• Jim Hart

Why do we ring?

When I started learning to play handbells with the Shared Joy BRingers after 62 years of no musical education or experience, I found much more than just a great teacher/director. I also found an encouraging community of musicians who supported each member — no matter their skill level.

Since handbells isn’t a solo instrument and I didn’t have to play all the notes, my initial anxiety was relieved.

Today, nearly 17 years later I am still just as interested in this form of creative expression, and with each rehearsal I am still learning how to play with feeling.

I find the handbell choir to be like another family in my life, and I treasure this form of music expression because each song connects my emotions with my inner spirit.

Before each performance, when the director asks us to “wear our hearts on our sleeves,” she means to allow the feelings of our hearts to be exposed and communicated in the musicality of our performance. That experience is life-giving, and feels like God has blessed our effort to bring our listeners into communion with us and one another, filling all of our lives with joy.