I have been playing the Swedish Nyckelharpa solidly for five years now – not a long time! However, keep in mind that previous to this nyckelharpa epiphany, I have been a professional classical violinist for over 30 years. In addition to performing, I have also taught many violin students in solo, chamber and orchestral settings and continue to do so.
If you would like to chat about how to get started with the nyckelharpa or indeed the violin, would like lessons, or are interested in a workshop situation, please get in touch with me; I am always happy to help!
Classical Training is pretty rigorous, and like many other disciplines it does take blood sweat and tears! Over my career as a violinist I have found that I can apply this training to other genres of music, including playing the nyckelharpa!
There is of course some crossover when learning to play the nyckelharpa from the classical violin. However, I found that there was a great deal I had to learn when approaching the Swedish Nyckelharpa. I really was a babe in the woods! Not only are there MAJOR technical things to address in the left and right hands, but there is also absorbing the Swedish repertoire (yes, it is VAST) which has been an absolute revelation to me. Indeed, studying Swedish Traditional Music has actually made me a better Classical Musician 🙂
Through extremely hard work, intense study with many incredible teachers, and my love for this amazing instrument, I now find myself starting to teach others what I have learned through this amazing journey I embarked on in 2015. My guinea pig for teaching children has been my son Eli, and working with him has been rewarding and a little bit challenging! Having your Mum as your teacher isn’t always easy let’s just say 😉 But he’s learned many tunes now, and is starting to move to the big nyckelharpa! I have a couple of child size instruments made by Kjell Lundvall at Nyckelharpsverkstan.se.
I have given workshops for The Children’s Program at The Boxwood Music Festival https://boxwood.org/in-person/canada/, taught beginners with my colleague Vicki Swan at The Harpas for Halsway Festival in the UK, (www.swan-dyer.co.uk) given one on one coaching privately and online, and have also been teaching Swedish repertoire at the Halifax Institute of Traditional and Early Music: https://tradandearlymusic.ca