You may be asking yourself things like "What must I bring? How long will it take?"
As with learning any skill there will be many questions, but the thing to remember is that everyone has their own pace of learning and everyone learns at not only at different speeds but also in different ways. Let's try and answer some of those questions, but also give you a learning pathway or guide. It's very important that you realise that more experienced ringers want you to get up to speed as quickly as possible so you can join them, in many activities that you have only heard about but never seen until now. It's a learning journey that can span your lifetime.
For starters you will be following a program called Learning the Ropes. This will include a learners progress logbook and associated books, all designed by the Association of Ringing Teachers, or ART for short.
So to answer: "What must I bring?" Is only, 2 things; the logbook which you will receive; and yourself. This is probably a good point to also talk about attire. Wear clothing that allows for lots of range of movement, but don't come dressed to go to the gym! Ringing is more a mental than physical pursuit.
Learning the Ropes is a system, constantly updated and where trainers have to pass exams to ensure they are helping you learn in the best way to suit you, it will happen in 5 levels. Level 1 is all about bell control, at the end of which you will be able to ring alongside other ringers.
You will get to "visit the bells", don't worry, they will not be moving at all. But the belfry visit will help you to visualise what is above your head. You are quite safe below.
You will also learn parts of the bell. Bell ringers have their own jargon, because brief and clear communication in the group activity is important. Do ask when something you are told to do does not make sense, the trainers are there to help.
The system is a "whole" and "part" system where you learn parts of an action, then put them together as a whole, and then come back to perfect the individual parts. So sometimes you will be going back to the beginning on a technique, but this is done to allow you to see whole progress and also to stop you forming bad handling habits if rushing ahead too fast.
Most of all, enjoy your lesson session, as that will also speed up your learning. Your trainer will also point you to opportunities for more practise in a week, the more practise time you can fit into a week, the faster you will learn.
Many online resources for beginners do exist.
Your trainer will give you a smart ringer code at some point which will let you login to Learning the Ropes
Once you have progressed you can also buy a copy of 50 Ringing Things, which is a set of 50 fun challenges that will progress your journey
Learning the ropes DVD. Your tower may have a copy, also available from the same website as the learner guides (link todo)
:::work in progress:::