Ann Habicht was present the day a small set of handbells was delivered to the church she attended. Joining a group of other beginners who had no experience with this instrument, she was soon intrigued with the way handbells require collaboration and teamwork among participants, who must work together to make music. Drawing on memories made during childhood piano lessons, she began to prepare music to share in worship. The varying size of the group of available ringers led her to explore small ensemble pieces, and the opportunity to collaborate with others induced her to investigate solos and duets.
During a long career as an elementary classroom teacher, Ann honed the skill of matching the abilities of the student to steps on the path to understanding, and took pleasure in creating just the right material to facilitate progress. Now the chance to entice musicians to explore new experiences has allowed her to continue this route. In her small community the need to include ringers of all abilities, ages and backgrounds has provided opportunities to ring in a variety of seasons, locations and events. This has allowed Ann to explore, collect and arrange music from an ever-expanding number of genres, from the simplest folk melodies to the intricacies of classical themes.
Exploring this instrument has taken Ann to dozens of music festivals around the country, where she enjoys meeting other enthusiastic musicians. She seeks opportunities to play music ranging from solo pieces to massed concerts. When approached by beginners who wonders how handbells can enhance their life, she asserts: “I can teach you.”