The "Flammy Band"

Our family is a hodge-podge of musical talents. My husband and I have collected and dabbled with lots of instruments...piano, guitars, banjos, fiddles, banjo-uke, ukelele, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, tin whistle, jaw harp, washboard, spoons, drums, and saxaphone. It all started on our first date...I was getting together for breakfast with someone from church I was sure was going to be in the "friend category." From our first hours together I realized we had more in common than I would have thought - he and I both loved listening to music and playing music. I remember him bringing his guitar up to my apartment and trying to painfully play a song on the guitar together. He has always had a "funky" strum to which I would be bobbing my head to keep us on the same beat. I have always admired his pure love of improvising and trying out new tunes on a variety of instruments. He is known to sneak in a fiddle or ukelele into his suitcase on his many work trips for relaxation. As a music educator, I have struggled with getting out of my head, or thinking I should have learned this instrument 20 years ago. My husband has helped me have fun with instruments and I have helped him with being more adventuresome with his voice. We have enjoyed several summers at folk music camps - contradancing, listening to music, and taking various classes. These people know how to have fun with music! I first envisioned our future family band at one of these camps after seeing the joy present in several musical families. Almost two years ago, this vision started to materialize with my husband, my son, and I trying to play together. At that time we called it the Family Band but my son called it "flammy" instead. The Urban Dictionary states that this can mean "bad...not very good" - perfect! No high expectations...just play and have fun. Now with a 3 1/2 year old and a 16 month old..and two worn out parents, we attempt to make music together. I play guitar most often while my husband will play keyboard or ukelele. My son loves to overpower us on two floor toms (drums) while my daughter joyously shakes maracas. I won't lie - it doesn't sound very good most of the time but it is a wonderful exercise in not taking ourselves too seriously and creating music together. We will get better...and maybe in 5 years I'll post a recording of us...but for now we will be the only audience.


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