First stage performance

My four daughters performed singing for the first time at the g3rd Dazaifu bluegrass festivalh in August, 1986. They wore dress which my wife made for the day, and we played gHome Sweet Homeh and gSaints Go Marchin' Inh with my band gHillbilliesh. Dazaifu bluegrass fest.

We were pretty nervous on stage; however, it was quite a dramatic event for us. The audience gave us a big applause after the performance.

I asked my daughters, gDid you have fun?h and they replied, gYeah!h gWould you like to play instruments and play again next year?h I asked, and they replied, gTeach me how to play!h

All four picked the instrument which they wanted to play. Because of its size and weight, mandolin was the popular instrument they chose.


Choosing instruments

I picked guitar for Misa (the youngest at age 7). The guitar, a Martin D-28 was bigger than her height. She had trouble reaching the neck of the guitar. I chose banjo for Mika (the oldest). The model of banjo is Gibson RB-800. Banjo is not only the hardest instrument to play but also the heaviest among the bluegrass instruments.

The band lead vocal was Misa, who was just 7 at the time, and we chose bluegrass songs which translated into Japanese. The first song they learned was, gRed River Valley.h I carefully considered the choice of key for the songs because Misa was not able to play the gFh chord due to her small hand.

Also, choosing the key of gGh was easier for banjo as well. I made a chord sheet for mandolin, guitar, and banjo. As a matter of fact, I had never learned fiddle before. Therefore, Yumi took lessons in classical violin.