Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Bell's Not a Bell 'Till Your Ring It

The Bells are certainly adored by the children. They spent much of the day yesterday perfecting their ability to use the mallet to produce the tones and learning to use the damper. Some of the children began receiving presentations on the preliminary bell lessons. The bells consist of a set of twenty six bells, or two sets of thirteen bells. One set is "a control set" of white and black bells which correspond to the black and white keys on a piano and produce the sound of one octave beginning at middle C; the other is a matching set of brown bells, which are used in "auditory experiments" conducted by the child.

In the first preliminary lesson, three brown bells which produce highly disparate notes from the diatonic scale are mixed in the front of the bell cabinet. The child uses their auditory sense to match the pitches to the corresponding white bells. Over time, the children will progress to being able to match all of the pitches in the diatonic scale, even accomplishing this feat as they match them across a classroom (remembering the sound of the note as they walk across the room to locate the identical sound).
After they have mastered matching the bells, the children will progress to learning to grade the diatonic scale, learning the names of the notes, and learning to read and perform music using the bells.

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