This article written by Amy Haller, Area 9 Texas Representative (South)

As I sit staring at a blank page, I keep hearing the phrase “out of the box” in my head. Writing is most definitely “out of the box” for me. There is a reason that I did math and science in college, and my chosen profession is a geophysical analyst. I am not a writer. Numbers are soothing. Numbers are my friends. Even an email that needs more than about five sentences can make me a little twitchy.Out of the Box

So, I am going to try and focus on the only thing in my head at this point – that “out of the box” thing, and hope it helps me come up with something that will be relevant to all of you.

I realize that “out of the box” has become incredibly cliché in this day and age. However, that does not mean that it is not a good way of describing lots of situations in life.

Recently I have had to do something else that is hard for me – get up in front of a group of people and speak. You see, I like it inside of my box. It is dark in there, and no one can see me. The group that I ring with has begun to re-emphasize education – getting out and engaging more with the handbell community. This means that some of us have had to step up and teach.
I have found that if you are having difficulty teaching something, then maybe you do not know the subject as well as you think you do. In the process of figuring out how to teach a particular handbell topic or skill to others, I have had to think about things that I have not had to in a while and things that I have been taking for granted. I have learned something from every director, every group, and every ringer with whom I have had the pleasure of making music. Moreover, now I am also learning from teaching. Reminding myself of the basics is an excellent thing. Teaching has made me a better, more aware ringer.

So far, I have survived being out of the dark – still a little twitchy sometimes, but ok. Find something that makes you twitch, and try it. Tell your director that you would be willing to play in a new position, or maybe audition for a community ensemble. Once you are out of your box, the possibilities are endless!