COVID-19 continues to plague the nation. While the virus has caused a lot of trouble for most people, some have really grown because of it.
Emma Beck is a wife and a mother of four children, two boys and two girls. Unlike most families, the Becks have an interesting thing in common: they are the members of their own bluegrass band.
Fiddle Express has been playing together for more than 10 years and started performing for others four years ago. Each of the four children picked up instruments at young ages, as young as three years old.
The six members of the family all play their own string instruments. Isaac, 16, specializes in the banjo. Eliza, 13, plays the guitar and fiddle. Rachel, 11, is the singer of the group and duos on the fiddle with her sister. And Andrew, 10, plays the mandolin.
The parents are not watching from the sidelines either. Emma plays the bass herself, and Richard picked up the guitar to be a part of the fun.
“When we created a family culture, we wanted it to include music, and we especially wanted to perform together. We thought this would be a great way to take our unique family and make us stronger,” said Emma Beck, the mother of the family.
The family started out busking at local markets for money to help pay for the kids’ music lessons. While performing, Emma noticed something.
“It transformed their musicianship like nothing else. And I think that’s probably one of the biggest things we miss is connecting with audiences when we performed,” she said.
They used to perform for many different audiences. They started out small, performing for fundraisers or retirement homes. But as they started to grow in popularity, COVID struck.
And yet, despite the inability to play in front of a live audience, the Becks found a way to thrive through the storm.
With everyone closing up shop and staying home, kids all over Eastern Idaho are looking for things to do. Parents have elected to help them learn an instrument, and who better to go to than Fiddle Express.
The Beck kids are homeschooled, so they can help teach students who are looking to learn about a specific instrument.
“After COVID hit, our family’s studio tripled with the number of students, it was weird. It was the opposite of what someone would expect from COVID,” Emma said.
The surge in popularity kept Fiddle Express going. Now, they have a new set of equipment, and have been recording new songs and music videos from their own home.
Despite the challenges the pandemic has brought, the Becks have taken it in full stride. Even without the physical audience there, they know their family bond has only gotten stronger.