Tami was born in the Southern Air Temple, a place of quiet and meditation. She loved to go off alone and hum to herself the way she heard the monks do it. Her mother scolded her when she did it at home. "You're doing it wrong, Tami!" But when Tami was eight, a dragon attacked the air temple and destroyed the bridge she used to get home. Tami was trapped on a mountain for three days. Rescuers found her just before a dangerous blizzard hit.
After that, Tami's mother forbade her from leaving the temple grounds. This did not suit her well. Tami was bursting with music that she wanted to share with the world. But on one would listen! They always shushed her whenever she sang.
At age fifteen, Tami discovered soundbending. She found a way to sound-proof her bedroom and stayed up late every night pushing air through various wind instruments she had created. She created beautiful music that only she could hear. But the sleep deprivation cost her in her studies. While many of her friends were advancing and even getting tattoos, she was falling further and further behind. Her teachers were baffled. "She's a very bright kid, but she just can't focus."
On Tami's 18th birthday, her parents sent her to Kijing Academy. They hoped that the brilliant instructors there could give their daughter what the monks could not. Tami's hope was to find the freedom to sing.
Also, her parents were killed by firebenders.