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Learn to Play

Interested in learning to play the carillon? The following is a list of carillon instructors and programs. Those offering credit, a major or certifications are so identified. Most carillon educators listed here are Guild members.

Most carillon students have had previous study in applied music. It is important, for example, to have skill in reading music in both the treble and bass clefs, and most carillon students have previous experience playing another keyboard instrument such as the piano or organ. Many teachers will ask a potential student to perform on the piano for a carillon study audition.

Practice is also essential in learning to play the carillon. Carillon students can practice without disturbing the public by playing on a practice keyboard that sounds pitches, either with tuned bars or by an electronic sound system, rather than on bells that can be heard outdoors. A carillon practice keyboard is not available at every carillon installation. Finding a carillon location that also has a practice keyboard is important for the beginning student. Affordable practice keyboards are also available for home use.

GCNA Exams

The Guild offers two levels of examinations to evaluate carillonneur proficiency: the Associate Carillonneur Exam and the Carillonneur Exam.

Carillon Method Books

Looking for a carillon method book or sets of etudes for beginners? Check out the following list:

  • A New Carillon Book, by Ellen Dickinson (available here)
  • Making Music on the Carillon, by Jeremy Chesman (available from ACME)
  • Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method, by John Gouwens (available from GCNA) [also see link to video of "first lesson at the carillon"]
  • Method of Carillon Playing with "Contact-Technique", by Koen Van Assche (available here - note: the author plans to update this 2008 publication soon with some new ideas)
  • Carillon playing, by Leen 't Hart, translated by Todd Fair (available from Beiaardcentrum)
  • Carillon music for beginners, by Carlo van Ulft (available from ACME: prequel; vol I, vol II, vol III)
  • De Beiaard, by Jo Haazen (available from Royal Carillon School Jef Denyn)

Carillon Teachers

North American Carillon School (NACS)

The North American Carillon School offers instruction across the United States and Canada, and remotely.




  • University of Florida, Gainesville
    Laura Ellis (C), Associate Professor and University Carillonneur
    Instruction for credit
    Carillon may be declared as one’s primary performance instrument for a major in music or for a minor in music






  • Missouri State University, Springfield
    Jeremy Chesman (C) Associate Professor and University Carillonist
    Instruction for credit
    B.M., Carillon Performance; Master of Music degree in Carillon Performance and Carillon Pedagogy

New Jersey

Ontario, Canada


South Carolina

  • Clemson University, Clemson
    Linda Dzuris (C), Professor of Music and University Carillonneur
    Instruction for credit; Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts with a Carillon concentration.



  • Brigham Young University, Provo
    Don Cook (C), Associate Professor and University Carillonneur
    Instruction for credit; two assistantships available

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