Last January was when I made a resolution to RE-learn guitar.   I’d fiddled around when I was younger but resolved myself that 2011 I was to get serious and get practicing!   Happy to say that that was one resolution that I did keep.   Then this summer, I received this lovely gift from a friend.  Boy, is it such a joy to play!  I actually sound like I’m making music… or something close to it. *grin*

Though it’s not easy, I try to make a habit of practicing a bit each day and, from that perseverance, I got me some nice looking callouses.  Now it takes about an hour’s worth of playing for my finger tips to start smarting.  So, I  guess I am making inroads in that department.    As for the strumming, I(think) am getting better at timing and have a few basics songs that I’m learning.

Music brings such joy to lives.  Homesteaders of old relied on music to wind down after a hard day’s work.

In the popular and beloved Little House books music and Pa’s fiddle  the musical renditions of Pa were an important part of Laura’s childhood. From the Big Woods to the Dakota plains, Pa’s voice and music transported his little clan to a musical land of dance and song.

To celebrate the importance of homegrown music, we are offering a giveaway from the  Abbot family music project.

You haven’t heard about the Abbot family?  This talented (and homeschooled) family is bringing music back to the people.

It’s rare to see a family playing music together these days, especially one with children in their 20’s, but the Abbotts hope to inspire more folks to join in the fun. They’ve dedicated themselves to teaching others to play this very approachable ‘people music’ with their friends and family, and have created a unique learning method to greatly simplify the process of learning to play music, and to play with others.


We are going to giveaway their “Mountain Music if for Everyone” Song book and CD set  (Check out their GETTING STARTED Free Workshop Series)

And for some fun… featuring brothers Luke & Kyle Abbot

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6yEg0GrgiI]

To enter, please comment below how much music means to you and which instrument you play… or would LIKE to play for that matter.

If you POST this giveaway on your Blog or Facebook page, thanks!  This mean you must comment AGAIN (twice likely to win)  and tell us where you shared this musical giveaway.

Winner will be picked by Random.org

Comments will close Sunday January 22 nd at 12 midnight PST


  1. Carl Cecil says:

    Music is a great thing. It brings people together. Whether in worship or in play, I love music. I sing more than I play, but would love to learn more. Out of my five children – one plays the guitar, another plays the piano. We have experimented a little with the hammer dulcimer without much success. Would love to be able to do more!

  2. Erin weller says:

    I grew up appreciating music of all genres. I feel the sound of a chord inside. My heritage is from the mountains of Tennessee but of the living family I have, none play music. Last year while listenng to some old folk music I decided to tackle my own desire to play guitar. I borrowed a guitar from a friend and as luck had it I found a awesome, interesting guitar teacher in town. I would love to have this book because it embodies the way I feel about music and the hope I have to teach my children the love of music. Thank you for the offer! Hope you pick me!

  3. Laura Cutshall says:

    This sounds trite, but it’s true that music is my life. A soundtrack runs through my head at all times, and I am not happy unless performance in chorus, karaoke, or theater is part of my routine. I sing, I play the piano, and I own both a guitar and a lap harp, and hope to learn how to play both. I would also love to learn a wind or brass instrument some day (flute and sax come to mind), as well as the violin or cello. Okay, I want to learn everything.

  4. kristine says:

    Growing up I took piano lessons and became quite good at playing. However, a regular piano is not portable so when I moved out, I began exploring other instruments. I played bass guitar for awhile and later in life my partner bought me a mandolin. I haven’t found anyone to give me lessons so I just fool around with it. Someday I hope to be able to be taught formally so I can actually PLAY music instead of just fooling around with some chords. My youngest daughter is 7 and she and I are learning to play the recorder together which is a lot of fun as well. I just bought my older daughter a keyboard and when she is not around I get to reflect on my childhood playing. 🙂 What a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance, our whole family would enjoy this (my partner plays guitar too).

  5. Annemieke van den Heuvel says:


    I am Annemieke from the Netherlands and I love little house on the prairie and always loved the fact that the family played music together. My husband is learning to play the piano, also for this reason. But we both have a hard time learning to play. I played organ as a child but didn’t like it. Now my husband is trying to play and he can play some beautiful songs already. One day I hope our family is able to play and sing together. We hope to adopt a child from Africa, so maybe he or she will bring the rithm in the house : ) Meanwhile I’ll love to listen to this music.



  6. Brent says:

    I once heard a man say that each persons DNA resonates a different song. The songs of people’s lives and experiences long to be released. I picked up playing guitar long ago, and ever since 13 years ago when my daughter was born, humming in melodic time to my rocking her in an old rocker, I have dreamed of having a family band. She’s played piano a few months now, since around the time one of her brothers took up guitar. It hasn’t worked for us to play together much yet, but it’d sure be awesome for them to hear the fruit of another family’s inner song. Maybe it’d be just enough to give them vision beyond video games and makeup.

  7. Sara Mandal-Joy says:

    I’d love to win this set. We are big singers around here, and i can do some piano, enough for hymns and such anyways. I have an old fiddle (bow needs to re restrung) that I’d love to learn! Sara

  8. Dawn says:

    I grew up playing the piano but it was hard to stick with as I love being outdoors too much. Pianos are not very portable! So, I have wanted to learn the guitar for many years. Now that I have a 6 month old son (and another baby on the way), it feels even more important to have live music in the house. I was so surprised and delighted when my husband bought me a guitar for Christmas. What joy! I’d love to win this giveaway to learn even more. Thank you!

  9. Dawn says:

    I also posted this on FB!

  10. Annemieke van den Heuvel says:


    I just have written a post about you and about this giveaway. I also have put a video of youtube about you on my blog. I Holland we do not now this concept of homesteading very well, so therefore I have made a post about it.



  11. Alice says:

    Wow! What a cool giveaway! My husband and I have always been musicians (he is a drummer and I play the bass) We love to sing in our home and our sone, Milo, loves to sing and dance. Perhaps this giveaway would inspire us to start playing music together too! Thanks for the chance.

  12. Lynnanne Fager says:

    Would love to win this! I have a mountain dulcimer but would love to learn more instruments: mandolin, banjo, and fiddle. BTW, guys, that ketchup scene is gross. lol

  13. Vickie Harrell says:

    I love Little House on the Prairie…The music Charles would play for his family brings a smile to my face as I watch the series over and over again! I would dearly love to have this! Music soothes the soul ! and this folk-family music is the best !!!!!!!

  14. Vera says:

    What an amazing site! I had never heard of them before and will certainly spend several hours tonight going through it.
    We also homeschool our 3 boys and music is always present in our day. Between us we play the guitar, piano, ukulele, low whistle, tin whislte, drum and I dabble with the fiddle.
    Thanls for the oppertunity!

  15. Helen says:

    What a great giveaway! I love mountain music. 🙂

  16. Susan Hall says:

    Wonderful family music! I have a violin player, a euphonium player, a flute player, one learning guitar and one that desires drumming.

  17. Ginger says:

    This boy reminds me so much of the awesome, confident homeschoolers I know and love so well. It is so exciting how different families take homeschooling in different personal directions. No more turning out people who want to be popular, meaning the same but better than everyone else. Individuality built the United States into a great nation. Compliance and fashion seeking has weakened it.

    Anyway….I sing a bit and play hymns on the violin, piano, and guitar in my fashion. I try every day like you to get in a bit of practice on each. I’ve always wanted to play blue grass and other American and Irish folk music. This might get me going in that direction.

  18. tracey varela says:

    music soothes the soul – makes the day better – brings back memories and gives hope to the future –

  19. Susan Foster de Quintana says:

    You folks find so many ways to share the beauty of the Urban Homestead life. Thank you! As for music–how can we live without the music? “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  20. Susan Foster de Quintana says:

    Posted to Facebook 🙂

  21. Homestead Hannah says:

    Music is incredibly important in our family. I play piano–but if I am lucky enough to win, I’ll give this prize to my homeschooling 12yo son. He’s a great fiddler, plays tenor ukelele, and just got a beautiful mandolin for the holidays. The Abbotts are definitely an inspiration.

  22. Michelle says:

    I love the spiritually uplifting aspects that music brings into my home and life. That, plus it’s just plain fun! I love playing the piano and just this Christmas, I bought some song books for my husband to get into for his guitar. We just love making music!

  23. Caycee says:

    I love, love, love music! I grew up in a musical household and now that I have a family of my own, I hope to continue a musical tradition, of sorts anyway. 😉

    I used to sit on the piano bench and “help” my dad play some songs and then I used to accompany him on vocals when he played guitar. At once show he even invited me on stage, I must’ve been about 8 at the time and I was so nervous and excited at the same time. 😀

    These days I used music to help me through all aspects of life, from the mundane to the more spiritual. I used to play saxaphone in high school but nowadays I hope to learn guitar and I still sing.

    Long live music!

  24. Michele White says:

    I play drums. guitar, and autoharp (Appalachian harp) I must say – YOU inspire me on SO many levels!!

  25. Meg S says:

    I play piano and am trying to learn guitar. Music is so important – it’s around me constantly!

  26. Bethany says:

    I grew up with a Dad in the music business. Soooo . . . music has been important in our family, because it’s what has supported us! I’ve played piano, guitar, violin, and flute. And I sure wish I’d had the PERSEVERANCE to stick with just one. I still play piano, just not as well as I used to. Maybe I’d better follow Anais’ lead and start practicing!

  27. chantal says:

    Music is important in are household.Myself and my nineteen year old son like to play the piano. Zachary likes to fiddle with it and says it helps him when he is stressed out. For myself I woul like to learn the violin someday and keep improving my piano skills.


  28. Trish says:

    I would love to learn this! I have always wished to play the fiddle. I play drums a little, and I’m completely self taught. I also strum a guitar, but I can not read music, so it’s just what sounds good to me.

  29. Kj says:

    I love music – it speaks to my soul. I am eclectic in my tastes – anything from classical to gospel to mountain to folk. I have wanted to learn how to play the guitar for a long time, however, if I were fortunate to win, I would give it to our oldest son who has asked for a guitar and box drum for years but we could never make it happen.

  30. Maryann says:

    We are kindred spirits! I started taking guitar lessons several years ago – Hence, Guitar is my favorite instrument!

  31. Michelle says:

    To me, music is a way to express oneself in a way the spoken word can never accomplish. I grew up in a musical home, but never mastered any instrument. Now, in my 30’s, I am working to bring music into my own home. I own a guitar, a fiddle, and a piano.

  32. Michael says:

    Alas, my musical talents are in the creation of instruments, not in the playing of them. One string guitars, known as diddly bows are my speciality. Adding artwork makes them special, at least to me. Learning to play them, now that would be special.

  33. Barbara says:

    Lookin’ for an excuse to bring out that old violin!

  34. Carolyn in AZ says:

    What an amazing musical family! I’ve only recently become familiar with mountain music and am so enjoying getting to know the earthy tones and delight in learning of its long heritage. I’ve been on the lookout for an affordable violin to introduce to my household as I used to play in my distant past and would love to spark the interest of my two children.

  35. Michelle says:

    I posted this on Facebook.

  36. Sophie says:

    I do not play an instrument but I like to dance lots.
    So a couple times a month, we gather on a week-end morning and dance for 45 minutes. Lots of fun. We all take turns picking our favorite music.

  37. Nancy says:

    My children and husband’s family are all so musical. I am always amazed at what they can do, especially when they gather.

  38. Alexander Ojeda says:

    I grew up going to bluegrass concerts with my mother and father (late 60’s early 70’s) and absolutely love this stuff! I now take my daughter to bluegrass concerts and a close friend of mine actually plays banjo in a band called the Homesteaders! It’s essential in a rural community to have people who can play musical instruments and this kind of music is perfect for the Homesteading world! Love the band!

    • Alexander Ojeda says:

      Oh, and I’ve posted this to the “Eating Local in Jacksonville, Florida” Facebook Page and my personal facebook page. Thanks for everything you do, your family is an inspiration!

  39. Nebraska Dave says:

    I happened to grow up in the late 1950s and hit my teenage years during the sixties. Rock and roll was the big thing then. Jerry Lee lewis, Beach boys, and best of all Elvis or maybe the …. Beatles were the rage. My Mom played the guitar for as long as I can remember which produced a desire to learn the guitar. My first guitar was given to me as a Christmas present at the age of 12. It was a sears guitar which I still have. My music teacher was a big fan of country music so that’s mainly what I learned through the lessons. Country music 50 years ago was not like country music of today. It was more grass roots. From the country music I found I really liked the blue grass style of music but of course during the “Rock and Roll” era no one that I knew could stand the twanging of guitar and banjo, so I stuck with a mix of country and Rock and Roll music. I and couple other guys played in the garage for friends and neighbors. After high school, life came along with two kids and two jobs to survive. The guitars were sold for Christmas money one year and the guitar playing ended. Forty years later, I’m starting to get the itch to play again and have resurrected my first guitar and cleaned it up and hope to start enjoying my blue grass music. Who knows maybe this will be the year for callouses of the musical kind.
    Have a great music day.

  40. Karen Hope Denison says:

    I would love to learn to play the dulcimer and would so enjoy learning with this resource.

  41. Cara says:

    I love singing along to music with my family. My husband and I recently had a daughter, and agreed that we want our family to be a musical one, so I just started learning to play the guitar. This would be great!

  42. nicole says:

    Really enjoyed the video! hilarious, and the music was awesome. i can play piano, recorder, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, percussion (love the xylophone & marimba)… but never learned to play string instruments. and you’re right, it’s uncommon in our time to find families who make music together for entertainment and enjoyment. so often we just turn a screen on and expect it to entertain for us. i’d love to learn banjo; i remember seeing a beautiful one at the thrift store once. thanks for sharing!

  43. Miss Antoinette says:

    Oh I would love to win this!!! As you know I am learning bluegrass guitar and am always on the look out for good resources to help me out!

    Music is such a big part of my life as I have been singing ever since I was little and enjoy singing/ listening to many different kinds of music to get me through each and every day.
    I think it means even more to me than before since I would sing to my grandmother and JUST started to learn how to play the guitar just before she passed away and she always loved to hear me sing and keep her company while she was in bed.

    Now that he is in heaven with our Savior, I want to share with others my love for the Savior through music…what my grandmother enjoyed so very much!

    The video was FUNNY!!! 😀

  44. vegangoddess says:

    Hi I love music and my daughters and I listen to some everyday. I used to play the violin and am going to teach myself again and I want to teach my daughters also.

  45. Trisha says:

    I would love to learn how to play the fiddle. The musicality of it is so diverse–going from slightly sassy to unbelievably elegant. I made a commitment to myself to finally learn an instrument this year and I want it to be that one. Help me make my dream a reality. 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful contests and great blog posts!

  46. Stacy~Creativemuse says:

    Love these Kids. You introduce us to such fun things! My Daughter plays the Ukulele and son has learned the flutephone; I learned some Piano when I was young and the childrens’ uncles play electric guitars, Drums, keyboards. The are exposed to it often. We had the pleasure of our Library having a great musician come in and show and teach the children so many instruments! I’d love to play the guitar or Harmonica they travel well.

  47. c says:

    As a child I learned violin and played in the school orchestra. I was never very good but I loved to be a part of making that music. The years ran on and lifes’ responsibilities took my time. But that violin had opened my ears and heart to all forms of music. What a joy. My job still takes a lot of my time. But over the years I have tried to relearn the violin. It was not until I tried Old Time Fiddle that I was able to do this. You learn to play by ear and touch and heart. You play folk tunes of America that were brought here from around the world. I, like you, struggle to make time for practice and I am always listening for new tunes to record and try to learn from ear or sheet music but played from the heart.

  48. Afina Kuiper-Hinrichs says:

    Music is my second love………….after my family . I`ve been playing the flute since my tenth birthday and started to learn playing the violin three years ago. I live in the Northern part of The Netherlands and love to visit Ireland occasionally to attend pub sessions. I always have toexplain what homesteading is all about and love to do that!

  49. Rocky Tolley says:

    Music is awesome…….my son wants to learn….would be a great father son activity and I would love to win this for him!

  50. Erica says:

    I have worked as professional musician for about 20 years. My main instrument is the oboe but I am also a classical singer, a soprano. My husband is also a professional musician and a composer. We also teach music lessons from our home studios. Music is a big part of our lives. The skills that you learn playing a musical instrument are basic life skills: concentration, discipline, working in harmony with others (if you play in a group), hand eye coordination, finger dexterity, it gets both sides of the brain working at the same time. It also gives us a sense of well being.

    Our latest project is a beginner band for adults which my husband instructs. I play saxophone in the band and am there to help instruct as needed. The band is a mixture of people from all walks of life who are revisiting an instrument that they haven’t played since high school, have never played an instrument before or play one instrument well but are learning a new one. The members of the band seem to be having lots of fun and I think that for those two hours each week are able to forget everything else and lose themselves in the joy of the music. Many of the members are over the age of fifty and finding that they can learn a new skill. In fact, contrary to popular belief, adults progress a lot quicker than children because they have a repertoire of life skills to call on.

    I wish all of you the best in your musical endeavors. Above all enjoy the process!

  51. Ruth Greenwood says:

    Music is my heart, what connects me to singing with my mom, and now my children and husband, writing songs and learning music from all over the world, sharing it with people in hospitals and homes and cafes. Music lets me always be a beginner…even today I get up and take lessons early in the morning via Skype to learn to strum better. Music is the language that let me connect with people in Japan when I could not read their language, nor speak it well…and with children in Africa and India. Music is what we do instead of watching TV…it’s what we can do while in a car or in the woods or walking down a city street. Music is my inheritance and my bequest. Music wraps me in a warm rhythmic circle of strangers becoming friends…and connects me to the wise ones from the Middle Ages onward who created beautiful folk songs, and to my children’s children who will, no doubt, keep singing.

  52. Veronica Pitchford says:

    What a wonderful opportunity! I would love to learn how to play by ear!! I purchased a guitar last fall and I’m trying to teach myself how to play it. Lessons aren’t in the budget. I want to show my children that with a little effort, dedication, practice & patience, almost anything can be accomplished! There are many musical instruments in our home, keyboard, two small djembe drums, a ukelele, a violin and didgeridoo. We don’t know how to play them all but I want my children to be exposed to a musical environment as they have expressed interest in learning. Growing up, I was in the school band. I feel music is the purest expression of spirit.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      For those who didn’t win I highly recommend checking out ToneWay’s “GETTING STARTED” FREE Workshop Series http://toneway.com/learn