Andra Liemandt, founder of The Mrs. Band, never planned to become a rock star. After all, she was a ketchup-stained mother and a busy wife, but life had other plans for her. What began as a search for music lessons for her three-year-old daughter turned into a soul-fulfilling gig that landed her with drumsticks in her hands and a brand new mission in life: to prove to women that they are enough by simply being who they are.
As women, we are so busy nurturing our families, friends and careers that we tend to wilt without realizing it. We allow ourselves to become fully engrossed in everything else in life and we stop feeding our souls. When can we find the time?
Andra found her time during her daughter’s music lessons. Right across the hall was a group of moms who were learning how to play instruments while their kids learned theirs. They invited Andra in and asked her to play the drums for their upcoming recital. She had admired musical instruments from afar all through out her life, but she’d never played anything. Despite her nerves, and her lack of experience, Andra stepped out on the recital stage right after the six and seven-year-olds played. “It was quite embarrassing, I have to say, but we played You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog and some other songs,” she told me.
That night something amazing happened, “ I realized that I found myself. I really did. I found myself on that stage in the midst of all [the] chaos in my own life. I realized that I had kind of lost myself in all of the mess with my kids, and the ketchup and the mustard everywhere, you know, and the trying to take care of everything and everybody that I wasn’t really taking care of myself and it was a time for me and I decided to start doing that,” she said. So, Andra called on her friends to create a non-traditional band club – it was kind of like a book club, but instead of reading, they were going to learn how to play musical instruments. “That was when the real spark happened for me – getting my mom friends to join me on the journey,” she said.
Sometimes, a spark like, “…picking up an instrument and learning it for the first time…” ignites a fiery passion that you can’t extinguish. “You feel so, you know, you feel so young again. Like ‘wow, what is this, and I don’t even know how to do this.’ It’s that journey of exploration, of you know, being so naive on an instrument, and then learning how to really become good at it,” Andra explained, “…you become skillful. That’s a neat thing, because I don’t think, as women, we allow ourselves to do things where maybe we are not good at it, you know. It’s like we don’t think we have time for it or something, I don’t know, but it was really neat to feel naïve at something and then take it on.”
As grown women we are supposed to have it all together. Or at least we are supposed to look like we do. The good news is that under the thinly applied façade none of us have it completely together. So, instead of comparing ourselves to others, or worrying about what others might think, we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and try something new.
Andra didn’t allow her age, her life circumstances, or the people around her to dictate what she could or couldn’t do. She opened herself up to the possibilities that life had to offer, and she allowed her passion to be found. In essence, she tapped into the fountain of youth.
Want to learn more about the band and listen to their music? Check out their web page.