Scandinavian instrumental, singing and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway will take place on June 6, 2014 in and around Nisswa, Mn. You must sign up in advance for these. These workshops are offered in conjunction with Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folkmusic Festival, June 6, 7, 2014. Sessions are in 2 hours blocks. The first one starts at 10 a.m. and the second one starts at 1 p.m. For many locations a 'spelmans' lunch break is offered at noon. There are some sessions that are half day only....check the listings. Cost for the sessions is $20 each, or $35 for two sessions if they are from the same teacher. It is okay to register for a morning session from one teacher and and afternoon session from another. All locations are close enough together so it is possible to drive between them over lunchtime. All workshops are generally taught by ear and participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. The 'spelmans lunch' at many locations happens at noon, and consists of cold cuts, vegies, fruit, etc and cost an extra $5. (note - no lunch is provided at the dance workshops...but downtown Nisswa is right there with several restaurants available) After you signup you will receive more information about your workshop, including a detailed map for getting there.

TO SIGN UP, PLEASE CONTACT JANET HILL - janet.hill@rocketmail.com or 218-259-4090.

It is always possible that we may have trouble filling all the workshops with students, so two things need to happen: 1) everyone who took a workshop last year needs to return. 2) more people need to sign up. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please pass the word along... think of any scheme you can to get the word out in your community! Thanks!

If your chosen workshop is not 'viable' in the end because of a lack of sign-ups, you will either be asked to pick a second choice... OR, you could perhaps negotiate a private lesson with that teacher too. Janet will keep you informed.

Workshop locations When ready, a link to a map will appear in this space. You will be able to print out detailed maps for each one. All of the workshops take place in the Nisswa area, mostly in the homes of generous volunteers. Give yourself plenty of drive time to find them :)

Workshop teachers, descriptions - click HERE to download a pdf file of these descriptions.

You can refer to the grid below when planning your morning and afternoon sessions.

*** Remember...all workshops are generally taught by ear and participants are encouraged to bring recording devices***

Fiddling workshops

10 a.m - Noon; 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Beginning Scandinavian fiddling with Paul Dahlin
and friends. . . Paul Dahlin, founder of the ASI spelmanslag will lead beginning Swedish fiddle sessions.These will be introductions to the music itself. How the tunes should go. How the tunes move. Rhythm and motion is the key. How to bring the music to life. This will be our focus. We will look at examples of vals, schottis, gånglåtår (walking tunes) and polska. Come and enjoy!, You should have basic knowledge of the violin, but not necessarily have any experience in Scandinavian fiddling.  

10 a.m. - Noon
Dala-låtar - Tunes from Dalarna with Ellinor Fritz . . . If you wish to have a bigger repertoire of polskas and learning more about the interpretation in the Swedish fiddle music, this is a good opportunity! Ellinor Fritz will share some of her favorite polskas with you and give you tools to express a polska in different ways. Bowing, ornamentation, expression and dynamic are important tools to develop a personal expression in the way of playing polska music and this workshop will be focusing on that. Ellinor will inspire you to take a step further in that direction! Level: You know your instrument and can play tunes by ear. Ellinor Fritz was born in Hedemora and was awarded the title of Rikspelman in 2011. After her music studies at the Conservatory in Falun and the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg she has toured with folk and world musicians all over Sweden, in Europe and China.  Ellinor has worked as a violin and music teacher at primary schools in several locations in Dalarna and she is now a teacher student at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In 2010, Ellinor was awarded the Tällberg foundation scholarship for young fiddlers from Dalarna

10 a.m. - Noon Danish Fiddling with Peter Urhbrand  . . . Peter writes: I live in the village of Sönderho - Fanö Island, Denmark. I have been working with the local living tradition and the very unique fiddle-music in the village, ever since I moved to this Island in 1977. I learned to play the fiddle from the the legendary Sönderho musicians - and brothers, Sören L. Brinch (piano/fiddle) & Frits A. Brinch (fiddle). Apart from those two brilliant musicians I learned a lot from the Sönderho-musicians, Henning V. Pedersen (accordion/piano), Erik Thøgersen (drums/perc.). The Sönderho-fiddle style is based on rather simple and lyrical tunes, and a very anarchistic rhythm-feeling. We have three different dances in the island : Sønderhoning - Fanniker - Fast Sønderhoning - and about 100 different tunes.  As I do not read or write music, I will teach "by ear" - but of course you will get the sheet music as well :-)  You - and I, will be happy, if you have been playing the fiddle for some years :-)

1 p.m. - 3 p.m Norwegian Fiddling with Britt Pernille Frøholm . . .  Britt is from Hornindal in the county of Sogn & Fjordane on the west coast of Norway, and the traditional music from this area is her musical fundament. She was educated at The Ole Bull Academy and Telemark University College, Department of Folk Art and Folk Music and has been exploring many different ways of employing her knowledge of Norwegian folk music traditions; by playing contemporary music, collaborating with composers, improvising with jazz musicians and last but not least by performing traditional folk music from her own hometown Hornindal taught to her by her own grandfather. The Hardanger fiddle is her main instrument, but she also plays violin and viola. She has been touring in Scandinavia, UK, Germany, Austria, Canada and Japan with several bands, but also as a soloist.
Britt's workshop will focus on tunes from the west coast of Norway, (Sogn&Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland region) and it will be possible to learn springar, halling, reinlender, polka and waltz. The tunes will be taught by ear, but notes can be provided if necessary. Britt plays both hardingfele and 'regular' fiddle, (Norwegians call this 'flat fiddling). Because of higher demand for flat fiddling, we have determined that this year, her workshop will concentrate on that style.

Ensemble Workshops

Ensemble workshops are open to all instruments and will cost $20 for each 2 hour session session. Besides learning some neat tunes.. you basically will be getting a private house concert from some great musicians :)

10 a.m. - noon Tunes from Sogn & Fjordane, Norway with MAAR  . . . Three of the finest musicians from the Scandinavian music scene have now gathered and established the trio MAAR.  MAAR is Britt Pernille Frøholm on hardanger fiddle/fiddle, Irene Tillung on accordion and Ellen Brekken on double bass. All of them have released critically acclaimed cd's in multiple genres, and are considered as versatile and highly valued musicians in Scandinavia. As individuals and in numerous bands they have influenced the folk and jazz scene for years with cd releases that ranges from traditional folk music to free improvisation in jazz ensembles. This ensemble workshop will feature traditional tunes from the county of Sogn & Fjordane, but also some newly composed tunes. All tunes will be taught by ear and all instruments are welcome. These tunes will be in the common fiddle keys of D,G and A.

1 p.m. - 3 p.m  Polonäser from Dalarna & ensemble playing techniques with Ellinor & Leonor . . . .Ellinor Fritz, rikspelman on fiddle, and Leonor Palazzo, highly trained and innovative 5 string cellist, present the Polonäs. These tunes are the ancestors of the current 16th-note polskas such as Bingsjöpolska or slängpolska. They have been around since the 18th century all over Sweden and are beautiful melodies with lots of nice accompaniment possibilities. With those old tunes from Dalarna as our starting point we are going to give you the tools to accompany and support the melodies and play in jams or “buskspel”. We will hopefully improve everyone’s ability to play in an ensemble, dealing with all elements involved in ensemble playing. Level: you know your instrument and can play 10 tunes by ear. All instruments are welcome. 

Song Workshop

1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Svensk Snapsvisor (drinking songs) with Elise Peters . . . Svensk snapsvisor are a traditional part of the Swedish culture. Join Elise Peters as she shares some familiar and less familiar snapsvisor that she has learned on her many trips to Sweden. No previous singing experience necessary. Participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. Some handouts will be available. Elise Peters has throughout her life travelled to Sweden. As a college student and as an adult, she has attended many parties and gained a repertoire of fun songs that add to the party atmosphere. In addition to singing, Elise enjoys folkmusik through nyckelharpa and fiddle playing as well as dancing.

Dance Workshops

We have three dance workshops this year. Please TELL YOUR FRIENDS! We need all the dancers we can get, and then some. The workshops will take place in two locations, at the Nisswa American Legion and in the Dance Barn at the Nisswa Pioneer Village. No lunches are  available with the dance workshops....you can eat in Nisswa at the Legion Club (great lunches!) or several other restaurants. Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes. You do NOT need to bring a partner!

10 a.m. - noon Slängpolska with Leonor Palazzo . . . This dance workshop will focus on the slängpolska. It is a very popular couple dance in Sweden, more approachable than the regular polska, and is a great way of beginning with Scandinavian dancing. You will get to learn some figures, how to interact with your partner, how to lead and follow. Beginners are welcome! No partner necessary. Leonor Palazzo graduated as a classical cellist in Brussels and later on adopted the Swedish traditional music and baroque music in her skill set. She performs in different groups including Ellinor & Leonor, Septentrio  and Ensemble Bradamante. She has performed in many European countries, Korea and the USA. Bruce Bostrom will assist Leonor, with Char Bostrom playing fiddle. To watch a stylized version of slängpolska look at this youtube video.

1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Danish dancing from Fanø with Kirstine Uhrbrand assisted by Peter Uhrbrand and Ole Mouritzen . . . Kirstine Uhrbrand was born and raised on the small island of Fanø right off the west coast of Denmark. Now she lives in Copenhagen and has a Masters Degree in Performance-Design and social science. Kirstine has been playing piano since she was a child and has been a part of the traditional local folk band Jæ’ Sweevers since 2009. She is PR manager at the Danish folk music festival, Godtfolk, and is actively arranging several folk music events in Copenhagen. Kirstine and her dad, Peter, will teach three couple different dances from Fanø: Sønderhoning - Fanniker - Fast Sønderhoning. Sønderhoning is a special couples dance from  the small Island Fanø in Denmark. Sønderho on Fanø is the only place in Denmark where the folk music and dance tradition still lives. For hundreds of years people in Sønderho have used the tradition for weddings, birthdays and dances - and they still do.The dance has a rocking feeling like you are perhaps on a sailing ship. Please read much more info about these dances HERE. And see a bit of dancing HERE   Ability Level... It will be easier for you if you have had some experience doing couples dancing, but please come even if you haven’t had any experience if you have an interest in this wonderful happy dance! The music is infectious and the smiles are spontaneous.

10 a.m. - noon Tango with Tuttila!  Ralph Tuttila . . . Finns got heat, yes the Sauna sizzles but their tantalizing tango truly rules.
Learn to dance Finnish Tango with Rauli Tuttila with assistance by Jana Early. No partner needed ( we will rotate partners) couples singles all welcome. Finnish Tango is seriously sensual but Nordic friendly and fun. if people want to keep dancing in the afternoon, Ralph and Jana may oblige.

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2013 w-shops / 2012 w-shops / 2011 w-shops / 2010 w-shops / 2009 w-shops / 2008 w-shops / 2007 w-shops / 2006 w-shops / 2005 w-shops

Take a look at some shots from the first workshops in 2004, with Mauno Järvelä & family of Kaustinen, Finland, > 2004 workshops.

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