Music Camp Class Descriptions
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Finnish Folk Music Camp: CANCELLED FOR 2014

For all classes music notation will be available for those that use it, but ear training will also be emphasized.

Ensemble Classes: All classes that are designated as "Ensemble" classes are open to all, however the teacher will be focusing on the tunes that they have introduced to their instrument classes. This is also the opportunity to rehearse as a group the tunes that you will perform at the Student concert on Thursday evening. Guitars, mandolins and harmonium/keyboardists are welcome to accompany any of the ensemble classes.


Beginning Fiddle – Carrie Dlutkowski and Bette Premo

If you are new to the fiddle this is a class for you.  Learn how you can be a part of the music by playing very simple accompaniment notes and slowly work into learning the melody line.  We use very easy Finnish tunes that can be learned by notation or by ear.  These tunes have been arranged by Mauno Järvelä for his “Sisu-ki” method used all over the world.

Familiar Finnish American Tunes – Carl Rahkonen and Ralph Tuttila

This class is designed for all levels and all instruments.  Learn some tunes that every Finnish American should know.

Large Kantele Folk Styles - Carl Rahkonen

This is for all levels of kantele players; must have large kantele, some available for loan.  Learn the basics of folk-styles for large kantele.

Finnish Music Seminar - Carl and Sharon Rahkonen  

Lecture/discussion, everyone welcome.  Learn something about the history of Finland and Finnish American music.  This year Sharon will teach a class on “The Origins of the Finns” covering the pre-history of Finland.   Carl’s topic will be, “Martti Nisonen:  Composer of the Keweenaw” about a local, Hancock composer.  

 Intermediate and Advanced Finnish Fiddle – Sara Pajunen

Sara will introduce intermediate and advanced fiddlers to special techniques and styles that are used in playing the Finnish folk music.  Learn some old and new tunes from Finland's fiddle tradition, as well as a bit of history and some notes on style. Perform an arrangement of a tune of the group's choice at the concert!

Harmonium – Perttu Hemminki

In traditional Finnish pelimanni bands the instrumentation includes fiddles, upright bass, and oftentimes a harmonium (pump organ). For keyboardists/pianists, playing harmonium in Nordic music is a lot of fun and provides an essential part of the band's rhythm section. If there's no bassist, the harmonium can serve as the entire rhythm section itself! In this class we'll study a few simple Finnish tunes, and explore different styles of harmonium accompaniment.  Harmoniums are hard-to-find, hard-to-repair, and hard-to-carry, so students are welcome to bring an electric keyboard (preferably with a "reed organ" or "accordion" setting) to folk music camp. Of course, if you have a portable and functioning harmonium / pump organ, you're very welcome to bring it!

Piano Accordion Techniques – Don Reinholm

This class is designed to handle topics for the beginner, intermediate and advanced players of the piano accordion.  Topics will include (among other things): Playing lead and backup, reading music (bass and treble clef), bass layout, fingering techniques for left and right hand, practicing techniques, bass runs, minor and major chords, grace notes, the use of bellows for effect and the use of different reeds for effect.

 Don Reinholm Tunes

Don will chose some of his favorite tunes such as to work on as a group and using these tunes to practice melody line, bass lines, backup chords, harmonies and improvisation skills.

Button Accordion Techniques- Rich Koski

The emphasis of this course will be on learning the two-row diatonic button accordion. The ins and outs of this instrument will be covered from beginner to more advanced levels. Understanding the layout of the buttons and technical aspects of playing will be gained in the process of learning some Finnish tunes. We will be working with the G-C keyed accordion, but bring whatever diatonic accordion you have. If you don’t have an accordion, we’ll have three on hand for students to practice on. We can also do a brief exploration of the one row diatonic accordion if it is desired

Rich Koski Tunes

Rich will chose some of his favorite tunes to share with anyone and for diatonic button accordionists to practice their techniques.

Guitar Techniques-Steve Niemi

This class will address a variety of approaches to folk guitar playing. We'll focus to the needs of the participants.  Topics will include rhythm guitar for accompaniment, chord voicings, bass lines. Come away knowing a couple of Finnish tunes!

Spoons and Bones and Harmonica -Randy Seppala

A revival is taking place of an ancient hand percussion instrument called the rhythm bones. They are played with all types of music including traditional Irish, folk, bluegrass, jazz, ragtime, polkas and blues.  Randy Seppala will introduce us to the art of playing rhythm bones and spoons, including a discussion of types and how they are made.  You will learn how to hold the instruments and specific techniques like “the snap”, “the roll”, volume control, and how to put this all together to learn the basics of rhythm accompaniment.  Randy will have sets of wooden bones for sale at the camp.   Randy will also teach a harmonica class.

Accompany with Guitar-Steve Niemi

Accompany with Guitar: A good accompanist provides the life-pulse of a song. In this class, we will learn some basic Finnish folksong styles, and develop personal listening skills that can enhance a group's collective performance (for all levels of experience).

 Beginning 5 string kantele-Kay Seppala

An introduction for the musical and the non-musical alike.  If you can count to five, you can play this instrument!   Beginners will be able to play a few traditional folk tunes by the end of the class; experienced musicians can take the instrument and fly!   Tuning (major and minor), fingering, plucking melodies and strumming basic chords will be covered.  Five string kanteles are available for use by those who do not yet have one.  

Intermediate 5 string kantele – Kay Seppala  

This is for those who want to go a bit farther with the 5 string kantele, using more challenging music and special techniques including harmonics and "strum and pluck".  

Beginning 10 or 11 string kantele – Celia Jones 

This will be an introduction to the 10 or 11 string kantele with  exploration of melodic and harmonic possibilities for people who can or cannot read musical notations. Also the use of rounds, international tunes, and special effects will be offered.  A limited number of 10 string kanteles are available for use.  Please reserve one when you register.

Intermediate 10 or 11 string kantele  - Celia Jones

This will be a continuation of ensemble-style work on the 10 or 11 string kantele plus, "seasonal event" medleys will be offered, including polkas, jigs, marches, waltzes and lots of holiday tunes!

Finnish Dances- Kay Seppala

Done in circles, lines and sets - no previous experience needed.  We even welcome people with two left feet! Many of the dances will be written out, including printed music and perhaps a CD, so that you can take these dances home and teach them to others!  

Traditional Singing-Arne Salli

Finns love to sing and so we will explore, sing, and translate some of the common folk songs of the American Finns.  

Story Telling-Arne Salli

Throughout their history the Finns have told stories, recited poetry, and sung folk tunes.  In fact, the development of the Finnish nation, language, and identity depended upon the poetry, stories and songs handed down through generations in an oral tradition while the Finns were under Swedish rule for 650 years and Russian rule for over 100 years. The national epic, the Kalevala, with its hero Vainamoinen, inventor of the kantele, was compiled by Elias Lonnrot from epic narrative folk poetry collected in Karelia. So, we will explore, briefly, parts of the Kalevala, other Finnish poetry and stories, including obviously Toivo and Eino’s humorous contributions.

Finnish Language-Tanja Stanaway

This class will be an introduction to the Finnish language.  We will start with the ABCs and short everyday sentences. We will explore those forever difficult endings and learn to make conversation. We will discuss the written and spoken Finnish. We will learn about Finnish culture and show and tell feature about industry, design, nature and customs of Finland and Finnish people. Tanja will provide work sheets and other informational material to be used during the course

Children’s Songs – Tanja Stanaway

Tanja will introduce students to a few songs that are common type of songs that are used in the Finnish schools and camps.  Some of the songs are familiar as to the tune, but of course the pronunciation of the words need to be learned. Tanja will provide song sheets and some of them have the music written on them so that students can continue to sing the songs after they return home the music camp. We will learn a couple of songs that have some acting while singing.

Build your own Kantele – Jim Lohmann

We will be offering the option to build three different types of kanteles.

The Piccolo Kantele - 4-5 hours to complete not including drying time for glue and shellac.

The Five String Kantele - 6-7 hours to complete not including drying time for glue and shellac.

The Eleven String Kantele - 8-10 hours to complete not including drying time for glue and shellac.

The construction of all of the instruments is very similar and they can all be built at the same workshop. 

With the workshop lasting two days we are opening it up to 16 builders. 

Jim will have the following kits available;

6 – Piccolo kantele @ $75.00 each

10 - Five String kantele @ $130.00 each

10- Eleven String kantele @ $180.00 each

All of the instruments will be mahogany with pine sound boards and include strings and a tuning wrench

Cases will be available.  Please see the photos of these beautiful instruments.

Finnish Food Arts – Norma Nominelli

Join the incomparable Norma Nominelli as she entertains while instructing students in the fine art of Finnish cooking.   An experienced and prize winning cook, Norma may share her secrets to simple recipes.  Recipes will be chosen for inclusion in the class based on the local availability of foods.  And written recipes will be provided to those enrolled in the class.  This class is a not to be forgotten experience!

Finnish Tango – Ralph Tuttila

Ralph will include a brief discussion of the history of this dance in Finland. This is a couples social dance but no partner needed as we will rotate partners. Focus will be on basic steps with emphasis on posture, dance hold, and essentials that will enable student to dance tango with confidence and style .

Ensemble Classes

All classes that are designated as “Ensemble” classes are open to all, however the teacher will be focusing on the tunes that they have introduced to their instrument classes.  This is also the opportunity to rehearse as a group the tunes that you will perform at the Student concert on Thursday evening.  Guitars, mandolins and harmonium/keyboardists are welcome to accompany any of the ensemble classes.

Finnish Weaving - Eileen Sundquist

Exploring various portable weaving systems, participants will enjoy a relaxing introduction to the basics of cloth fabrication. Each student will receive one tablet-weaving kit and the opportunity to experiment with rigid-heddle, frame-, back-strap-, and four-harness looms.  There is a course materials fee for this class of $10.

Finnish Crafts - Marja Kilpela, Pete Olson

Ornament Making will be taught by Marja Kilpela and Wood Carving by Pete Olson.  These popular classes offer great techniques and beautiful souvenirs to take home from your camp experience.

Jam Sessions – All Instructors

Some feel this is the most fun part of Finnish Folk Music Camp.  After classes are over for the day impromptu groups get together and play music with each other or just listen and enjoy the music late into the evening.