3 QUESTIONS CHECKIN - Q&A with artist from Finland

Värttinä is a well-known contemporary folk music ensemble in Finland




29.01.2024 kl.09.13

In a series of short interviews we explore the thoughts various interested parties have on art experiences for young audiences. Her we hear from Mari Kaasinen who sings and plays kantele in the band Värttinä, which she co-founded with her sister Sari in 1983. Sari is no longer active in the band and other members of the band have joined later. Värttinä is a well-known contemporary folk music ensemble from Finland. The band is currently in the repertoire of Concert Centre Finland and touring in schools all over Finland.

Q1: What is the biggest difference between performing before an adult or a young audience? 

After all there is no big difference. An audience of children welcome you without any prejudice. A concert for children and adults alike consists of the very same things, the content has to be approriate for children of course and have a bit of education, but music is performed to children as professionally as to adults. 


Q2: What is your best memory from a performance before a young audience?   

Our music is not the so called ”mainstream” music, which would be familiar to you from hearing it from the radio everyday. It has been delightful to see that children have been listening to it and enjoying it, since a child audience starts working their own thing if they are not interested.  

The funniest memories that I have are from the times when children try to guess the names of traditional instruments. Somebody thought that a jouhikko (Bowed lyre) was like a mousetrap. 


Q3: What would you most wish for in the collaboration between you, the art provider and the school?   

Good communication between all of the parts is very important. It was great that in some school lessons they had discussed Värttinä and also at home.