I know there are times when work can’t wait, but honestly they’re not as often as we think they are. Keep the bells!

    • CRGardenJoe

      I’m pretty sure, now, that I will carry on. One bad day doesn’t do away with all the good that ringing does. Anyway, I’ll cut back for now, but not cut out, and I’m very likely to continue ringing.

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