Scandinavian instrumental, singing and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway will take place on June 12, 2015 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 12, 13, 2015. Sessions are 1-3/4 hours long. The first one starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m. The second one starts at 1:15 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. For many of the locations a 'spelmans' lunch is offered at 11:45 am. Cost for the sessions is $20 each. 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' starts at 11:45 a.m., and consists of cold cuts, vegies, fruit, etc and costs an extra $5. (note - no lunch is provided at the dance workshops...but, you can buy lunch right at the Nisswa Legion and/or downtown Nisswa is close 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 <> 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 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 :)   Click on this link and scroll down to find links to all maps: WORKSHOP  MAPS

Workshop teachers, descriptions

refer to the grid below when planning your morning & afternoon sessions. Most of these workshops take place in private homes in the Nisswa area.

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

Fiddling / Nyckelharpa / Kantele workshops

10 a.m -
11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. (2 sessions) Beginning Scandinavian fiddling with VikesKalles Kapell  . . Hans Ehrling, Kalle Eriksson, Stefan Steger and Monica Sommarström are fine fiddlers from Rättvik, Sweden. They are veterans of Nisswa-stämman, having performed here in other years with Öj Pojkar and the Rättviks Spelmanslag. They will conduct workshops for fiddlers who are at a more beginning level of fiddling and haven’t had much exposure to Swedish fiddle music. They will teach walking tunes (marches), waltzes and polskas from their home area. They will also provide opportunities to learn harmonies to these tunes. They will talk about rhythms in the music and give an overview of their music and how it fits into their everyday lives in Rättvik. They will provide sheet music and recordings of the tunes they teach, so participants can take the music home with them and continue to work on them. This is a great opportunity for beginning fiddlers. You should have familiarity with the violin and it will help if you can pick up tunes by ear.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.  Swedish Nyckelharpa with Josefina Paulson . . . Nyckelharpa players, all levels! The main focus on this workshop will be a deeper understanding for the mechanism of the instrument, how to hold, tune and relate to the nyckelharpa in order to get the sound quality you are after in your playing. Josefina teaches with the perspective of the instrument and the body as one unit, and one voice. This is also applied on the tunes she teach, traditional repertoire mainly from Västmanland and Uppland. Always with the dance groove in focus.

In Delsbo 2008, Josefina was awarded the title ”riksspelman” (fiddler of the realm) by the ZornJury with the motivation "for playing the nyckelharpa lively and skillful, in the tradition of Uppland" In Västmanland, 2009 she received the Cultural Award from VLT on the ground "Josefina IS music" 2011 Josefina received the ”Bror Hjorth Scholarship” with the jurys motivation ”technically brilliant, very committed performance on the keyed fiddle with both the preservation of cultural traditions and a gentle personal and creative rejuvenation”  Josefina has studied the one year course at Eric Sahlström Institutet and have a bachelor in music, with the nyckelharpa as main instrument, at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.

Id be happy to receive an email from the participants before hand, it they want to share their thought, ideas and a short presentation of their nyckelharpa playing.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.  Swedish Fiddling with Jonas Åkerlund . . . Fiddetunes from Västerdalarna. Västerdalarna has a rich and vivid tradition of fiddle music… tunes of simple beauty, with a special rythmic drive. We will learn tunes, study tonality, rhythm, ornamentation and have a lot of fun doing it. Jonas Åkerlund has been a professional musician for over twenty years. He is well known for his deeply personal and tradition based playing and is an experienced teacher. Jonas is a sought after ensemble player, and besides the violin he also plays swedish bagpipe and guitar. He will be playing the violin in this workshop but any melody instrument is welcome.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  Danish Fiddling with Harald Haugaard . . . since the mid-90s, Harald has established himself as one of Denmark's finest musicians. In his virtuoso fiddle playing, he combines a playful ease with a characteristic deep and melancholy sound. The Danish fiddle tradition is all about dance music. Haugaard is passing on this tradition wherever he travels. Polkas, Minuets, Waltzes, Jigs, Polsks and Sønderhonings. Traditional music is alive! The tunes will be taught by ear and the workshop will include bowing technique, dance rhythm, ornamentation and the story and theory behind the tunes.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  Finnish Fiddling with Antti Järvelä . . . Antti was born and raised in an area in western Finland where living traditions have been carried through several generations within the past couple centuries. He's learned the traditional fiddling style and repertoire directly from his grandfather Johannes Järvelä who was a master fiddler and one of the busiest wedding musicians locally in the past. At Antti's workshop we'll learn some common old Scandinavian melodies that deserve a new fresh treat. Antti pays lots of detail to the different grooves and slow learning curve which commonly helps to bring the thriving smiles to the students' faces. One of his greatest passions is bringing traditional music back to life by having good times with some of the greatest tunes. At present Antti works as a professional musician and teacher touring around the world.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m - Kantele workshop with Diane Jarvi .... Have you ever thought that it might be fun to play a lap stringed instrument? Now is your chance to try! Diane has ten 5 string kanteles she can loan out for this workshop. Diane Jarvi has been playing kantele for almost thirty years and studied kantele at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She was a member of Koivun Kaiku, a kantele ensemble in the Twin Cities. She plays the 5,8,10,11,15 and 36-string version of the instrument. Diane has given workshops in Canada and across the the U.S and received a year-long grant to teach kantele to the Finnsh-American community in Cokato, MN.

Ensemble Workshops

Ensemble workshops are open to all instruments and 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. - 11:45 a.m. - Western Norway tunes with Sindre Fotland and Kristoffer Kleiveland ... This ensemble workshop will feature traditional tunes from the western parts of Norway, mostly from the county of Hordaland. It will be possible to learn springar, halling, pols as well as “gammaldans” (reinlender, polka, waltz). All tunes will be taught by ear and all instruments are welcome.

Kristoffer Kleiveland and Sindre Fotland are two of the most prominent buttonbox players in the Norwegian traditional folk music scene. Starting as “gammaldans” specialists they now have extensive knowledge of all the different types of tunes in traditional Norwegian folk music. They have both studied at the Ole Bull Academy and have also worked extensively with folk music teaching. Both as soloists and in numerous bands they have contributed to several CD’s and collaborated with different instrumentalists and singers both in the folk music genre as well as other genres.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - a musical Danish/Finnish gumbo with  Harald Haugaard and Antti Järvelä ... Witness and learn from two complete masters of folkmusic together for an hour and 45 minutes at this workshop. Harald and Antti have worked together for six years teaching fiddling and ensemble playing at the Haugaard International Fiddle Camp in Germany. This year they are taking their fiddle camp to West Denmark, Wisconsin and the inaugural edition of that camp starts right after Nisswa-stämman 2015. This ensemble workshop will feature traditional and contemporary tunes from their common fiddle camp repertoire. Bring any instrument and your enthusiasm. Also be on the lookout of Antti's very dry Finnish humor.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m - "Leading and Following in music" with Josefina Paulson and Jonas Åkerlund ... Playing music is like dancing. You can lead and follow, do things in unison and things that make contrast. We will work with finding the simple path in a complicated melody, and finding colors and structures in simple tunes. We will approach the music from the perspective of a dancer and finding the right swing in the music is fundamental.

The duo is known for their close interaction that highly includes the dancers on a dance floor, and the audience in a concert hall. Josefina has the title "riksspelman" on nyckelharpa and mostly play the repertoire from Västmanland and Uppland. Jonas is a multi-instrumentalist, playing with several well known constellations in Sweden and is especially known for his playing of the music from Västerdalarna.

All instruments are welcome to participate. The workshop will be taught by ear and its a good thing to bring your own recording equipment. In the workshop we will focus on traditional swedish polska and maybe a waltz. After the workshop you will have simple but effective tools to communicative playing.

Song Workshop

1:15 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. Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING A PARTNER!
You can eat lunch in Nisswa at the Legion Club (great lunches!) or at several other restaurants.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.  Rorøs Pols with Carol Sersland & Steven Petersen ... The morning session will include Røros pols. Pols is a popular dance tune that musicians like to play (with an intriguing 1 and 3 beat emphasis). The dance includes 3 basic figures. Join us to learn the rund snu (round turn), the bakmes (backwards turn), and the basic 1-3 ‘limp’ step.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. Mazurka and Schottish with Carol Sersland & Steven Petersen ... Two favorite dance styles in the afternoon: mazurka (Swedish and Norwegian) and schottish (with at least three variations to keep your partner totally enthralled). Char Bostrom will play for the dancing for both sessions. Steven and Carol want people to have fun dancing and be one with the music – and there is SO MUCH music at Nisswa!

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. 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 Lindgren Tuttila. No partner needed ( we will rotate partners) couples singles all welcome. Finnish Tango is seriously sensual but Nordic friendly and fun.

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2014 w-shops / 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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