Finnish American Folk School

The Finnish American Folk School (FAFS) at Finlandia University was founded in 2017 to promote knowledge of Finnish folk arts and traditional skills and ensure that they thrive for generations to come. The Folk School is based in the Jutila Center Fiber Studio and the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan. Classes, workshops, and performances are scheduled throughout the year, with many activities centered around the Copper Country’s Finnish festivals: Heikinpäivä (January), Juhannus/Midsummer (June), and Ruska (September).

We welcome workshop requests or proposals. Scholarships or assistantships are available. Please contact FAFS director Phyllis Fredendall with all questions, suggestions, or scholarship requests: To register please use the online registration link in each class description or call the Finnish American Heritage Center at 906-487-7549.

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COVID-19 Policies (1/14/22)

The FAFS requires that all instructors and participants be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. If you wish to submit proof of vaccination before an event you may email it to Alternatively, you may show a photo of your vaccine card with a photo ID when you arrive at the event.
All attendees must wear a well-fitted mask at all times during FAFS events. High-filtration masks such as N95s, KN95s, or KF94s are strongly recommended.
If you feel sick before a class or concert, please stay at home and contact us to arrange a refund. If the FAFS must cancel an event, registrants will be notified, and refunds will be issued.

Thank you for helping us to continue offering programs as safely as possible.

Winter 2022 Schedule


Laurel Premo
Saturday January 29, 2022
Workshop + Concert

Traditional Tune Workshop, 2-4pm EST
h American Heritage Center

Laurel Premo will lead a group hands-on instrumental workshop, performing and teaching a handful of traditional Finnish instrumental tunes and sharing information about their roots. Through working up these melodies, students may learn more about traditional dance, regional rhythms, and spark interest in further study. All instruments are welcome. Instruction will be done in the folk style, learning by ear, and no music-reading skills necessary. $20, advanced registration required. Cost $20, advanced registration required (scholarship available by request). Click here to register or call 906-487-7549. Proof of vaccination and masks required. 

Concert, 7pm EST – Finnish American Heritage Center

Tickets $10 in advance/$15 at the door/$7 for students. Click here to purchase advance tickets or call 906-487-7549. Proof of vaccination and masks required.

Premo is known for her rhythmically deep and rapt delivery of roots music, spanning the crossover of old-time and bluesy American traditions to darker Scandinavian sounds. Her solo performances dive deep into traditional and new fiddle music, presented on finger-style electric guitar, lap steel, and voice, musically revealing a bloom of underlying harmonic drones, minimalist repetition, and rich polyrhythms. She is a Michigan-based artist first introduced to folk music and traditional dance by her parents Bette & Dean Premo and later mentored by Joel Mabus (clawhammer banjo, Michigan), Arto Järvelä (fiddle, Finland), and Ånon Egeland (fiddle, Norway). Working with Nordic master musicians as an adult both anchored and honed artistic expression that was cultivated as she was raised in the folk culture of the Upper Midwest.

Emmi Kuittinen
Lament Singing Workshop [Online]

Saturday + Sunday February 12-13, 2022

Cost $50, advanced registration required. Click here to register or call 906-487-7549. Zoom link provided to registered students by email before the workshop. 

In this online workshop you will get to know the lament tradition of Karelia and Ingria. Laments were sung in parting situations and in the most important rites of human life, like marriage and death. They were used to convey feelings of grief and yearning, and occasionally even those of gratitude. There were also laments for everyday life situations to relieve sorrow.

This two-day workshop will include a lecture on the lament tradition and the opportunity to learn to lament yourself with exercises. You will also write a small lament of your own that can be written in English. No experience with lamenting, singing, or Finnish or Karelian language is required. Please bring some paper and pen for notes and a cloth or a tissue to support your lamenting. Students should have access to an internet connection and a device that can support Zoom. For questions about technology, please contact

Emmi Kuittinen is a Finnish folk singer and musician who specializes in the Karelian and Ingrian singing traditions, especially laments. She performs laments both solo and with ensembles and has combined laments with other arts like dance, modern circus and stand up. Her own ensemble Emmi Kuittinen & Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri (the Orchestra of Eternal Longing) has given performances about Karelian death rituals, and released their first album, Itken ja laulan (I Weep and Sing) in autumn 2020. The album was nominated as the Ethno Album of the Year in Finland. Emmi is educated as a Master of Music, Music Pedagogue and Community Musician. Besides her artistic work, Emmi gives lament courses and teaches folk singing.


Band Weaving for All Levels

Saturdays February 5th and 12th 1-4pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105

This class is open to makers of all levels. Beginners will design and weave a colorful strap using an inkle loom. Experienced weavers will learn the pick up technique to weave words and patterns. Instructor: Phyllis Fredendall. Limit 9 students.

Cost: $60 Click here to register
Class fee includes cotton warp for a 4-6 foot band and other materials. Looms are available for use with a deposit.

Beginning Weaving

5 weeks: Tuesdays Feb. 8th 15th  22nd and March 15th and 22nd   2-5 pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105
Students will learn to design and weave beautiful cloth on 4 and 8 harness looms.  Loom preparation, yarn selection, color choices, and pattern drafting will be covered.  For all levels.  Students should be motivated to create! Open to ages 15 and up. Instructor: Phyllis Fredendall. Limit 6 students.

Cost: $150.00 Click here to register
Class fee includes all yarns and equipment.


Beginning Knitting

Saturday February 26th, 10am-12pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105

This class is for learners ages 12 and up who have no experience knitting. Students will learn to hold knitting needles and yarn, cast on, and knit stitch. Instructor: Clare Zuraw. Limit 10 students.

Cost: $20 Click here to register
Class fee includes yarn for samples. Students should bring their own set of US10 straight needles. If you would like tips about purchasing needles, email the instructor before the workshop at

Creative Crochet

Weds. Feb. 9, 16, and 23, 10 am-12pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105

This class is open to makers of all levels, including beginners, returners, and experienced crocheters. Learn or review basic stitches and how to use and combine them to create original garments and functional or sculptural objects.  Class will also cover yarn selection and blending and structural experimentation.  Hooks are available for loan or students may bring a couple of hooks sizes F – K. Instructor: Phyllis Fredendall. Limit 10 students

Cost: $60 Click here to register
Class fee includes materials.

Drop Spindle for Beginners

Saturday March 19, 2-4pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105

Learn to spin your own yarn! This class is for beginners ages 12 and up who want to learn to spin their own yarn using a drop spindle. Students will learn to handle fiber and use a top whorl drop spindle to make yarn singles. Instructor: Clare Zuraw

Cost: $20 Click here to register
The cost of this class includes fiber and a drop spindle for use during class.

Stranded Colorwork Knitting

Saturdays April 2 + 9, 1-3pm EST
Jutila Center Room 105

This class is for knitters ages 12 and up who can already comfortably knit and purl and are interested in learning stranded colorwork knitting. Students will learn how to hold and tension their yarn when working with multiple colors, how to follow a colorwork chart, troubleshooting, and tips for finishing colorwork projects. Instructor: Clare Zuraw. Limit 6 students

Cost: $50 Click here to register
The cost of the class includes yarn for samples. Students should bring their own set of US8 needles, either circular or straight depending on individual preference. If students have questions about a specific project or chart they should contact the instructor before the workshop at

Beginning Jouhikko Online

4 weeks – Wednesdays April 6-27th, 8-9pm
Online – video link provided to students upon registration

This class is an introduction to playing the jouhikko, a traditional Finnish bowed lyre with horsehair strings. Students will learn how to hold and tune the instrument, use the bow, and play scales and a simple tune. Classes will take place via group video call (Zoom) and students should have access to a device with Zoom, an internet connection that supports video calls, and the ability to record, send, and watch short videos. No experience necessary. If local students do not own a jouhikko, rental instruments will be available for $20 per month and a fully refundable $120 deposit. Instructor: Clare Zuraw. Limit 5 students. Cost: $50 Click here to register




Fall 2021 Classes + Workshops

Inkle Weaving
Beginning Weaving
Weavers’ Open Studio
Dye Studio Foundations
Beginning Spinning
5-String Kantele for Beginners
Jouhikko for Beginners Online
Colorwork Knitting
Patchwork Birchbark Sewing Kit
Wool Feltmaking
Nordic Wood Shaving Ornaments
Beginning Broom Making