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Training course descriptions


Find out what's involved – Click the course name to see: Why you should go, What you will do, What you can expect to get out of it.

Duration – Most courses last less than a couple of hours. They aim to give you experiences and insights that you can then use to develop further during your regular ringing.
 Bring a learner – Some of these courses are particularly suited for less experienced ringers, who might not like to come on their own. We are happy for learner and teacher to attend together.

Tower courses – If several people in the same tower have similar needs, we can organise a course in your own tower, with the advantage of familiarity.
 Elementary bob calling Conducting   Bell handling  
 See yourself handling on video    Raising and lowering techniques    Raising and lowering in peal
 Leading up and down in peal  Listening skills  Bell maintenance
 Rope splicing    Ring with a simulator    How to learn a method
 Heavy bell handling  Change ringing on handbells   Striking practice
 Listening and judging striking  Teaching bell handling  

Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Elementary bob calling If you do not call, if you have problems calling, or if you lack confidence doing so. A short theory session explains the basics (timing of calls, choosing what to call, knowing when to put the next call, deciding when to call round, etc). Practical ringing gives you the chance to call things. Your tutor will keep an eye on you while you do so, and after each touch will discuss any problems and answer questions. You should be able to call with more confidence.
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Conducting If you can call simple touches, and would like to develop your ability to understand how touches work, to check the ringing during a touch, and to be able to correct some simple mistakes. A theory session explains how to work out coursing orders from the composition and how to check them during the ringing. It recaps on the basics of calling and touch selection, and gives advice about (trying to) correct mistakes. During the practical session, you will prepare one or more touches and call them. Your tutor will keep an eye on you while doing so, and after each touch will discuss any problems and answer questions. An understanding of conducting, and more confidence in your ability to call touches.You should be able to call with more confidence.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Bell handling If you have problems with bell control, for example: you have difficulty striking consistently, you do not feel confident ringing different bells, you find ringing hard work or uncomfortable, you do not feel entirely safe when ringing. During the introduction, you will discuss with the tutor the problems that you hope to solve. You will then ring a number of exercises to enable the tutor to assess the problems, and possible causes. After discussing these, you will be coached in further exercises to help you to work on solutions. There is no set formula for this course, because it depends very much on individual needs. This session might include the use of video (see below). You should gain a better understanding of your problems and what is causing them. You should will also have practical ideas for things you can do to work on them and make improvement. We cannot guarantee 'instant fixes' since it takes a lot of effort (and longer than a single session) to change habits that have become ingrained.
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See yourself handling on video While ringing, it is virtually impossible to observe yourself. Your eyes are in the wrong place, and anyway, your mind is concentrating on what you are doing. The video camera lets you focus on your ringing, and then afterwards view yourself from different angles, to see what your hands, arms, rope, etc were really doing. And you can always replay it if you didn't quite see the first time. The basic process is to ring, look at video of yourself ringing, discuss what you see, and then repeat the process. If you or the tutor identify any problems, you will be given advice and coaching on how to solve them, and what you ring next will be varied to suit you. What you ring will depend on your needs, and can be adapted to suite you. For example, you may ring a heavy or a light bell(s). You may ring solo, or you may ring Rounds. You might ring something dynamic like dodging, hunting or raising or lowering the bell. We normally have more than one tutor, so you get individual attention.

You should gain a much better understanding of the causes of any handling quirks that you have developed, and what causes them. That should make it easier for you to make improvements. Even if you are a good ringer, you would almost certainly learn something of interest by seeing yourself. None of us is perfect. A boost to your progress.
Please note: With widespread availability of tablets & smart phones this should mow be an integral part of normal teaching.  Back to top

Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Raising and lowering techniques If you have difficulty getting a bell up, or taking it down, if you find it very hard work, or if you do not feel safe doing it. During the introduction, you will discuss with the tutor the problems that you hope to solve. You will attempt to raise (or lower) a bell to enable the tutor to assess the problems, and possible causes. After discussing these, you will be coached in further exercises to help you to work on solutions. There is no set formula for this course, because it depends very much on individual needs. It may be combined with Bell Handling (see above). You should understand what is limiting your current performance, and have practical ideas for how to make improvement. We cannot guarantee 'instant fixes' since it takes a lot of effort (and longer than a single session) to change habits that have become ingrained. A boost to your progress..
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Raising and lowering in peal If you can raise and lower a single bell without difficulty, but either have not learnt to do so in peal, or your attempts to do so do not normally succeed, or if your tower cannot offer you regular opportunities to attempt to raise and lower in peal.If your band cannot currently raise and lower in peal (ie most of them need to learn) then we can offer a sequence of courses in your tower to enable you all to learn together. The tutor will ask what you hope to get out of the course, and if you have any specific problems. A brief initial theory session will explain the key features of successful raising and lowering in peal. The rest of the course will consist of alternate raises and lowers, with students spaced between experienced helpers, and any problems or questions dealt with after each. We aim to ensure that you ring in at least two raises and two lowers. Ringing in a 'solid' band gives you the best chance of succeeding, and repeating the process while it is still fresh in your mind should help you to consolidate what you learn. You should be much better equipped to take part in normal raising and lowering.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Leading up and down in peal If you can raise and lower in peal without difficulty, but either have not learnt to lead up and down, or your attempts to do so do not normally succeed, or if your tower does not have anyone to lead up and down in peal.
This course can be combined with Raising and Lowering in Peal, especially where it is focused on the needs of a single band.
The tutor will check your current experience, and any specific problems. A brief initial theory session will explain the key features of successfully leading up and down in peal. The rest of the course will consist of alternate raises and lowers. You will lead up a band of experienced helpers, under the tutor's supervision. Any problems or questions will be dealt with after each. We aim to ensure that you ring in at least two raises and two lowers. You will be given advice on how to cope when leading a less experienced band. You should understand the techniques needed for successful leading up and down, and have experienced how to apply them. You should be confident enough to lead normal raising and lowering.
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Listening skills If you find it hard to hear your bell, making it hard to use what you hear to help you strike accurately, or if people tell you to 'listen to it' but you don't know how to do so, or if you are tempted to give up trying to listen (or have already given up). A brief initial theory session explains how listening works, why it is difficult, and how it complements other skills to help you strike in the right place. Most of the time is spent on practical listening exercises. The difficulty is controlled, and you are not stressed by having to control a bell at the same time. Everything is repeatable, so you can take your time. Everyone is encouraged to participate actively. You get feedback on whether get the exercises right, and you can repeat the exercise if you need to. You will almost certainly hear more than you thought you could. You will understand some techniques to help you make more sense of the sound while ringing. You should be able to practise listening more effectively during your normal ringing, providing a boost to your progress.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Bell maintenance If you are interested in bell mechanics and maintenance, and/or if your tower needs someone to act as steeple-keeper. This course is normally run by the Guild Towers and Belfries Committee. In the theory session, each part of a bell installation is described, together with how it works, what is essential for it to work correctly, and what might go wrong. Normally there are two practical sessions, in towers with different types of installation (eg metal frame v timber frame) and you are given the opportunity to inspect them, ie systematically look for signs of defects or potential problems, and discuss the results. The session includes demonstration of typical maintenance tasks. A more thorough understanding of how to keep a bell installation in good working order.
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Please note – The Guild also runs courses, and you might be able to get on one quicker that way than by waiting until the Branch has enough to run the next course.
Rope splicing If you cannot splice but would like to learn, or if your tower needs someone who could splice a rope is one broke. The mechanics of a splice are explained and demonstrated. Different types of splice, and their role in ringing are explained. The main focus is on the short splice. You will practice making your own splice(s) under supervision, using rope provided. You will be shown how to achieve an even finish, and how to spot mistakes. You may bring your own rope of there is something you wish to repair. The ability to repair a rope using a short splice.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Ring with a simulator If you have not rung with a simulator (ie rung your bell with the simulator making the sounds of the others, which is an experience every ringer ought to have a least once) or if you would like to develop a more rhythmic style of ringing. You ring a normal bell to Rounds (or a method if you prefer). The simulator rings all the other bells. You ring steadily and listen to the striking of your bell. All the others strike perfectly, so it is easier to pick out any deviation of yours. You make small corrections to stay in the right place. There are no moving ropes except yours. That can seem odd at first (though beginners who haven't yet rung with other ringers don't have any problem with it). If things go wrong, you can stop and start again. The machine never gets upset. The opportunity to ring by rhythm and listening, and more confidence to use them during normal ringing. The luxury of practising amid perfect ringing. The satisfaction of doing something that you might have thought you couldn't do.
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How to learn a method If you have difficulty learning and remembering methods, or if when you ring them, you get completely lost when there is a slip, because you forget where you are and don't know what to do next. The theory session begins with a recap of pre-course reading that you have been asked to do. It explains different ways to think about the structure of a method, and how each can help you to learn it more thoruoghly. You will discuss what you have learnt about a new method that you were given shortly before the course, and any queries will be answered. In the practical session, with the support of helpers, you will have the opportunity to attempt to ring the method. A better approach to learning a new method, and staying right while ringing it. As a result, you should be able to learn more new methods with confidence.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Heavy bell handling If you are comfortable ringing light or mid-weight bells but have difficulty ringing heavy bells, if you would like to be able to ring heavier bells more confidently, or if your tower needs more 'back enders'. A brief introduction describes the different way heavy and light bells ring, and the different techniques needed to control them properly. Practical ringing sessions ringing a heavy bell will include ringing a single bell to develop an efficient style, ringing rounds and covering, dodging and hunting. Note that the weight of the bell used will depend on the individual. ('Heavy' is a relative term.) You should develop a more efficient style of ringing that enables you to ring heavier bells more effectively, with less effort.
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Change ringing on handbells If you would like to try. The patterns for hunting a pair of bells are explained (equivalent to the blue line for a single bell). You will practice ringing a coursing pair, and other positions. The chance to try ringing in hand. Please note - this course is a 'taster' session. The only way to learn to ring changes in hand is by regular practice, the same as it is for tower bells.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Striking practice If you would like to improve your striking but aren't sure how good it is, or how to go about improving. After a brief introduction to explain the tool that measures and displays striking, you will ring touches well within your ability (rounds and/or methods). After each you will review the analysis to understand any pattern in your striking and discuss how to use this knowledge to improve. You will have an objective view of your striking, and should have ideas for how to improve it.
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Listening and judging striking   If you would like to develop the ability to listen critically to ringing, if your band needs someone able to advise on the quality of striking, or if you might be called on to help judge a striking competition. A brief initial theory session explains how listening works, and some of the pifalls to avoid when assessing striking. Most of the time is spent on practical listening exercises. Initial exercises will allow you to discover how accurate your basic listening is. These will be followed with marking several different pieces of ringing. You will be encouraged to compare your scores, and discuss your subjective impression of the ringing. You will almost certainly hear more than you thought you could. You will have techniques to help you listen more critically, and you should have more confidence in your ability to judge the quality of ringing.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it
Teaching bell handling If you would like to be able to teach new ringers, or if your tower needs someone to teach new ringers. We recommend that you start by attending an ITTS Module 1 course . You follow this with a period of teaching practice, supervised by your mentor. This may be in your own tower, teaching one of your own learners, or we may arrange an intensive teaching day, depending on numbers and on your circumstances. At the end of the whole process (including teaching at least one person through the whole cycle) you should be competent to teach, and able to be certified under ITTS.
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Course Why go What you do What you get out of it

We no longer offer courses on individual methods, because the demand for them has always been very low, and they are catered for by the Guild courses  that are run every year. If you have a specific need for help with learning a new method, we can support you with additional coaching at Branch practices .

If you have any other training needs, not covered above, please contact me .

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