First stage performance
My four daughters performed singing for the first time at the “3rd Dazaifu bluegrass festival” in August, 1986. They wore dress which my wife made for the day, and we played “Home Sweet Home” and “Saints Go Marchin' In” with my band “Hillbillies”.
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, “Did you have fun?” and they replied, “Yeah!” “Would you like to play instruments and play again next year?” I asked, and they replied, “Teach me how to play!”
All four picked the instrument which they wanted to play. Because of its size and weight, mandolin was the popular instrument they chose.
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, “Red River Valley.” I carefully considered the choice of key for the songs because Misa was not able to play the “F” chord due to her small hand.
Also, choosing the key of “G” 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.