Tradition Meets Innovation

The case of folk music and higher education in the North

Kristiina Ilmonen by Jimmy Traskelin
Joshua Dickson by Joshua Dickson
Susanne Rosenberg by Sunniva Brynnel


Session 12

Chaired by Kristiina Ilmonen (Finland), Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department

with Joshua Dickson (USA/Scotland), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland;
Susanne Rosenberg (Sweden), Folk Music Department, Royal College of Music in Stockholm

This session offers insight into higher education in folk music performance in Finland, Sweden and Scotland, reflecting on educational models where historical styles meet creativity. While the old environments and modes of transmission for folk music have been rapidly vanishing in the West, a new platform for traditional music has been born: academia. A new generation of educated folk musicians has emerged.

Education has had a profound effect on the folk music scene. The emphasis on creativity has enabled the resulting music to be diverse, from traditional to experimental and everything in between. Research into traditional music has gained a new perspective as well – that of the highly skilled musician-composer. What works? How is it done? What are the challenges? Join us for a reflective session on higher education in folk music today and in the future.