Scandinavian instrumental and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway will take place on June 11, 2010 in Nisswa, Mn. These workshops are offered in conjunction with Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folkmusic Festival, June 11, 12, 2010. Most sessions start at 10 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., with a lunch break in the middle. There are some sessions that are half day only....check the listings. All workshops are generally taught by ear and participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. Cost for the sessions is $20 per each 2 hour session, or $35 for two sessions. (from the same teacher). The 'musicians lunch' at most workshops happens at noon, and consists of cold cuts, vegies, fruit, etc and cost an extra $5. (no lunch provided at the dance workshops...but downtown Nisswa is right there with several restaurants)


We are showered with TONS of lovely musicians again this year. This presents a blessing and a problem for us. The blessing is obvious! The problem is not so obvious, but is simply this: We may have trouble filling all the workshops with students. 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... think of any scheme you can to get the word out in your community! Thanks!

It may be possible that some of the workshops won't be 'viable'... i.e., they won't have enough students to be worth the day's effort of the teacher. If this happens, 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. 

Exact workshop locations for each session have not been determined yet this year, but many will be at Don & Mary Anne Bennett's house or in that general vicinity, south of Nisswa on Long Lake or Round Lake. After you sign up you will be notified of the exact location of your workshop. The two dance workshops will be at the Nisswa Pioneer Village.

Workshop teachers/descriptions  (to download a pdf file of this page, click HERE)

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

Fiddling workshops

10 am to 3 pm – Beginning Swedish Fiddling with Hans Ehrling & Kalle Eriksson . . . These two fiddlers from Rättvik are veterans of Nisswa-stämman, having performed here in other years with Öj Pojkar and the Rättviks Spelmanslag. This year they are sponsored by the ASI Spelmanslag. They will conduct workshops for fiddlers who are at a more beginning level of fiddling and haven’t had much, or any, exposure to Swedish fiddle music. They will teach walking tunes (marches), waltzes and polskas from their home area. 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!

10 am to 3 pm – Finnish Fiddling and Folk Music Improvisation with Kukka Lehto of  the Polka Chicks . . .  Kukka started to play the violin at the tender age of three. She has studied at the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory and at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department, and is a musician at the National Theatre of Finland. She joined the Polka Chicks in 2004, and has toured with various bands in Europe, Russia, and the U.S. Kukka is known for her ability to play in a range of styles from bluegrass and folk to classical. In her workshop, she'll teach Finnish “pelimanni”-music on fiddle. Kukka also has a passion for folk music improvisation (and is very good at it!), so she'll get you started improvising, too.

1 pm to 3 pm – Danish Fiddling with Peter Uhrbrand of FAERD . . . Peter will present traditional Danish folk/dance music based on "listen and play" -- by ear, motivation and a few years of instrumental training (not for beginners). Special focus in this workshop will be on the unique music and dance tradition from the village of Sønderho on Fanoe Island, Denmark. To learn the dance that goes with this music, be sure to sign up for the Sønderhoning dance workshop (see Dance Workshops)!

10 am to 3 pm – Hardanger Fiddling with Andrea Een . . . Andrea Een began studying Hardanger fiddle in Norway beginning in 1980. She founded the only Hardanger fiddle study program in North America in 1979 at St. Olaf College. A recipient of the St. Olav Medal from the Norwegian government for her work promoting Norwegian culture outside of Norway, she has focused on the Vesltand tradition of Hardanger and Voss (where her grandfather, Knut Een, was born) as well as Telemark and Setsedal. A founding member of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America, she has taught at over 20 summer stevner as a respected teacher who is enthusiastic about transmitting this tradition. Her workshop will focus on springars and rulls from Hardanger and Voss, as well as gammaldans vals and reinlendar that she has composed. She teaches tunes by ear, but printed music will be handed out at the end to facilitate remembering the tunes after the workshop! (NOTE: Andrea will have two 'loaner' hardandger fiddles that can be used for her two workshop sessions. If you are a fiddler and have always wanted to try this unique instrument, here is your chance! If you are interested in this idea, please get in touch directly with Andrea to 'reserve' one for the workshop. )

.........SPECIAL, GROUP PERFORMANCE / WORKSHOP!!......This workshop features an entire trio and will cost $40 for the day long session
10 am to 3 pm – Tunes from Rogaland, Norway with Geitungen  . . .
Geitungen is a Norwegian trio that plays tunes once popular with party-goers in the hinterland of Rogaland county in Norway.  The group consists of Vidar Skrede on hardanger fiddle, fiddle and guitars, Christer Rossebø on fiddle, mandolin, mandola and guitar, and Håvard Ims on button accordion. In this workshop, you'll get a close up meeting with the most outstanding young musicians of the Rogaland fiddle tradition of today. Besides teaching a variety of tunes, Geitungen  will also  teach arrangements. This workshop is for all melodic instruments, and percussive and harmonic instruments are welcome to join the fun. The teachers will be playing hardanger fiddle, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and melodeon. You must be able to learn and play melodies by ear, but Geitungen will provide sheet music (just in case....). 

Accordion Workshop

10 am to 3 pm – Finnish Polka Phrasing and Music Style on Accordion with Teija Niku of the Polka Chicks . . .  Teija Niku started performing with her accordion when she was seven years old. She won first prize in the Finnish 2-Row Accordion Folk Championship in 1996 and 1998, and graduated from the Sibelius-Academy Folk Music Department in 2009. Long before she started to play the accordion as a child, she learned to dance the Finnish polka, which shows in her firm style of playing this particular dance. In her workshop, Teija will reveal some secrets of a great Finnish polka groove, both on a 2-row (G-C) and a 5-row.

Guitar/Bouzouki Workshop  

1 pm to 3 pm – Bouzouki/Guitar Accompaniment with Jens Ulvsand of FAERD . . . Jens Ulvsand, Swedish guitar, bouzouki player and singer, has been an integral part of the Swedish folk music scene for the past 15 years. Jens is a member of the internationally known Avadå Band, the Danish/Swedish Project and Trio Mio. Besides his work as a touring musician, he is a highly respected teacher at the Music Academies in Malmø, Sweden and Odense, Denmark.

Singing Workshop

10 am to 3 pm – Swedish Singing with Josefina Östling . . . Josefina studied folk music at the Malung Folk School and the Music Conservatory in Falun, Sweden. She learned musical technique and singing from some of Sweden's most renowned folk musicians, including Maria Röjås, Sofia Sandén and Björn Ståbi. Her repertoire includes hundreds of songs -- from dancing tunes to powerful hymns -- and, of course, the special "herding music" of Sweden, kulning. She has been an active performer for 15 years as both a soloist and in various groups, singing in churches, at spelmansstämmor (festivals) and for dancing. Josefina will teach songs from different areas of Sweden, some with lyrics and others for dance accompaniment. In Sweden, this style of singing for dancing is called trallare. Listen to her sing two tunes: Kvällen Stundar  /   Lördagskvällen. 

Participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. 

Dance Workshops the Dance Barn at the Nisswa Pioneer Village  (No lunch available with the dance can eat in Nisswa at several restaurants.)

10 am to 12 noonSønderhoning Dance with FAERD . . The sønderhoning is a couples dance from the village of Sønderho on Fanoe Island, Denmark. Peter Uhrbrand, who lives in the village of Sønderho, is the master of this dance. He the one that has taken over the tradition from the tradition bearers who have passed on. Eksil Romme and Jens Ulvsand will also teach their own variations of the dance. Want to see what the dance looks like? Here is an example of the Sønderhoning dance on YouTube

1 pm to 3 pmTelespringar/Gangar with Loretta Kelley, Carol Sersland, and Bruce Bostrom . . . Loretta will play hardingfele for dance instructors Carol and Bruce in this fun workshop. Telespringar and telegangar are graceful, playful couple dances from Telemark, Norway with improvisatory elements. No previous dance experience is required. Flirt with your partner, feel the sympathetic vibrations of the mysterious Hardanger fiddle, and let the music move you so that you are "dancing on the tip of the fiddler's bow"!  Here is an example of the dance on YouTube.

Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes and some previous dance experience.

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2009 workshop page / 2008 workshop page / 2007 workshop page / 2006 workshop page / 2005 workshop page

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

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