Ensure you have a treble ringer who can lead well and a tenor ringer with a good sense of rhythm. Place competent ringers on either side of the ringer who is learning. For the very first call change it is easier for your ringer to work with the bells he is already looking towards and following in rounds. That is to say, get the ringer to move down a place out of rounds and up a place to get back into rounds. If you choose to do this, don't place the ringer on the 2, as, at this point in his ringing development they are unlikely to have learned how to lead.
Explain to your ringer that this whole pull warning gives them the
opportunity to adjust the intervening backstroke to enable the bell to
be moved into the new place more easily. They need to put less energy in when
preparing to move down a place and ring the handstroke more quickly, and
put more energy in to make the bell swing higher in preparation for
holding up the following handstroke when moving up a place.
The ringer needs to understand what happens at a call, which bells are affected and in what way. For example if the call is 3 to 4:
Using questions to check understanding ensures the ringer has processed the information. Ask your ringer, when your bell is called to move down [or up] does it have to ring more quickly or more slowly? This may seem obvious, but when asked this question many ringers are confused to start with:
And when they have advanced a little:
This whole process can then be repeated again by calling the ringer to move up a place, i.e. looking to their left to move up and to the right to move down again into rounds. Again repeat the feedback loop.
When a ringer can accurately move up and down a place and return to steady rounds, they are ready to move on to more complicated sequences. The ringer can be introduced to common sequences such as Queens (1 3 5 2 4 6), Tittums (1 4 2 5 3 6) or Whittingtons (1 5 3 2 4 6). Whilst ringing more complicated sequences the teacher should use questions such as:
This process continues until the teacher is certain that the ringer is always aware of their place in the row. Another ringer could be used to stand behind and ask these question.
To help reinforce the sense of place in the row a ringer can be asked to call simple call changes, for example to call themself up and then back down a place or two places. A ringer who finds this exercise easy can move on to calling more complex sequences such as the bells into Queens or Tittums and back into rounds.
The use of exercises such as these can give the teacher a good indication of the ringers who already have a good idea of where each bell is at each call.
The ringers can be asked to say the number of the place they are ringing in. Starting with the bell leading the ringer says “Lead or first”, the bell in seconds place then says “second”, this progresses around the circle until all the ringers have said the number of the place they are ringing in.
Once the ringer is confidently ringing call changes and is:
Some variations can be added, this will develop skills and provide interest:
This requires an increased level of bell control but once the striking is good can be used for ringing at weddings and other occasions.
Initial skills – understand theory ring receive feedback, and repeat, gain accuracy.