Interesting discussion! I grew up (I'm now in my mid-20's) traveling around North America performing professionally with my parents and my sister. We did folk, old time, clog dancing, etc. It started out with my parents playing music for fun as a duo (and my sister and I were always around and would fall asleep in the middle of jam circles, etc.), which gradually grew into a profession. My sister and I were always along and eventually pointed out to our parents that we knew all the songs, so we started singing harmony. Eventually we were an equal 4-person band -- all of us playing various instruments, singing, and the two of us dancing. We performed at festivals, concerts, in schools, at living history events, and so on, and made three recordings as a family.
It was an incredible way to grow up, I must say! I would consider the folk music community to be my family, in a way. It was not always perfect, but when we were making music together, there was nothing like it. When we went away to college, the band gradually broke up. I now perform as a solo and with my sister, although all four of us still play music together for fun, and my parents still perform as a duo. I love singing and playing with my sister. Our voices blend so well, and we don't even have to discuss anything hardly because we can almost read each others' minds!
So that is my experience-- I wouldn't trade it for anything. Leela Grace