Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jason Mraz group handbell activity

This handbell activity is similar to one I posted over one year ago. I adapted this song for use in a class, which was large (18 people!). And I had to teach all of this nonverbally! so it can definitely be done. I even dare say it might be easier to teach without words than to try to explain this whole procedure...

8-Note Rhythm Band handbells or deskbells
Lucky (for handbells).doc (adapted sheet music)
Lucky handbell colors.doc
"Lucky" by Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Callait mp3
Shakers or other small instruments (optional, see Adaptations)
4 paper plates/markers (optional, see Adaptations)

1. Hand out bells, telling clients not to play until you instruct them.
2. Assign them the numbers that correspond with the document provided above (Lucky handbell colors.doc).
3. Have clients memorize the number(s) that go with their color. For example, the red bell (note C) must remember that he or she plays on numbers 1, 2, and 3. Meanwhile, the green bell needs only remember to play on 3. These numbers correspond with the chords of the song. So when all bells assigned the number 1 play, a beautiful C chord will ring.
4. Provide the sheet music, also found above (Lucky for handbells.doc). It is preferable to have a projector screen so that all clients may read off of the same page.
5. Begin music and, if necessary, conduct the piece by holding up finger-numbers or pointing to the numbers on the projector.

1. If your group is larger than 8 people, consider adding shaker eggs (playing every eighth-note) or a wood block on the downbeats.
2. If your group is much larger (like mine was-18 people total), assign 4 people that are not playing bells to conduct the band. This is where the paper plates and markers come in. Each plate has a number, 1 through 4. The bells must watch the "conductors" for their cue: the conductor holds up their plate and the bells ring. You will probably need to teach your group how to give a good cue with large gestures and an intro breath.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT if you have any questions at all.


  1. The activity was a blast! So creative and well executed. It had the awesome quality of making participants feel instantly successful, which is so important in music therapy settings. Thanks so much for sharing the details about how you made the magic happen!

  2. Thanks Rebeckah! You're so sweet and awesome.

  3. Michelle, my school district web won't let me assess your adapted bell music. Is there any other way I can get it? I love the idea and the song. Thanks! L

  4. L,
    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I can email the documents to you. Feel free to email me,

  5. I have literally just seen this on another blog too, this song is doing the rounds in the hand bell community! It is good though! Good to see people still engaging.