Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winter Dreaming

What am I thinking about as I practice today?  What am I showing the kids to get them excited about their practice?  Why bother anyway?
The answer to all of these questions:  Summer music events 
That's how we got started doing this in the first place.  We attended our first bluegrass festival on a whim with two very small children.  It was a blast!  At the time, none of us played instruments.
This is a picture from our second year at Smoked Country Jam.  We brought friends!
When we got home, Gus ran a garden hose to his backyard playground.  It was his cord.  He proceeded to MC and perform his own bluegrass festival on his ukulele.    
The next year we brought friends, and added another festival, Remington Ride.  There is so much inspiration at festivals!  Not just music on the stage, but music everywhere:  around every campfire, at instrument workshops, backstage, onstage.


We set a goal of being able to play a couple songs around the campfire the next year.  I don't think we accomplished the goal, but the kids did.
The next year we finally picked up some instruments and by the end of the summer were able to play a couple songs around the campfire.
We've kept on going to festivals.   At the festivals last year we all went to jams and instrument specific clinics, and played around the campfire a whole lot. 

If you're lucky you run into the Hillbilly Gypsies Backstage

In addition to festivals, we attend some great music camps, but I'll save those for another post.  For today, I'm just remembering the festivals we've been too, and checking out web pages for some that we've never been too....and dreaming summer music dreams.



  1. Totally neat! What a neat family hobby to have.

  2. This reminds me so much of where I grew up in Arkansas! I would love to take my family to one of the bluegrass festivals there. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    1. There are more great festivals every year and they are terrific family activities. You should definitely go!

  3. oh wow, your family is so inspiring! Love the photos with the instruments! I used to play the violin, but learned as an adult, so I didn't get real far with it. My oldest daughter plays the violin because she saw me playing when she was a toddler, my other children play the piano. It's so great that you are all musical together, and that you get out there at the festivals and share your music!

    1. Hen Jen, playing music together is so much fun. Since your kids already play you're all set. You could try a mandolin. The strings and fingers are the same as violin, but no tricky bowing.

  4. Hi Shana!
    Jen here from @Find Your Harmony! Thank you for leading me to your site! I am excited to connect.
    Absolutely love these pictures, and bravo to you and hubby for just taking the kids on a whim. I'm sure that was a life-changing event...even though you didn't know it at the time!

    Summer Fiddle camp is by far our favorite place in the world. Our children will have fond memories as adults. This year will be our 4th year at the Montana Fiddle camp, and my 3rd year teaching cello fiddle! My kids have formed life-long friends there, that are now more than family.

    We also want to check out Weiser...have heard so much about it!
    In Harmony,

    1. Jen,
      I'm so glad you found me here. We just love fiddle camp too. We attend Mountain Road Fiddle Camp in West Virginia. Its so much fun for the kids, so much music and so much time just having fun being kids. Fiddle camp in Montana sounds wonderful! I spent two summers in Red Lodge as a geology student and want to get back there some day. Maybe there is a road trip in our future.
      Your Bluegrass Family Band sounds great! Do you have any videos posted? I'd love to see one. I love the sound of cello in bluegrass. We listen to Crooked Still and Gus finds these great low harmonies on the fiddle, inspired by the cello part.


Tell me about your family band!