Scandinavian instrumental, singing and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway will take place on June 7, 2019 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 7 & 8, 2019. 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, veggies, 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 Chart -  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. Once you sign up you'll be given directions to the locations. You may find it helpful to open this locations chart as you browse the listings below. After opening the pdf file you should be able to rotate it in your browser for viewing, or download and print out.

Workshop Teachers, descriptions

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

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Swedish fiddle tunes with Eva Johansson of the Smålands spelmanslag - got her silver Zorn badge in 2015 in Korrö with this review: For responsive and style-conscious play of Smålands tunes. Eva plays the violin and wooden shoe violin (träskofiol) and builds and renovates violins. Eva has been a member of Skatelövs Spelmanslag for some years now. She will teach tunes in the style of Petter Dufva. Example of her playing HERE.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m - Swedish fiddle tunes with Peter Pedersen of the Smålands spelmanslag - Born in Malmö, Skåne, Sweden, Peter has earned the title of Riksspelman and is now a member of the Zorn jury. He is a three time world champion in playing träskofiol (clogfiddle). Now he lives in Västervik, Småland. Peter will teach tunes from Skåne and Småland.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - West Coast Hardingfele tunes with Bjørn Kåre Odde - Back in my days as a student, I had the pleasure of having the master hardingfele player Håkon Høgemo as a teacher. Then I learned some great tunes from the west coast of Norway, such as Sogn and Sunnfjord. I will teach at least one halling tune and one springar tune from these areas.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  - Danish fiddling with Kristian Bugge - In this workshop we'll have fun with some festive folk fragments, catchy tunes from the big Danish fiddle repertoire with melodies back from the 1700s and up until today. We will dig into some of the ornamentations, bowings and possibly a bit of the old-fashioned fiddle-backing, how one can chord for a waltz or polka on the fiddle. Bring aquavit, fiddles and a simple recording device, "pyt" with the rest!

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. -
Getting a Good Start! with Paul Dahlin - An essential approach to playing Swedish folk music. Players of all levels are welcome!  We'll concentrate on playing commonly played (allspel) tunes.

Nyckelharpa  Workshops

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Expand your Swedish repertoire with Bronwyn Bird - this workshop will focus on teaching traditional Swedish tunes on the nyckeharpa, and is open to other melodic instrumentalists as well. We will focus on learning melodies to a variety of tunes that can be played for traditional gammaldancing, including techniques such as suggested bowings, fingerings, ornamentation and double-stops. In keeping with the folk tradition, all tunes will be taught by ear.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Beyond the melody with Bronwyn Bird - This workshop will take the morning's melodies and dive in deeper by teaching harmonies, chords, and fun ideas for arrangements. We will also learn tips and tricks for playing for traditional Swedish dances. Open to both melody and accompaniment. 

Ensemble Workshops

Due to the fact that we have so many musicians available to give workshops this year, a majority of our workshops offerings will be 'ensemble' style. 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 Nisswastämman. Besides learning some neat tunes, you will be getting an intimate "house concert" from some great musicians. :-)

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Finnish tunes with Teija Niku & Sara Pajunen - Finnish accordionist Teija and Finnish-American violinist Sara will teach easy-to-learn Finnish folk tunes, and possibly some originals too, while talking about their musical backgrounds and how they work as an ensemble from opposite sides of the Atlantic. Focus will be on both melodic and rhythmic phrasing as well as harmonization. All instruments are welcome!

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Norwegian tunes with Bjørn Kåre Odde & Ole Nilssen - Using a combination of sheet music and learning by ear, the music that will be taught is from the eastern part of Norway, such as pols, springdans and halling. Bjørn has learned the tunes from old manuscripts or from his teachers back when he was a student at Vinstra and Oslo.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m - Danish Party Music w/ Mette Jensen, Kristian Bugge & Morten Høirup - Jensen, Bugge & Høirup have been playing together in Denmark and abroad for quite a few years. They play traditional Danish Music mixed with new music that they compose themselves. If you choose to pick their ensemble workshop, all you have to do is to bring your instrument, and be ready to learn and play by ear. All instruments are welcome. It doesn't really matter if you are not already an advanced musician, but it would be good if you have some experience on your instrument. It's all about having fun getting inspired, while learning a couple of Danish tunes, arranging them and playing them, getting into a good groove together. In other words: Let's 'hygge'.

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Swedish tunes with Lena Olsson and Arvid Svenungsson - In this workshop you will learn tunes from the region of Hälsingland, Sweden. We will work on the tunes and learn some typical ornaments, double stops and phrasings. In the second half of the workshop there will be more focus on how to accompany the tunes in different ways, playing the more traditional "andra stämma" (second voice following the melody), and learn chords. In the end we will put it together in a nice arrangement that we can jam together.

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m.  - "Tweaked" Finnish tunes with Tero Hyvaluoma & Esko Järvelä - Their workshop will consist of tweaked versions of traditional tunes from Tero & Esko's home regions in Perho River valley in Central Ostrobothnia. All instruments welcome!

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Danish tunes in "G" by way of Iowa with Dwight Lamb & friends - Dwight has been playing the single row button accordion since 1946, it was that year that his grandfather, Chris Jerup, moved in with Dwight’s parents. Chris had retired from farming that year and when he left Denmark in the 1890’s, he brought his accordion, fiddle and a large repertoire of Danish dance tunes with him. Chris Jerup’s father (Dwight’s great grandfather) was a famous fiddler in Denmark in the mid nineteenth century and so many of Dwight’s tunes can be traced back to that time. He will teach tunes such as the schottische called “Tomorrow I Shall Wed but Who Shall It Be”; a 3 part polka we now call “Mette’s Favorite” and a beautiful waltz we call “Crooked Waltz #1” because Dwight learned 2 crooked waltzes from his grandfather. Tunes will be in the key of G!

Harmonica Workshop -

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m - Norsk harmonica workshop with Einar Eimhjellen - "I learned from older harmonica musicians where I grew up. Later I learned from
SkogsbyLasse and John Erik Hammerberg in Sweden. Those who want to attend the workshop must have a harmonica in C. The harmonica must be 10 holes or larger. It is best to use diatonic, tremolo or blues-harmonica. I also want to teach how we use the tongue to make the rhythm of the music. Therefore, chromatic harmonics do not fit well with traditional harmonica music. I want to teach simple tunes. It will be good if those who will attend the workshop know a little about harmonica. I send with an audio file with a simple melody I will begin with. Listen to Einar's tune HERE.

Song Workshop

1:15 pm. - 3:00 p.m - Danish song workshop with Morten Høirup - "I have been playing the guitar and singing traditional and contemporary music and songs for about 40 years, touring all over the world with a number of Danish and international musicians. More info at: I am offering a couple of hours singing old Danish songs together. The workshop will be in English, but the songs will all be in Danish. We will translate and discuss the meaning of the lyrics, and we will practise pronunciation while singing together. Everyone is more than welcome! Please don't hesitate. I will be bring the lyrics, and there will be lots of opportunities to have fun while singing nice songs in a funny language :-) " Watch Morten sing a song he will teach at his workshop HERE

Dance Workshops

Nisswa-stämman dance workshops have been wildly popular over the years! Still we can always use more dancers (especially men), so please TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING A PARTNER! Workshops will be held at the Nisswa Legion Club and at the Dance Barn on the grounds of the Pioneer Village. You can eat lunch in Nisswa at the Legion Club (great lunches!) or at several other local restaurants.

Nisswa Legion Club:

10 a.m.- 11:45 a.m. - Slängpolska with Magnus Gustafsson - "There are many ways of dancing to east Swedish polskas, but there are also big similarities from Skåne in the south up to Hälsingland in the north. In this workshop you will get to know and learn the basic structure of the smooth and elegant slängpolska – a dance that is actually closely related to the Polish “Mazurek”, the Hungarian “Czardas” and some of the Norwegian “Springars".

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Have fun with the Schottische (Reinlender) Carol Sersland -
in a couple of new styles led by Carol Sersland and Bruce Bostrom. Take your basic schottische rhythm and adapt a couple of stylings. The first lets you get swingy and the other gets you into a smooth turning version. We’ll start by reviewing the fundamentals and then get your schottische on! You’ll leave the afternoon session with fun alternatives to try out at the evening dances and beyond. Char Bostrom, phenomenal dance fiddler, accompanies.

Dance Barn:

1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Beginning, beginning dance class with Becky Heimark - This is a beginner workshop for people whose previous dance experience has been limited to disappointment and discouragement. The goal is to create a joyful dance experience. We’re not going to try doing fancy footwork. We will begin at the beginning and concentrate on putting down one foot in front of the other -- but in time to music!!  We will learn a simple waltz step and if time allows we will learn an easy version of the 4-person schottische. You do not need to bring a partner (you may enjoy the workshop more if you don’t).  All are welcome!

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2018 w-shops / 2017 w-shops / 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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