Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Handbell Choir Director by Ashley Danyew

Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Handbell Choir Director

An online training course for church handbell choir directors

You're more than just a handbell choir director.

You're the conductor and maybe the substitute ringer, the organizer and planner, the table-mover and handbell repair-person; but you're also a mentor, cheerleader, spiritual leader, and yes, music educator.
That being said, no one told you you'd have people in your bell choir who can't read music, or someone who can only play C5, or people who can't remember which hand is right and which one is left (true story). 

You're a capable musician, but you weren't expecting to have to teach the basics of music-reading plus all the special techniques that go with handbell-playing to ringers with varying abilities.

Feel like you could use a team of music education experts in each rehearsal?

You're not alone.

You could try learning as you go, tackling challenges one by one as they arise and reading and learning what you can on how to teach this concept or develop that skill... but who has time for that? And where do you even start?

What if there was a way to learn the key skills and teaching strategies you need to direct and lead your handbell choir with confidence?

Instead of feeling frustrated about teaching and directing, you could spend your time and energy enjoying rehearsals and watching your ringers learn and succeed. Your rehearsals would be more intentional and streamlined and you'd feel more confident in your leadership skills and ability to teach effectively.

Welcome to Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Handbell Choir Director

This online training course was designed for you, the handbell choir director juggling all the things.

This course will help you develop valuable teaching skills (tailored to adult learners and informed by three useful educational frameworks) and equip you with the practical tools and skills you need to lead and teach your handbell choir with creativity and confidence.

You'll Learn How To:

  • Teach important playing technique and ensemble skills
  • Help your ringers develop music-reading (and more specifically, rhythmic-reading) skills
  • Foster the development of musicianship, listening skills, awareness, and musical understanding
  • Evaluate music thoroughly and choose pieces that give your ringers an opportunity to use their skills to overcome challenges
  • Plan effective, engaging rehearsals, week after week
  • Lead your handbell choir with confidence
Buy for $69

What's Inside:

  • 16 video lessons, divided into four modules
  • Lifetime 24/7 access to all the course content, from any device
  • Hands-on activities and projects to put your new skills and knowledge into practice
  • Digital resources, templates, and related course materials
  • Email support: answers to your questions and feedback on your ideas are only an email away!

What people are saying:

My biggest takeaway: "I can do this if I take it step by step."
"[This course] increased my knowledge and made me more confident . . . . I am learning something every week."
"Good, specific instruction on technique and pedagogy."

Our Course Curriculum

You'll get instant access to all four modules and related course materials.

Hi, I'm Ashley Danyew

Church musician and music educator based in Rochester, NY. My mission is to help church musicians and teachers like you lead, teach, and inspire others creatively and confidently.

I have a Ph.D. in Music Education and a Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music and over 15 years of church music experience, including starting and directing adult, children's, and handbell choirs; accompanying services; planning worship; and overseeing a music program.

I can't wait to share what I know and help you develop the skills you need to lead and teach your handbell choir with confidence. Looking forward to meeting you inside the course!

What's included?

Video Icon 17 videos File Icon 5 files Text Icon 5 text files
Welcome & Introduction
Welcome Video
3 mins
Module 1: Getting Organized
1.1 Preparing to Play
10 mins
1.2 Handbell Care & Maintenance
6 mins
1.3 How We Learn Music
13 mins
Rhythmic Solfege Tutorial
7 mins
1.4 Leadership Skills for Church Musicians
5 mins
1.5 Activity: 25 Leadership Skills
142 KB
Module 2: What to Teach
2.1 Demonstrating Basic Ringing Technique
7 mins
2.2 Introducing Special Techniques
6 mins
2.3 Activity
2.4 Creating Flow Experiences
4 mins
2.5 Developing Musical Independence
8 mins
PDF: Handbell Notation Guide
126 KB
Module 3: How to Teach
3.1 Teaching Sight-Reading and Music-Reading Skills
8 mins
3.2 Activity: Sight-Reading Exercises
3.3 Teaching Rhythmic-Reading Skills
8 mins
Rhythm Pattern Card Set
3.4 Activity: Rhythmic-Reading Exercises
3.5 Working With Non-Music Readers
7 mins
Module 4: Planning & Preparing
4.1 Choosing Music
9 mins
Handbell Acclamations & Processionals
4.2 Activity: Finding Music
130 KB
4.3 Planning Rehearsals
6 mins
4.4 Leading Rehearsals
5 mins
4.5 Activity: Creating Rehearsal Plans
126 KB
4.6 Working with Children's Handbells & Chimes
6 mins


Where is this course taught?

This course is taught exclusively online. Access the content 24/7, wherever you go, from any device.

How much time does it take to complete?

The course includes about 2 hours of recorded video content, plus a few activities and projects for you to work through on your own. You'll have access to the full course immediately after signing up.

That being said, the course is completely self-paced, so start whenever you're ready (you'll have lifetime access!), set a schedule that works for you, and learn at your own pace.

I already took the Adult Choir course; how much of this content is the same?

I touch on a few of the same topics in both courses because some parts of music teaching and learning look the same, even if you're working with a different ensemble; however, I've revised and rewritten the content in this course to tailor it specifically to handbell choir directors.

What if I have other questions?

Please feel free to reach out to me directly at I'd be happy to answer your questions!