Curriculum Overview

Handbell Musician Certification consists of three levels. The Certification levels are cumulative — you must complete Level 1 Certification to receive Level 2 Certification, and complete Level 2 to receive Level 3 Certification. However, you can take higher level classes in a subject as long as you meet the prerequisites. For example, you can take Conducting 2 as long as you have passed Conducting 1, even though you might not have completed all the classes for Level 1 Certification.

Each of the levels consists of four courses:

Level 1

Handbell History

Handbell Techniques 1

Music Theory 1

Conducting 1

Level 2

Handbell Techniques 2

Music Theory 2

Conducting 2

Arranging & Composing 1

Level 3

Handbell Techniques 3

Music Theory 3

Conducting 3

Arranging and Composing 2

Test out options are listed under each class. We are not able to offer credit for college or continuing education courses.

At least one elective class is required for Certification at Level 3. This elective can be taken at any time after you have registered for handbell musician certification. The elective subjects are:

  • Handbells/Handchimes in Music Education
  • Handbells/Handchimes in Worship
  • Handbells/Handchimes in the Community
  • Handbells/Handchimes with Special Populations

The curriculum is taught by faculty that has been accredited by Handbell Musicians of America. The current accredited faculty are:


Master Teacher (all levels): Michele Sharik

Handbell Techniques 1 Faculty: Kathryn Aspenwall, Susan Chamberlin, Josh Fitzgerald, Christina L. Herold, Kathy Kellum, Linda Krantz, Marie M. Loeffler, Wendy Ransom, Lois Reese, Sheri Roach, Karen Van Wert


Master Teachers (all levels): Lee Afdahl

Conducting 1 Faculty: Michael Glasgow, Ellie Hodder, Tessique Houston, Zana Kizzee, Sandy Mullaney, Alan Reese, Lois Reese, Joy Toll-Chandler, Barb Walsh, Ann Wood


Master Teacher (all levels): Trinity Martin

Music Theory 1 Faculty: Laura Blauch, Chris Burton, Lauran Delancy, Michael Glasgow, Beth LaMee, Alan Reese, Carlene Ruesenberg, Joy Toll-Chandler, Ann Wood


Master Teacher (all levels): Sondra Tucker


Handbells/Handchimes in Music Education: Margi Zearley, Kathy Briggs

Handbells/Handchimes in Worship: William Mathis

Handbells/Handchimes in the Community: Stephanie Rhoades

Handbells/Handchimes with Special Populations: Linda McKechnie

While I am certified to teach K–12 music, I believe it is important for teachers to pursue certification in specialty areas when that is available. Just like many elementary music teachers are certified in Orff, Kodaly, and/or World Drumming, Handbell (Musician) Certification professionalizes what I am doing in my classroom. The fact that our certification program is in levels and is administered by a professional music organization gives a non-music administrator a means to understand that the training I received is structured, rigorous and relevant.

Angela Hampton

Level 2

The Handbell Musician Certification Program
is in the process of being redesigned.

Please stay tuned for updates on this evolving program.