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Research and Development


Centria UAS RDI, Music Education, and Kaustinen Folk Music Institute started collaborating on projects in 2018 with funding from the Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia. The cooperation has resulted in three projects focusing on the continuity of living heritage in our communities. We are building an ecosystem of living heritage.

Centria is the only university of applied sciences in Finland where it is possible to become a folk music pedagogue (Bachelor’s degree). The community of folk music students in our country is small but vibrant. It is good to build a broader presence and visibility around the degree. Intangible cultural heritage, or living heritage, has become a strong core of cooperation in music education.

Our first joint project aimed to make intangible cultural heritage and related know-how a regional strength factor in Central Ostrobothnia. We are still on the same shared path, although we look further afield without forgetting our home region. Good cooperation has resulted in three new joint projects.

We have successfully attracted funding for solid living heritage projects in our region and internationally. This has been boosted by the inclusion of the Kaustinen violin tradition on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2021 and the solid ongoing collaboration with the Folk Music Institute.

The largest of our projects is ICH North—passing on our musical heritage, funded by Interreg Aurora. In this project, we are working with partners across borders in the northern regions of Finland, Sweden, and Norway. In five working packages over three years, we will focus on safeguarding practices, building an international MOOC, activating music communities, creating business partnerships, and a digital story map showcasing the musical heritage of the project area.

With strategic SKAPA funding from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland (Svenska kulturfonden), the Folkmusikforum i Österbotten (Folkmusic Forum in Ostrobothnia) project has been launched to strengthen educational opportunities for those interested in folk music by developing new bilingual study paths and increasing the provision of continuing education. We share the primary responsibility for this project with Yrkeshögskolan Novia for the two years of operation.

Funded by the Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia, the project Näppärästi eteenpäin! Folk music tradition as part of Central Ostrobothnia’s cultural attraction was launched in January. The year-long project will create a cluster of expertise around Näppäri School and Centria UAS, focusing on folk music tradition. This will strengthen regional identity and thus develop the region’s attractiveness.

How will the projects strengthen the education sector?

Music is part of our lives in many ways, but as an industry, it is part of a small cultural sector. Folk music tradition goes back to a long history and has been safeguarded in communities to this day, often by word of mouth. Folk music educators are a vital part of this continuum. Being part of folk music networks through projects provides a new perspective for students and builds a small collegium into a much stronger one. Currently, our students are involved in projects such as teaching interns in workshops and thesis writers. At Centria, we want to increase student involvement in project planning and activities to create a sense of belonging and participation.

What is living heritage?

Intangible cultural heritage is also known as living heritage. This concept perhaps better describes how heritage lives over time. Living heritage can include performing arts, social practices, rituals and ceremonies, oral traditions, music, dance, or skills and practices. These communal things and phenomena remain alive and transformed from one generation to the next.

What living heritage do you carry on in your own life?

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More about intangible cultural heritage

Annika Mylläri

Annika Mylläri

Head of Music Pedagogy Program

Project Specialist