Background information on the bells:
The high pitch of the bells carries over the entire band. The bells are part of the percussion section. They are referred to as keyboard percussion as they are laid out like a piano keyboard. A piano background is helpful for this reason for students interested in playing the bells. Bells made for home will have the letter names on the bars; bells made for school will not.
There is a whole family of keyboard percussion including the xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and chimes. Once a student learns to play the bells the skills transfer directly to these other instruments. Bell players will also learn to play the snare drum and other percussion instruments when they move on to the middle school.
Students who learn to play the bells leave their instrument and mallets at home, and only bring their band folder back and forth to school.
Here are the bells that the Gates Chili music department recommends:
Here is what your child needs to join the program:
- Pearl PK900C bell set (which comes with mallets and a built-in music stand. It also comes with a carrying case, a practice pad for future snare practice and drum sticks.)
- Vic Firth V8806 Percussion Set (comes with the same accessories.)
- there are practice sets for home use on Amazon also, approx. $115-200 with or without a stand.
- bells and stand (which stay home)
- music stand (essential for home practice)
- Bell Mallets, there are different types to vary the tone and volume.
- Lesson Book, materials will be provided by the school until year 2.