Striving for Success

The discussion topic this time around was how to run a successful #bellringing practice. First off was to identify the different types of practices from ones with few ringers, to those with lots of ringers, district practices when you don’t know what everyone’s capability is, virtual practices, young people practices, and themed practices.

Practices with only a few ringers gives plenty of rope time to those learning.  It also gives opportunity for more experienced ringers to practice conducting or teaching or having a go at running the practice. However, those with a lot of ringers has the opposite issue with trying to get everyone to have their fair share of rope time. It can be difficult to accommodate everyone’s needs.  For those types of practice everything needs to run super tightly to avoid wasted time.

Virtual practices provide scope for practicing theory and can be quick, focussed sessions, and even on a 1-2-1 basis now that Wheatley is integrated.

Practices for young people can be a challenge as they get so easily distracted and are used to making progress quickly and moving on to the next thing.  Its important then to have lesson plans mapped out so they know what they’re moving on to next.  And of course, you’ll need to engage with the parents, especially as you don’t want to end up just being a kiddie day care facility.

Themed practices can be great for focussing on a specific issue, technique like raising and lowering a bell, listening skills, conducting practice, but remember to alternate it with proper touches of something else so people don’t get bored, especially if you have visitors.

Organising and planning seems to be the key.  Agree goals with individuals and the whole band, have a structure and progression plan for each ringer, but also what you want to achieve as a band e.g. entering a striking competition, or ringing a quarter peal.  But don’t feel you have to take all of this on your own. Enlist help. Other members of the band can act as assistants in getting people ready for the next touch, standing behind people, sitting with someone when they’re not ringing to help them through some theory, and they can act as front of house meeters and greeters.

Creating the right atmosphere will help people come back.  If there is a learning environment where people progress, where there is constructive criticism, a warm welcome, a good social life, and plenty of cake and chocolates, this will support a great practice.

Understanding what makes people tick is useful but be decisive and have standards.  Most ringers would prefer to ring something simple well than something more complicated badly.

And don’t forget to keep yourself interested and learning.  Be the behaviour you want to see in others.


One thought on “Striving for Success

  1. Ring something simple but we’ll, that’s me, ha 😄 So glad I don’t have to run sessions anymore. It’s so difficult to keep everyone happy and not miss out yourself


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s