Scandinavian instrumental, singing and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway will take place on June 9, 2017 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 9, 10, 2017. 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.
Cost for the sessions is $30 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. For some of the locations a 'spelmans' lunch is offered at 11:45 am, 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 call her at 218-259-4090. That’s all you need to do — just give her your name and your workshop choice(s). After you sign up, she’ll send you more information about your workshop, including a detailed map for getting there.

It is always possible that we may have trouble filling all the workshops with students. 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' 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 :)   The website will be updated soon with locations.

Workshop teachers, descriptions

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

Fiddle  workshops

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Danish fiddling with Maja Kjær Jacobsen. The fiddle playing and of Maja Kjær Jacobsen is beautiful and intense. She has travelled and performed in many different countries, performing her ”darling”, the exotic sounding traditional music and gorgeous songs of Central Jutland in Denmark, and it has caught the attention of her audiences as well as many critics. Maja has a Masters degree in Traditional Music from the Academy of Music, Southern Denmark in Odense (DK), and besides Fru Skagerrak she plays in the fiddle duo Maja & David (with Québec fiddler and foot-tapper, and a member of La Bottine Souriante, David Boulanger), her own Maja Kjær Jacobsen Trio where she presents swinging versions of songs of Central Jutland (DK), and the dance orchestra Midtjysk Medicin.

10 a.m. — 11:45 a.m.  Beginning Swedish fiddling with members of Lustspel.  Swedish fiddle tunes for those ready to learn by ear. Emphasizing a true Swedish sound with bowing patterns, fingering technique, and foot-tap rhythm. A recording device is encouraged. Written music will be available on-line at the end of the workshop. All ages welcome.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Norwegian "Flat" Fiddle / Guitar.
Vidar Skrede and Randy Gosa combine the melodies of Norwegian fiddle music with the rhythmic approach of Irish guitar accompaniment. Vidar Skrede plays Hardanger and "Normal" or flat fiddle. See Vidar Skrede’s bio below. Randy (USA) plays guitar and bouzouki. A professional in the Irish music scene since 1999, his bands include the Milwaukee based celtic trio Ce, Myserk, The Lost Forty duo with Brian Miller, and is an active ceili/set dance musician in Milwaukee. In addition to performing, he teaches at the Irish Fest School of Music. In this workshop, Randy will share tips for accompanying Norwegian tunes on guitar, with a Celtic twist, and Vidar will teach flat fiddle tunes from Rogaland and from traditions of the West of Norway. At the end of the workshop, the fiddles and guitars will combine for a hot Norwegian jam! You will learn by ear, so bring your recording devices.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Hardanger fiddling with Vidar Skrede from Haugesund, Norway. Vidar Skrede . . . from Haugesund, Norway, Vidar is a freelance Nordic folk musician on guitar, harding fiddle, fiddle and Greek bouzouki. He has a background in the traditional music from Rogaland (South West of Norway), and has a master degree in Nordic folk music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Vidar is known from bands like Vidar Skrede DYNAMO BAND (with Pilvi Järvelä and Jani Kivelä from Tsuumi Sound System), Geitungen, The Secret Carpet Club (with Emma Johansson from Eter, Seaquins - and Carl Nyqvist), AAMOS (with Kevin Henderson from Fiddlers' Bid, Boys of the Lough - and Mark Laurenson). Vidar’s hardingfele workshop will work on tunes from Rogaland and from traditions of the West of Norway. You will learn by ear, so bring your recording devices. Sheet music will be provided after the workshop.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. -
Swedish fiddling with Karin Blom of the group Vindonia. Learn Jämtlandish fiddle tunes. Karin has her roots in Jämtland in northern Sweden, and as a child she learned to play the fiddle from local traditional fiddlers. She studied Traditional Music and Pedagogy at Malungs Folkhögskola. The tunes from Jämtland reflect the landscape: vast forests, majestic mountains and the contemplative stillness of the lakes. The playful melodies sometimes take unexpected twists and turns and often imbue a melancholic edge. In addition to learning polskas and other types of tunes we will focus on the local style and technique. All melody instruments are welcome.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  - Danish fiddling with Maja Kjær Jacobsen (see description above).

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. Swedish fiddle tunes from Skåne, with Staffan Bengtsson of the group Lustspel.  Staffan’s father, Assar Bengtsson, was a famous fiddler and Riksspelman. In the workshop we will work on traditional folk music from southern Sweden, Scania, which was Danish 359 years ago. So, the folk music is much influenced of Denmark and Poland, sometimes even from Germany. The repertoire will consist of waltzes, long dances, schottis, hambo, polkas and different kinds of polska and mazurka. Staffan has many of his tunes from his father, grandfather and grand grand father from 1820…We`ll mainly play by ear, but rather easy tones.. Beginners are welcome!

Ensemble Workshops

Ensemble workshops are open to all instruments and cost $30 for each 1-3/4 hour session. These are always popular and a fun and inspiring kick-off to the Nisswa festival. 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. - Finnish music with Aallotar. Sara Pajunen is a violinist, and Teija Niku an accordionist; their lithe instrumentals and beautiful vocal harmonies in both Finnish and English demonstrate how gracefully traditional and modern folk music can speak together. Sara and Teija will teach Finnish tunes on fiddle and accordion, like old polskas or more recent dance tunes. They can accommodate all types of instruments - melodic and accompanying alike.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Norwegian Fiddle / Guitar. Randy Gosa and Vidar Skrede - This is a limited ensemble workshop with only fiddles and guitars. See listing in 'fiddling workshops' above.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  - Swedish and Norwegian gammeldans music with the Skvis Accordion Trio (Mette Sønderskov, Jon Halvor Kvamme and Jo Fredrik Øiamo). These folks have been good friends and companions in music in different constellations since 2006. Their music is influenced both by Swedish and Norwegian folk and accordion music, but also by the light entertainment music tradition that rose at the start of the 20th century. In this ensemble workshop, Mette, Jon, and Jo Fredrick will lead Swedish and/or Norwegian gammeldans tunes:  two tunes with different rhythm (waltz and hambo or schottis). This workshop is open to all instruments, including G/C diatonic accordions. Sheet music will be available.

Singing Workshop

1:15 pm. - 3:00 p.m - Swedish song workshop with Lise Enochsson of the group Vindonia. Lise has been singing and performing since childhood. She has performed at festivals and on tours in Europe and in the US. She studied traditional singing at Malungs Folkhögskola and currently is co-leader of Skånska Kören in Lund. She is also a physio-therapist, so this should work out well for those of us who like to sing. For this workshop, we will be singing in Scanian!  . . and learning other Swedish tunes as well. Lise will introduce us to the songs from the rich repertoire of Skåne, a region bursting with musical heritage and joy in singing. Her workshop focuses on teaching Scanian singing repertoire, branching out into other regions of Sweden or Norway as well, as our fancy takes us. Alongside learning tunes, we will practice styles/ornamentation and also try out harmonies just for fun. No previous experience required. Everything taught by ear with the possibility to record audio.

Dance Workshops

With the Swedish group Lustspel in charge, our dance workshops are going to be great fun! We need all the dancers we can get, so please TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING A PARTNER! Both workshops will be held at the Nisswa Legion. You can eat lunch in Nisswa at the Legion Club (great lunches!) or at several other restaurants.
Both dance sessions will be taught by Lustspel (The Folk Music Association for Students of Lund, Sweden), a group of (mostly) university students sharing a passion for playing folk music. The approach to folk music is to teach tunes to each other by ear, play mostly Swedish folk music, experiment with different arrangements, all in a jolly and relaxed atmosphere with a precious “fika-break” half way through every session. To recognize a member of Lustspel, look at their instrument - if a small red/yellow tassel is attached to it, you have found one! (The tassel is a flirt with the tradition of the Swedish traditional costumes for men, who tie up their socks with ribbons and tassels (“knätofs”, which some less informed people use as a derogatory term for Swedish folk music).

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Slängpolska and Schottis
Slängpolska is a 3 beat polska dance with even division of the beats (each beat has an equal amount of time). There are a lot of different turns - here is room for improvisation!
Schottis is a gammeldans, danced in pairs. The name is related to Scotland, but it was invented in Germany. The steps are three walking or jumping steps followed by rest or jump, so called Schottissteg./Schottis steps

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  - Kadrilj and Engelska
Kadrilj (quadrille) is related to english dance, and is danced in couples. The couples (at least four) line up in a square or a circle. The dance is then performed by the couples walking around in various tours to the music. When Lustspel teaches it, the tours will be announced by a caller (like in American squaredance).
Engelska ("English") is a dance related to english folk dance. It was very popular in Sweden during the 1700s and 1800s. You dance it in pairs, together with one or two more pairs. The steps are simple walking or jumping steps, where you only walk, jump or jump in line.

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2016 w-shops / 2015 w-shops / 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, Esko, Alina and Aili Järvelä of Kaustinen, Finland, > 2004 workshops.

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