Sommelo Courses 2022

On Sommelo's diverse courses and workshops you get to immerse yourself in the world of folk music with the guidance of professionals and experience the joys of singing and playing together! On the varied courses there's something for everyone, from children to adults and beginners to the experienced!

Kora Course

Teaching languages: Finnish and English.

Originating from the area of The Gambia, southern Senegal and Guinea Bissau in West Africa, the kora is a fascinating stringed instrument with a beautiful sound. Playing the kora is becoming a more and more popular hobby in western countries. This is the first kora course organised at Sommelo Ethno Music Festival.

Teaching sessions will be run in small groups following the traditional methodology, without using sheet music. There are no skill requirements – we welcome anyone from absolute beginners to players with years of experience. We will find an appropriate challenge for everyone. The important thing is that we learn to play beautiful music together!

Now settled in Finland, Cheick Cissokho comes from a Senegambian family of traditional musicians. All men in the family are trained from an early age to become professional kora players. This beautiful and still flourishing tradition goes back to centuries. In Finland, Cheick performs in various ensembles, teaches groups of kora enthusiasts regularly, runs kora workshops and gives kora lessons e.g. at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

Resident in Kuhmo, Gergely Várkonyi has played the kora as a hobby for eleven years. His teachers have been Adam and Josh Doughty (The Kora Workshop, UK), Soundjoulou Cissoko (Guinea-Conakry) and Pa Bobo Jobarteh (The Gambia). Gergely has gained kora teaching experience as a member of The Kora Workshop tuition team in France and the WOMAD festival in the UK.

By attending a course, you get free entry to all events at Sommelo. Signing up to Sommelo courses ends on 10.6.2022 . Enquiries at or, in urgent cases, by phone (00 358 40 179 8600).

A second attendee from the same family will get a 50% discount of the course fee.


Folk Dancing Course

The course, led by Tuomas, dances folk dance and the material rooted in it with a relaxed atmosphere. The focus is on folk-like pair dances, but there is also plenty to do with many other dance themes. The course also rehearses a presented set consisting of learned material. Enthusiasts from all skill levels are suitable, the most important thing in the course is to enjoy the joy of dancing and the atmosphere of doing it!

Afrikan Dancing Course

Theme: To Dance is human
 Dance is human thought and feeling expressed through the body: it is at once organized physical movement, language, and a system of rules appropriate in different social situations.
 In Africa dance is part of life, it is observed openly in our daily activities, there are several dance styles related to everyday life, among the styles are Warrior dances, Working dance, Harvesting dances, Ceremony dances, Ritual dances, Hunting dances and initiation dances.  In this course we will have five days of four hours each day, the course will involve body movements, singing and drumming, you can be only a drummer or a dancer or both.

Runo-song Basic Course

Price for an active student 85 €, passive student 20 € (passive student who pays the fee of an active student in another poetry singing course can listen to another poetry singing course as a passive student).
The course, led by several teachers, studies the basics and different styles of poetry singing.

Näppäri Course

In Sommelo’s Näppäricourse, led by Mauno Järvelä, everyone can play! The music played on the course consists of traditional folk music tunes and new, composed folk music. You can join both beginners and advanced players, and players of all ages are welcome!
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All course fees include access to all Sommelo events! Signing up to Sommelo courses ends on 10.6.2022 Enquiries or urgent cases 040 179 8600 Another courser from the same family -50%!

International Kantele Course

At the Sommelo International Kantele Course we will get to know various kantele playing styles and traditions. Since Kuhmo is the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2023, the course will focus on the Finno-Ugric kantele playing traditions. Teaching takes place in small groups formed according to the student’s backgrounds. Individual lessons are also available for an additional fee. Participants are welcome of all levels and with all types of kanteles. The teachers will be Hanna Ryynänen (Finland) and Eva Väljaots (Estonia).