Christmas Bells – Bell Chart for Descant

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Start a tradition in your primary and play Christmas Bells every year on the handbells! Take it one step further and sing and ring it in sacrament meeting on Christmas Sunday!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Christmas Bells Descant Handbell Chart

Christmas Bells Singing Time Idea

If you are looking for a simple way to sing Christmas Bells in singing time, I can’t recommend handbells for this Christmas primary song enough!

Make sure to check out my post HERE for using handbells in primary.  Especially if you are unfamiliar with handbells or need details to purchase some.

Using Handbells in Primary Singing Time Ideas

Only the basic 8-note set is required!  Perfect for your starter handbell set!  This is what the handbell chart for the descant looks like:

Camille's Primary Ideas: Christmas Bells Descant Handbell Chart
Camille's Primary Ideas: Christmas Bells Descant Handbell Chart
Access my printables at my Resource Library.  Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
 
NOTE: this is for the obligato/descant portion only!  Not the melody!!  If you are looking for a chart for the melody, check out my post HERE.

Play in Sacrament Meeting

To perform with the bells in sacrament meeting, I HIGHLY recommend having 2 conductors!  One to lead the bell choir (usually me) and the other to lead the singers (usually a primary presidency member).
 
The other conductor holds the actual words to the melody the kids sing (see how I post words HERE).
Camille's Primary Ideas: Help children and teacher sing by posting the words in singing time during your lesson plan

Choose a Handbell Choir

 I recommend the 2nd-to-oldest Senior Primary class to perform the bells.  If you’re consistent with this every year, every child will eventually get a turn!
 
When you come to the front of the chapel, have the needed bells all set out on the floor near the piano.  The bell ringers are previously each assigned a color that have been practiced in primary.  This way they can easily grab their color.
 
Stand on the floor in front of the bell choir with your note chart taped over the back of the music stand.  Again, similar to how I post words with the exception that page 2 is taped to the bottom of page 1 so flipping pages is not required.
 
Place the music stand higher than usual so all pages can all be seen.  Then using a wooden dowel (or similar), point to the colors as they are to be played.
 
When you perform, play the song 3 times (each time with the piano):
  1. First time with singing only
  2. Second time with bell ringers only
  3. Third time everything together.

It’s SO fun!

Questions?  Just leave comments.  Performing with the bells the first time is a little stressful but the congregation LOVES them – and so do the kids.  Do make sure you have permission from your Primary President and Bishop ;).

More Handbell Charts

Check out my post HERE with a big list of all my handbell charts found throughout my website!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Big list of Handbell Note Charts singing time ideas

All my printables are free and filed on my Resource Library. Filing instructions for accessing each printable on my Resource Library are below the button.

These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > Christmas Bells.

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12 thoughts on “Christmas Bells – Bell Chart for Descant”

  1. Hi Kim!

    Since there are no sharps or flats, this song can be played using the 8-bell set. The 13-bell set would allow you to play any sharps and flats and the 20-bell set just gives you another octave is all. I hope that answers your question.

    ~Camille

  2. Thank you so much for all your advice and sharing your ideas and work with all of us!! I really want to buy the handbells and just don't know which to buy. Is there a better way to communicate questions to you? Anyways, I was just looking at the Rhythm Band hand/desk bell set. Would the colors match up with the music sheets you have? I think that would be a nice option to have desk/hand bells but not if they don't match up with music.

    ~Kim

  3. We used the bells in our Primary program last Sunday. It was amazing!! We used them for "If I Listen With My Heart" and also "Easter Hosanna". I requested the "Easter Hosanna" from you just before Easter and it was so beautiful the Primary President implemented it in our program. We had so many ward members who were just wowed by the bells! I only had 5 children in my bell choir, so one child had to play two bells, but it worked. I also had to hold a few practices on Wednesday night. The children and parents we very supportive and they loved it. I am definitely going to do "Christmas Bells" for Christmas Time.Thanks for all your creative ideas.

    Dena

  4. Hi Camille,

    I see you updated the Christmas Bells with words. When I try to print out the bell part (not the obligato), it shoots me to the Obligato Bell Chart.

    Can you repost the original Christmas Bell Chart (melody)?

    THANK YOU!

    Julie Austin

  5. Bought some bells and I am going to bust them out this Sunday with Christmas Bells. I am just worried about doing the other part with them, since this will be the kids first time using bells. Do you have the regular song in a bell chart anywhere?

  6. Hi Camille, Thanks again for all your work here. I really have enjoyed using sooo many of your lesson plans. Some people think I’m a rock star… but it’s really YOU! Thanks for making me look good. 🙂

    I do have a quick question. I’m hoping to do the hand bells with Christmas Bells. I think I get it, but I’m not clear on if anyone sings the descant or if the singers only sing the melody and the bells play the descant.
    Thanks,
    Terry

    1. Hi Terry!

      Oh my goodness … that is SO kind of you to say! I never have the kids sing the descant because it’s too many moving parts but you definitely can. To keep it simple, only the bells play the descant while the singers sing the melody. I hope that clarifies! If not, just let me know.

      ~Camille

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