Welcome to the nyckelharpa family! We are many passionated players, all over the world.
I love to teach and share my perspective in how to use this instrument in a fun and effective way. My philosophy in teaching the nyckelharpa and the Swedish repertoire of tunes is drawn from how its been taught, in oral tradition, between generations of fiddlers/nyckelharpa players in Sweden for hundreds of years. I teach ”by ear” and (nearly) only use sheet music when looking at original archive material with no sounding/recorded source.
I love to share my passion for this instrument, to dive deep into the many dimensions in how to master the skills and special techniques that make a nyckelharpa sound like a nyckelharpa.
I have my root and deep knowledge in the music of Uppland and Västmanland and with this as my home base I love exploring other traditions and genreas.
I teach regularly at workshops all around Europe and currently also as one of the main teachers at the one year course at the center of nyckelharpa Eric Sahlström Institutet in Uppland and at Sjöviks folkhögskola located in Dalarna.
I am also part of the online teaching team at "The Folkmusic Academy" that you can join and become a member by visiting their web page www.thefolkmusicacademy.com
I have experience and training in yoga and mental training which I use to keep a holistic perspective, thinking of the body and the instrument as one unit, giving a more ergonomically way of playing this rather heavy instrument. You can read more about this at nyckelharpa.eu
Some words from students
”Josefina’s enthusiasm is impossible to match! She draws from her training and experience in yoga and physical dynamics, to teach more ergonomic nyckelharpa playing. She is very perceptive about the strengths and weaknesses of all levels of players, and is able to express fluently how each player can make changes to improve their sound. She is generous with her time and comes well-prepared with written and recorded examples. Her emphasis on nuance, energy, expression, and dancibility is all taught with sensitivity, humor and kindness.”
Marilee Cowan, Arizona
”Josefina's way of teaching and explaining is great. She is not only able to explain why and how a technique works on the nyckelharpa, but also how the body mechanics behind the technique work. Her understanding of the human body really comes into play here and makes her explanations super-easy to understand. Of course, her explanations about tunes, music etc. are excellent, too. Her focus and attention on her students and their playing is unparalleled, both inside and outside the classroom. What's more, she is also an incredibly lovely person and a brilliant player! sIf you have the chance to participate in one of Josefina's workshops: do it, I can highly recommend it!”
Björn Kaidel, Germany
“Josefina Paulson is one of the best young players and teachers of the nyckelharpa tradition in Sweden. I met her for the first time at the Eric Sahlström Institute in the summer of 2015 and instantly knew I could learn a lot more from her. I was very fortunate to receive a cultural grant from the Canada Council to study intensively with Josefina for a week in September 2016. She has a true passion and intensity of expression when she plays the nyckelharpa and it is infectious. For one week she took a microscope to my playing and she has opened my eyes to the possibilities of sound and expression on this fantastic instrument. I am a classically trained violinist, working in the orchestral word and the nyckelharpa technique (particularly the bow) is very different that what I first assumed. I should have assumed nothing! Josefina clearly showed me the difference in playing technique, and gave me specific exercises to practise on my nyckelharpa, and I have to say this has made ALL the difference for me. She gave me many tools to take home to Canada, and this is exactly what I need to significantly improve on the nyckelharpa. I will definitely be coming back to Sweden in future, and I hope I have the good fortune to study with her again. She is an inspiration!”
Kirsty Money, Halifax, NS, Canada