At ART we receive not only requests to learn to ring but also desperate emails from new ringers who know that how they are being taught just isn’t right. These ringers aren’t giving up though, they like ringing, they want to ring and they are taking the time to ask for something better.
New ringers are expecting intensive training, not 15 or 20 minutes a week. They compare with what other (competitor) hobbies routinely provide and find what they are being offered is sadly lacking. People nowadays have lots of choice and high expectations. What they are asking for is proper coaching, just as they would if they were learning an instrument or a new sport.
I have recently answered an ad in a local mag called The Voice. The ad was to learn the art of bell ringing at [church named]. I have been on three occasions, twice with about five other complete beginners, and once with more experienced ringers. I think in all I have had half an hour’s tuition.
I have had a telephone call this morning telling me that the next time I go I will be assessed as they do not think I am capable of becoming a bell ringer. This has disheartened and upset me. Is it that apparent, after so little tuition, to know whether or not a person will be able to gain the art of bell ringing?
I’ve started to ring at [church named] and am enjoying it. To supplement this, as I’m only doing this for 20 minutes per week, I was wondering if there was some sort of practical day’s course I could go on, as I need more practice at bell-ringing. Would there be any such course I could attend in the local area?
I have just started learning to ring (4 solo lessons and 4 group) and have got as far as being brought along for Sunday morning rounds. It looks as if I will get 15 min max of ringing time per week and compared with learning an instrument (I play cello, viola, bass and treble viol to an amateur level with spouse and a small group) this seems a bit thin.
Some home practice would be helpful, so I have acquired AbelSim and am building a dumbbell – unfortunately, the locals decided a few years ago that they didn’t need a simulator, so I am likely to use it solo. It has been suggested by a ringing friend of my sister-in-law, that I go down the ART route, which is why I am contacting you.
It typically takes 10 to 15 hours to train someone sufficiently well to ring competent rounds with others. Intensive bell handling training is recommended. There are different ways of doing this depending on both you and your new recruit. Whichever route you take you should aim to have your recruit ringing with others within a month. Sometimes it can be within a week!
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