A couple years ago, the kids were playing for the owner and patrons of a small coffeeshop in the next town over from us. The owner called her "neighbor" who owns a small music school and writes songs and jingles to come over and hear them. He asked them to play for the town's "day" which they did and as "payment" offered to record them in his recording studio.
We were homeschooling and the kids were very into their music so we thought it would be fun for them to see how a recording studio works. They were thrilled to have the opportunity. So in February of 2009, when Haley was 6.5 years old, they recorded some tunes and made a CD which we "sold" to family and friends. It wasn't fancy. They simply recorded all in the same room...a live type recording and Frank showed them how the equipment worked. They loved being in the recording studio and didn't mind having to redo things when they made errors.
Fastforward to now...the kids are playing "gigs" in a number of different venues, have bookings through March of next year, and we are attempting to raise money to take Haley to Ireland for the All Ireland competition. Frank was working with them off and on teaching them since the first recording teaching them how to arrange music, add in other instruments, and just think more about what they wanted the music to sound like. He wanted to do a Christmas CD but busy schedules just didn't allow us the time. A couple months ago, Haley grew enough for her new fiddle and Dylan earned his Taylor guitar so Frank offered to bring them in to record new tracks with their better-sounding instruments. They worked hard in the studio to arrange the music and layed tracks in separate rooms to a metronome often playing 2 tracks with the same instrument for a stereo effect. Dylan seems to have a knack for figuring out what sounds great and learned some of their tunes on banjo and mandolin so was able to incorporate those instruments as well. His arrangement of Morning Dew sounds really neat!
They just finished everything last week and Frank is nearly finished mixing the tracks. We are going to have these CDs professionally copied and hopefully ready for release at Haley's Ireland fundraiser later this month. The difference in their playing in 1.5 years is amazing!