As is tradition, I'll be pulling out the handbells and playing Christmas Bells this Sunday (we're also performing this song in Sacrament Meeting the Sunday before Christmas). If you want details on how I like to use handbells in Primary and where I purchased our set, you can find all that HERE.
I've updated this note-chart to include the words (NOTE: this is for the obligato/descant portion only! Not the melody!!). I'm hoping the words will help it be more useful to others. I kept the counting there as well.
You can access the document HERE. Make sure you are logged in to a Gmail/Google account to access it.
To perform with the bells in Sacrament Meeting, I ALWAYS have another conductor! I lead the bell choir and the other person leads the singers (usually a primary presidency member). The other conductor will hold the actual words to the melody the kids will be singing (see my "Posting Words" tab above for details on that).
I like to pick the 2nd-to-oldest Senior Primary class to perform the bells. If I'm consistent with this every year, every child will eventually get a turn! When we come to the front of the chapel, I have the needed bells all set out on the floor near the piano. The bell ringers will each be assigned a color that we will have practiced in Primary the few weeks before and they can easily come grab their color.
I stand on the floor in front of them with my 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 I don't have to flip pages. I put the stand higher than usual so it can all be seen (I wish I had a picture!). Have I lost you? Then I have a simple wooden dowel and point to the colors as they are to be played.
When we perform, the song will be played 3 times (each time with the piano). First time with singing only, the second time with bell ringers only, and the 3rd 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 ;).
**If you find any errors in my charts, PLEASE notify me - how mortifying! :)**