special needs handbell chord adaptation | Coast Music Therapy

Special Needs Handbell Adaptation

Amy Andrews, MT-BC, board certified music therapist shares a special needs handbell adaptation inspired by one of her students with autism.

I found inspiration for adapting handbells from one of my 8 year-old students on the autism spectrum. This student is highly musical and his understanding of music theory is outstanding.  I presented him for the first time with hand bells and he quickly began to arrange them in order.

When asked to create chords, he designed a shape with the bells that allowed him to use some bells in more than one chord without having to move them.

I had never considered this shape and personally always kept the chords in separate spaces. It was wonderful to observe his creativity and passion for playing! Playing the bells is now one of this student’s favorite activities!

Learn more about Amy Andrews on our team page.
West Music offers an 8-note diatonic color-coded handbell set like the one Amy uses.

Download the special needs handbell adaptation PDF here from our Free Resources section.

Wondering how to adapt other instruments for special learners?  Feel free to ask us your music therapy questions on Facebook

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