The Bates Family


by Kelly on April 23, 2012

Erin recently had the opportunity to meet and interview with pianist Greg Howlett, whom she has long admired. Erin uses Greg’s teaching materials to assist her in giving piano instruction to her students, and our whole family enjoys listening to his incredible CDs.

Alyssa and Tori travelled with Erin to the interview in Atlanta. Greg kept the girls thoroughly amused with his fun sense of humor. I don’t know how Greg and Erin kept straight faces during the filming, with the two giggle boxes (Alyssa & Tori) on the side lines erupting in laughter! Greg is posting portions of his interview on his website (where his CDs are also available):    erin2


photo 2

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristal April 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I saw the interview, it was great! I was wondering, when do you start the children with professional lessons (meaning they are sitting and being instructed, not just exploring on their own)? I plan to have my own children learn several instruments as they grow older, with the piano being one of them. It’s so great to witness a child’s talent explode through music.


Ruthie April 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

How exciting for Erin! I bet Tori and Alyssa were also excited as they were spending quality time as sisters!


Emily Raynes April 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Awww! That sounds like it was a great opportunity & that they had a lot of fun! :) Alyssa looks beautiful, by the way! :)


Chrissy G April 24, 2012 at 12:20 am

That is so neat!!

I attended college with Greg! He was always very gifted…


Jolene (Homespun Heritage) April 24, 2012 at 12:30 am

What a great interview! Such a great blessing that Alyssa and Tori could join her, as well!


sara (italy) April 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I´m so happy for Erin!


Beanie April 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Hey, that’s cool! :D


shelly foster April 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

What a fortunate meeting that is!!! She has such a beautiful voice and plays the piano so beautifully! What a gift from God those talents are! Didnt i see somewhere she made a CD??


Marla April 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Erin — I recently purchased your CD and I love it!! It’s so relaxing. I love to quilt and many times I put it in and listen while quilting! You are a beautiful, talented young woman.


shelly foster April 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

So excited I found her CD!! And y’alls DVD :) How did you guys like the Financial Freedom Seminar???? I saw it on there and have heard great things!


Lauren Sharpe April 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hey Kelly!

It’s been a couple of months since we last talked. How are you? I’m so sorry we weren’t able to make a trip this March or May to visit but I’m hoping around the 4th of July we will and if ya’ll are around maybe we can go to dinner or something. I miss talking to you and getting your letters but I know how it is with a new baby!! How is Jeb doing? And everyone else? Wonderful I hope. God’s really working in our lives and I wish I had time to tell you all about what he’s doing but I really must run. I love you guys!

Lauren Sharpe


tennesseegal April 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Wow! What an amazing oppurtunity! Will this appear on one of your new shows?


Julianne Alloggio April 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm

When did Erin start her Piano lessons? My 5 year old Kaycee might be getting some soon but she has a hard time sitting still =) Please let me know, I’d greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much and God Bless y’all!



Gil May 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Dear Julianne,
Erin was around 6 yrs. old. I started them when they were mature enough for me to expect them to listen and practice. Some of my children enjoyed it more than others, so they naturally practiced more and progressed more. Love, Kelly


Christy April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm been wanting my about to be 7 year old to take lessons (we recently inhairated my grandmothers piano) but haven’t found anyone we’re real comfortable with to teach him. My husband plays some and we’ve thought of just trying our selves but worried about technique. Any thoughts?


Gil May 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Dear Christy,
Ask your church pianist about lessons. That’s how we got started. They usually are very excited to teach and are also able to put emphasis on hymn playing. Love, Kelly


Ruthie April 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

How exciting for Erin! And for Alyssa and Tori spending quality sister time with each other!!!


Brenda H. April 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

So glad to read the new post- sounds like a wonderful experience.
God Bless.
Brenda H.


Anita April 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Dear Bates, Peace and grace of our JesusChrist from Argentina.We hope you are ok.It´s been a long time since your last publishment.In your last,you wrote that you wre sick,we hope you are recovered and we wish you a good health.How are the children?and the little Jacob?as we see their special of the month of March as here in our country haa not yet been able to download the video, and television do not pass, is available on video? When can you see the chapters recorded by TLC?, I hope you can respond as they have time. We are a Christian family that follows in the footsteps of the Savior and help through the adoption of orphaned children with disabilities, God has put this labor of love in our hearts and we want to serve only Him. Receive blessings.


T. Gates April 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

How wonderful! I have been wondering if your family uses any formal type of music lessons to teach voice and parts or if you just learn by playing instruments. Also, at what age do you children start singing parts? I want my family to do this, but I don’t know where to start! Also, have your children taught themselves how to play violin, harp, and other instruments or have they had lessons? God bless!


Gil May 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Dear T. Gates,
They all had piano lessons. Some have opted to also take violin. The ones that play guitar, harmonica, etc. were able to learn themselves by the foundation they gained from piano. They learned to sing parts ny the foundation of piano also. Love, Kelly


Leah April 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

That’s so exciting! I’m eighteen, and seeing girls my age do productive things for God and pursue positive hobbies is inspirational. I love your family!


Meagan Biddison April 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Wow! I hope you had a GREAT time Erin! Meagan Philippans 4:13:)


Tammi April 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I watched the interview that Erin gave on Greg’s website…what a beautiful and well-spoken young lady!!!


Juanita April 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Another CD coming out, Erin? Awesome! I can’t wait, and I’m gonna buy it! Hope one day you’ll record some songs that you, Alyssa and Tori have sung together.


Beanie April 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Happy Birthday, Ellie! :) How old is she now, Mrs.Kelly? :)


Zarghaam Suhail April 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I can’t wait to meet you people since I come to know about you.

God Bless you all.

Zarghaam Suhail


Meagan Biddison April 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Happy Birthday sweet Ellie Bridget! I hope your birthday is WONDERfUL and I can not believe you are already 5! Happy Birthday! :) :) :0
Love, Meagan


Donna April 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Always such beautiful pictures. Very photogenic children that’s for sure. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.


Lauren H. April 30, 2012 at 4:15 am

Erin is so talented. I’m curious, does she compose any pieces on her own?


Gil May 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Dear Lauren,
Most of her songs are her own arrangements. Love, Kelly


Meagan Biddison April 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi. This is Meagan Biddison. My friend, Randy Putz said he talked to you. He told me you were in a car wreck and that you were okay, but your car was totaled. And that the conference gave you 2 new cars. God always provides!! Meagan :)


Jessica K May 2, 2012 at 1:59 am

I saw the interview on YouTube – it was great!


shelly foster May 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I received my “Merciful and Mighty ” CD it is SUCH a blessing!!! I am actually listening to it now!!!


Maya Maria May 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Hello there! I run the fan page of Your Family, I hope you don’t mind I do it :) Here’s a link

Greetings!! :)


Lauren H. May 4, 2012 at 5:43 am

Thanks for answering my question!


Luba May 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

sorry, a little bit off topic? but how old is Alyssa, Tori, Carlin? Can you post it on your website? Thanks:-)


Pam May 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Just read you guys were involved in a car accident. I hope no one was injured.


Linda May 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

This is off topic too. What will be the name of your summer series on TLC and when will the first one air? I want to be sure and not miss these and want to put on my DVR to record. Thank you for your time and for welcoming us into your home so we can learn and be encouraged.


Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:15 am

Dear Linda,
The show is supposed to air on August 13th, but I don’t know the name. Love, Kelly


Eric Tackett May 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

These video sessions are great!
I was very happy to meet Erin and the whole family last year. They are all truly a blessing. Looking forward to seeing everyone again sometime.

After buying her CD, I enjoyed it so much I bought a few more later to give out for presents. One of my piano-playing cousins was so happy that I gave her one that she actually hugged it! :) So now, I’m anxious to buy Erin’s new CD! She has the same taste in genres as our family…a little southern gospel mixed with bluegrass and classical. :D Erin has gracefully created the perfect music style!
God bless!
Eric :)

PS. I hear she just had a birthday. Happy Birthday Erin. :D


Carrie May 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Is there any reason we don’t see more of Michaella? She seems young and talented too, just haven’t seen / heard much from her.


Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:12 am

Dear Carrie,
Michaella is camera shy… She runs from it!!! She prefers to be behind the scenes doing the things she loves best: playing with children, sewing, cooking, etc… She also has a job babysitting and is working on college in the process! lOVE, kELLY


Alexis May 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

beautiful as always!


Stacy Harit May 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

What a lovely and inspirational family you are; thank you for sharing your lives because it is truly upbuilding to watch how to raise godly children. We look forward to watching your show on TLC. Do you know when it will start being shown on TLC? By the way are precious Zach and Sarah married yet?


Ruthie May 9, 2012 at 2:21 am

Is there a name for your show now? I had a dream last night there your first show was about to come on but I forgot the name of it!!


Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

Dear Ruthie,
I don’t know the name of the show yet, but its supposed to aor August 13th. Love, Kelly


Ruthie May 10, 2012 at 4:38 am

Whew! I am a little relieved it will start in August instead of June, as I will be going on a mission trip to Nicaragua in July and I didn’t want to miss an episode!! Also could you pray for me as this will be the first time actually leaving my parents and siblings. I went to Honduras last year during my senior year of high school with my classmates, and did okay, loved being there but missed my family terribly as I am a home body.

P.S. I wish I could meet your family and sit down and talk to you all. Maybe one day we can as dreams do come true!

Love, Ruthie


Jerene May 10, 2012 at 6:26 am

Dear Kelly,
I am so excited to be heading to our first ATI conference in Nashville the end of this month. It will just be my oldest daughter & my 1month old daughter & me this time. My husband was so gracious to send us while he stays with the other kiddos at home. I pray that it will be a great source of encouragement & an awesome mother/daughter trip. Blessings,


Gwen May 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Dear Bates family
I wondered about something (also off topic). You write that you are Baptists, so how do you practice actual Baptism? Did anyone of you or your kids get baptized? Or is it not important in your church anymore? I’m just curious because I don’t live in the US and don’t know much about your church. Thanks and have a good day.
Bye and have a great day, Gwen


Gil May 24, 2012 at 4:40 am

Dear Gwen,
Baptism is practised as an outward sign of the new life which has taken place in a person’s heart when he becomes a Christian. It is a testimony to others that God has washed their sins away and has given them new life in Christ. Each of our children that have made decisions to surrender their lives to Christ, have been baptized. At the time of their baptism, they also verbally share their testimony of salvation. Love, Kelly


shelly foster May 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

So excited for show — we will try to watch it on my friends tv — we dont have secular tv in home just Christian —


Karlynne Harper May 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

First comment I’ve left! How do you keep your faith so strong after so many miscarriges? My mom miscarried one this past year and it was so sorrowful! We often blamed God for the loss of the baby, but after I heard about your family, so tuching! I am so excited that you named your daughter, Carlin! Same here! Please pray for my family because my little sister, Brianne has Kimo cancer. Your family is so inspiring!Karlynne Alyse Harper :) :)


Gil May 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

Dear Karlynne,
I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. It is a very painful thing to experience, but I remind myself that God loves and cares for us… and even more, He loves and cares for the little life He created. He can see forward and backward in time, but we can’t… He has a larger view down the road and knows what will bring the most glory. Although you suffered from that loss, it might have drawn someone closer to Christ. It might have strengthened a shaky marriage. It might have made someone realize life is too precious to rob it from someone through abortion. It might have made someone take a deeper look at what’s really important in life. Who knows what your little siblings entry and exit from this world meant to some struggling soul.Instead of being bitter at God, ask Him to help you through the pain and ask Him to help you trust Him. I’ll pray for Brianne and her cancer illness. May God give your whole family strength and may others who read this commit to pray, as well. Love, Kelly


Eric T May 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Proverbs 31
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.



kendra May 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates Your whole family seems so wonderful and talented!! Tori is close to my age and I was wondering….when is her Birthday? :) I have heard videos of her singing and she sounds amazing!! I would appreciate it soooooooo much if you would answer this question for me! :)


Gil May 19, 2012 at 5:29 am

Dear Kendra,
Tori will be 17 in December. Love, Kelly


Sarah May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Hi Mrs.Bates,
How many cd’s dose Erin have out?
She plays so beautifully!


Gil May 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Erin has one CD out: Merciful and Mighty. She just recorded her second in January and we are working on the CD graphics and packaging now. It should be available in a month and is called Down Home Gospel. It is has piano / fiddle. Love, Kelly


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