Wednesdays are the day that I run the Handbell Club over the lunch period, and after our success with the students at the Scottish Handbell Day, I was thinking about ways to keep that momentum. I was also thinking about how to catch the other pupils up.
The bad news is that we seem to have lost two pupils to the nice weather (and possibly to opportunities to gossip about boys). The good news is that everyone who attended the handbell day still remembers how to plain hunt on 6.
For this session I took four of our Kidsplay handbells along with our usual set of 12. I printed out a Plain Hunt on 4 grid, and then used markers to colour-code it to match the Kidsplay bells. Then I could divide the children into the following groups:
- a plain hunting on six group, with one pupil each on trebles and tenors and me ringing 3-4.
- a Kidsplay plain hunting on 4 group, where two pupils used the colour coding to work through plain hunt by themselves
- a plain hunt on 4 intensive session, using Thomas as the second ringer to steady things.
The remaining pupils were set to a quiz and some drawing. I rotated them all through in 10-minute intervals and in different combinations. The colour-coding of the Kidsplay bells really helped the DIY hunting; but they are so much more piercing in tone than our change ringing set that within the confines of the classroom it was almost unbearable.
We have three more weeks to practice before our next public performance: I feel really encouraged that we might have a small plain hunt demo ready for then.
Later that same day, we had another evening session with Josy, and attempted a quarter peal of spliced plain methods. As is typical of minor, it was going really well until suddenly it wasn't. It was definitely gettable. Then we did some practice, going over courses of Cambridge (which is coming along quite well), and some courses of Kent, with some goes at Forward to practice the place-making (wasn't coming along quite so well).
Finally, like moths to a flame, we had to try this Stedman Doubles again. It was still really really hard! We opted for an extent putting the singles with either 1-2 or 3-4, which eliminated the whole 'one bell at the front and one bell at the back' problem. And really, it was much easier, and it still took us quite a few attempts to get a couple of different extents round. It has a hypnotic allure.