Note: Svenska kulturfonden (Swedish-language cultural foundation in Finland) will pay 500 euros per workshop for up to 4 workshops per year per school, and up to 1000 euros for projects in health care settings. Applications are accepted year round and processed within a month. Click here to go directly to Svenska kulturfonden’s website.

Workshops held include: Sjundeå kindergarten, Österby elementary school (Ekenäs), Jakobs day care (Houtskär), Vårdö elementary school (Åland), Snicknäs kindergarten (Tenala), Culture, art & the elderly (Folkhälsans hus, Esbo), Prästkulla kindergarten (Raseborg), Folkhälsans seniorhus (Helsinki), Snappertuna elementary school, Västanfjärd elementary school, Junibacken day care (Sjundeå), Strandnäs elementary school (Mariehamn, Åland), Degerby kindergarten (Ingå), Björkebo day care (Ekenäs), Seminarieskolan special education (Ekenäs), Luksia nursing school (Nummela), Helsinki university teacher training, and Helsinki university preschool teacher training programs.

Here are examples of workshops. Let us know and we will create workshops to meet your needs and interests.

Workshop 1: The zitheroo in kindergartens, elementary schools and after-school programs
The goal of the course is to give participants practical experience with the zitheroo as an instrument and educational tool, and skills which may be useful in working with groups of children.

Interest in the zitheroo is growing and instruments are used in kindergartens, elementary schools, after school programs and hospital children’s wards. The zitheroo’s unique educational possibilities make it a good instrument for children aged 4-8, since the song sheets lie under the strings and clearly indicate which string to pluck next. Children can immediately play familiar melodies, which strengthens self confidence and contributes to an active interest in music making and a positive attitude toward music education.

The instrument has a pleasing, angelic sound, is small, light and tolerates rough handling. It can be played by children or adults as support for singing or be accompanied on guitar or piano. With the help of the zitheroo, children can learn to sing and play new songs, differentiate between notes, intervals and rhythmic elements, understand repeats and phrasing, etc. Zitheroos are much used for music making together with parents and on various occasions, even Christmas and end of year concerts.

Course contents:
During the course participants will have a chance to play melodies, parts, and rounds. We will look at how familiar songs can be used to teach rhythms and other elements of music. Participants will have the opportunity to lead a song, and those who play guitar or piano receive guidance on accompaniment techniques.

Participants will also learn to transcribe songs from any songbook to zitheroo song sheets with the help of the Transposer (no prior knowledge necessary!). We will make notation in the form of balls and compose our own songs, and also practice tuning the instruments with the help of an electronic tuner or free computer software or apps.

Workshop 2: The zitheroo as a tool in health care
The goal of the course is to provide practical information and experiences so that participants feel confident using the zitheroo and encouraging clients to make music.

The zitheroo has been popular in children’s wards and can even be played by bedridden patients. Zitheroos placed in delivery wards have also been in frequent use, fathers and older siblings playing on them and humming or singing for the newborn family member. (Families in Finland tend to stay several days, up to a week, in the hospital around the time of birth.) Many developmentally disabled persons and psychiatric patients have found joy in playing the zitheroo, as have individuals in nursing homes when physical limitations do not get in the way. If the instrument is kept in a common space it can be used by many, for example by visiting grandchildren. Staff can also use the zitheroo as support for sing alongs, without needing previous musical experience.

Course contents:
We play, sing and get acquainted with the zitheroo. If possible, we will then use the instruments in music making for and with patients.

We will consider the importance of supporting patients’ cultural life and identity in health care settings which are often fairly impersonal and unfamiliar to them. Since most participants will likely have had little experience leading music sessions, we will focus on opening up to our own sense of spontaneity and zest for life, vital in all music making.

Participants choose songs from any songbook and with the help of the Transposer transcribe them to zitheroo song sheets (no prior knowledge of music notation required). We will compose our own songs and also practice tuning the instruments with the help of an electronic tuner or free computer software or apps.