ART Course Module 1 (Teaching bell handling), The Bell Tower, Perth, 5 February 2022

A theory lesson at the Perth ART course, February 2022

Corinne presenting theory to participants in Perth

In 2015 we in WA were given the opportunity to participate in the first ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) Training course run by David Smith and Matthew Sorrell with assistance from Corinne Rule and Josclyn Sloan. But that was over six years ago now and Perth Bell Tower Captain Mike Collinson and his committee thought that it was about time that another training course was offered for potential bell handling teachers. With eight towers in the State there is certainly a need for more teachers. We are extremely grateful to ANZAB for supporting us with the various teaching materials and to the St Martin’s Society for providing a delicious lunch for the 12 participants and our teachers.

Our instructors were Corinne and Jos. We were all at The Bell Tower by 8.30am for an 8.45am start. As the forecast temperature for the day was 42°C (and actual 42.5°C) we were very happy to be spending the day in air-conditioned comfort. Corinne was in charge of the theory side of the course. Jos ran the practical aspect for which we were instructed to get into pairs and if possible a more experienced ringer/teacher teaming up with a less experienced one. This worked out very well with both ringers being given the opportunity to experiment with the various bell handling tasks demonstrated by Jos. Even though a number of us had attended the 2015 course and subsequently put into practise the things we had learned, it was extremely beneficial to have a refresher course and also to learn improved ways of teaching bell handling. And the less experienced ringers were quick to learn, and will certainly become proficient and excellent teachers.

Jos supervising a practical session at the Perth ART course, February 2022

Jos supervising a practical session

Our sincere thanks to Corinne and Josclyn for giving up their time on the day and also for their meticulous planning which made the day run very smoothly. Not only did we learn a great deal but it was lots of fun and an excellent way to bring together ringers from the various towers. The proof will be in the pudding as they say as we return to our towers to recruit and teach those who want to learn to ring bells.

Mary Townsend

ART Course Module 1 at Bundaberg, 27 November 2021

Attendees at Bundaberg ART course, November 2021

Rachel and Sharon (left) and David (far right) with helpers from Bundaberg and Maryborough

On the last Saturday in November, David Smith travelled to Bundaberg to run the first ART course on the recently restored Peace Bells. Sharon (Bundaberg) and Rachel (Maryborough) participated in both theory and practical sessions with assistance from other ringers from both towers. The day was used to consolidate the teaching of basic skills for new ringers starting with bell safety and progressing through to raising a bell independently.

Other than the magnificent lunch catered by Meredith and Chris, the best session of the day was Solving Handling Problems. During this session the "learners" took their job to demonstrate their favourite ringing mistakes a little too exuberantly, resulting in an entertaining opportunity for Rachel and Sharon to show off their skills for coaching novices. The course allowed Sharon and Rachel to reinforce their teaching technique and tweak their current practice to be more effective for prospective learners.

Many thanks to David for taking the time to travel to Bundaberg and run the course on behalf of ART - and commiserations to Kathi Downs for being unable to attend due to COVID restrictions in QLD. We are looking forward to participating in the next ART training course, hopefully to be run at the ANZAB festival in Sydney next year.

Sharon Anderson and Rachel Jensen

ART Course Module 2C at St Jude's, Randwick, 22 May 2021

St Jude's Randwick hosted ART course Module 2C (Teaching Elementary Change Ringing) on Saturday 22nd May. Here are some reflections from Natalie Shea.

If you’re looking for a totally legal mind-expanding experience, I can heartily recommend the ART program. This was my first module and it opened my eyes to a whole new world of bellringing. Probably like most people, I have tended to assume that the way I learned to ring and the way it looks and feels to me is just "How It Is", but this one-day course really helped me to understand that although we all ring together, we come to it from many different angles and perspectives.

We were a group of ringers of quite different levels of experience and from different towers and situations. Under the expert guidance of Kathi Downs and David Smith, we all came away from the course with a better understanding of how we could help ringers to progress through the early stages of change ringing. There were practical sessions where we learned useful techniques that made us safer ringers, and tested out some handy and fun little methods for building the skills to ring plain hunt. There were theory sessions with sometimes robust discussions covering learning styles, practice night strategies, planning and self-assessment. And there was a heap of resources for us to take home and think about further.

In my tower, there is a strong core of super experienced ringers who have been leading the band and working hard to develop our skills. OHaving attended the ART module I have a much better understanding of what’s involved in doing that – huge thank yous to all you ringing masters out there, I can now appreciate so much better all the work you’ve been putting in! – and I feel more confident to help out with teaching and supporting my ringing colleagues as we progress together in the Exercise.

Attendees at Randwic ART course, May 2021

(l-r) Lindsay Small, Richard Webster, Brad Day, Anna Bosman, Marylon Coates, David Smith,
Natalie Shea, Mariane Merati, Richard Thomas (photo taken by Kathi Downs)

Lithgow ART Modules, November 2019

From Hannah Musgrove, a participant: attending the course as a slight sceptic because I have been teaching learners for many years, I was very impressed with the course. I found the two days interesting, useful and fun, and I learned a few tips and several new exercises to use and improve my teaching and moving Lithgow ringers forward. I would recommend it to anyone who teaches, regardless of experience. Thanks to Lithgow Uniting Church for allowing us to host the course and to Kathi, Corinne and David for organising and presenting a great 2-day course.

Nine towers were represented on this course – including, Lithgow (Hannah Musgrove, Greg Sutton, Zelda Doyle, Sherida Brodie), Bathurst (Deb Dixon, Chris Bacon, Francis Thomas), Orange (Ric Cother), Menangle (Ron Shepherd), Christ Church St Lawrence (Kin Mun Kan), Naremburn (Geoffrey and Patricia Gemmell), Brisbane (David Smith), Katoomba (Kathi Downs) and The Alphabet Ring (Corinne Rule).

Attendees at Lithgow ART course, November 2019

Brisbane ART Modules, November 2016

Many thanks to all who attended and contributed to the ART modules 1 and 2C held at St John's Cathedral Brisbane on 19th/20th November, and congratulations to Josclyn Sloan on becoming a fully qualified ART tutor.

Here are the attendees:

Attendess at Brisbane ART course, November 2016

(l-r) Ruth Andersen, Ian McCulloch, Sue Pacey, Helen Briggs, Wendy Beer, Tom Perrins,
Patrick Johns, Harold Bartlett, Mike Toze, Ananda Rashell, David Smith, Jos Sloan

David Smith

Education Update - July 2016

I am very pleased to report that we had our first Sydney ART Training Course in April 2016. This was over two days in St James and St Mary’s with a successful outcome for all involved.

We had 10 student teachers of different levels, two of whom (Tom Perrins and Pam Brock) will help with mentoring others. Matthew Sorell and David Smith took the course as tutors where myself, Joscyln Sloan and Peter Harrison were all trainee tutors running most of the weekend. This resulted in me being recognized as a tutor for both modules, alongside Joscyln Sloan for module one at this stage, with both of us becoming full members of ART. All others on the course had their skills tested too in different ways - confidence grew everywhere and a lot of fun was had by all. What this means is that any volunteer work connected to ART and courses is spread out a little more throughout ANZAB.

Sydney ART course, April 2016

Image courtesy David Smith

These ART training courses are not necessarily for the most experienced of ringers. Naturally we welcome experienced ringers but it is designed for others too (we love you all!). Of course some good basic foundation skills are needed and other ringers need to have confidence in your ringing ability. Please contact me if you are interested at all in knowing more.

The main ART training website is at www.smartringer.org so please feel free to have a look. If you have already done a course and can’t remember how to get into more deep areas of the website, please email me and I will tell the secret! If you have already done one of these courses and just feel you want to move on but don’t know what to do, please email me.

Even if you would just like to touch base, send me an email at the address below. You can find out more about ART at its website.

Looking at workshop possibilities is my next project, so watch this space.

Association of Ringing Teachers


Corinne Rule
Education Officer

Adelaide ITTS Course, October 2014 - A Participant's Report

Two experienced teachers from the UK. Ten very experienced teachers and ringing masters from Australia. Twelve ringers sufficiently experienced to be starting to teach and run ringing. Some extra Adelaide ringers helping with arrangements and joining us for social occasions. And a few experienced ringers from the previous two-day course. What a fantastic group for exchange of ideas and some excellent ringing.

The formal part of the weekend was run by Pip and Gill of the Association of Ringing Teachers. The structure worked well, focussing on specific aspects of teaching handling, building a band and the first several stages of developing change ringers. Everyone found aspects useful to take back to their towers and use in their teaching. Things I will be trying, and recommending to others at Christ Church St Laurence, include a new (for me) way of introducing the handstroke in handling lessons, and the exercise of passing a rope from one person to another whilst ringing. I am also encouraged to be more inventive in exercises to assist the foundation skills of rope sight and bell control. In addition, I will discuss changing our way of organising ringing to include placing the band for every ring at practices and for service ringing.

Participants at the Adelaide ANZAB ITTS course, October 2014

Clockwise from the Purple Sally: Ian McCulloch (Brisbane) and Ruth Andersen (Maryborough); Norma Cother and Jim Woolford (Orange); Matthew Sorell (Adelaide), Eleanor Weeks and Helen Silver (York); Oriana Zanon (Bathurst) and Gill Hughes (ITTS Tutor); Deryn Griffiths (Sydney) and Deb Dixon (Bathurst).

Before attending the weekend I was concerned that I would find the advice rigid and contrary to my preferences. However, there was a lot of common sense and exercises were presented as options, or part of a tool kit. We discussed pros and cons of different approaches and the need for flexibility in teaching according to the preferences and aptitude of the learner(s) and the strength of the more experienced ringers available. So, I need not have been concerned. I picked up some new ideas, enjoyed exchanging ideas, and felt very encouraged.

Apart from the ITTS sessions, everyone got a chance to ring on the majestic bells of St Peter’s, Adelaide. I had the honour and delight of being part of an excellent serivce quarter-peal, and I loved the couple of touches of Stedman Triples during the general ringing on Saturday evening.

Since the weekend I have started to investigate the online resources of the ART/ITTS. However, I have barely scratched the surface and am not able to comment on the accreditation structure at this stage. What is clear to me is that some more workshops with a structure to them and on similar content to this one, would be beneficial within ANZAB, providing support to new and experienced teachers of handling and change ringing.

Deryn Grifftihs


Association of Ringing Teachers

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