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Soiva 2024: What to Expect

Let’s Make Music Together!
July 15-21 at Gwinwood Retreat Center
in Lacey, Washington

Soiva 2024 offers youths aged 12-17 the opportunity to unlock their creative potential in a supportive and nurturing environment. Campers will develop skills for creative expression through singing, playing instruments, lyric writing, improvisation and various musical games and activities. Students will spend their time learning how to share, listen, collaborate, and create with others.

Instructors Artur Uronen and Kata Vuoristo come to us from Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy’s Global Music Program:

“The Global Music Department embraces pluralistic, fluid approaches to sound, music, culture and identity, creating an educational environment where musicians are supported to develop their own unique voices, exchange and merge practices and create new music through intercultural collaboration.”

The instructors’ pedagogy leans on a global approach of inclusivity, embodiment, co-creation and improvisation—experiencing music through body and movement, voice, creativity and contribution. Improvisation is used as a vehicle for intercultural conversation, embracing and giving space to diversity.

Soiva 2024 is not a classical music camp limited to chamber musicians (piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute, etc.), but rather provides young musicians from any musical background the opportunity to explore and cultivate their musical talents.

This camp will provide an immersive environment in which to create their own music, learn new skills, and experience the joy of musical collaboration.

Soiva 2024 will include a variety of workshops led through group exercises and musical games that involve movement, rhythm, body percussion and singing. Additional workshops will explore the subjects of composing, arranging, and performing music with the focus on telling a story using each one’s own, unique voice.

The students are encouraged to collaborate and take part in the various creative processes all while ensuring that it happens in a safe space.

The groups will work together as a small community of music makers – sometimes all together, sometimes in smaller groups, or even each one by themselves. The students will learn how to adapt to the ever-changing nature of music and the world surrounding it, all while carrying the living legacy and wealth of each one’s own cultural and musical background.

Students are welcome to bring their own instruments; however, instruction will not focus on technical mastery of one’s instrument. Rather, we will be offering various tools for the kids to create their own music (both individually and in groups), and practice using their unique skills and voice for artistic expression.

If your child does not have experience playing a musical instrument, there will be opportunities to try new instruments such as ukulele, percussion instruments, guitar and more. We will also provide the opportunity to create music electronically using computers, music-making apps, looping stations, the campers’ own cell phones, etc.

Soiva offers the opportunity to learn and develop Finnish language skills through music. While instruction will be in English, some of the songs and lyrics will be Finnish. Soiva is not limited to one genre of music, but will source inspiration from Finnish folk music, other world music genres, Western popular music and more.

Kata Vuoristo on Soiva 2024

QUESTIONS? E-Mail Soiva Coordinator Maria Männistö at:

During Soiva Camp, students will participate in:

Daily Music-Making Together:

Our morning sessions will include the whole group of campers together. Focused on creativity and collaboration, these sessions will include rhythm games, improvisation, learning songs, co-creating music, sharing, and more.

The camp will be divided into 2 or 3 ensembles based on experience/skill level and interest. This will allow for more focused instruction and honing specific skills.

Small Group Ensembles:

Your child will further have the opportunity to form small ensembles or “bands” in which to work on their own projects and pieces. While instructors and counselors will always be available to assist as needed, these band rehearsals will not be directed by instructors. Rather, this small ensemble work will provide the opportunity to practice self-guidance, collaboration, leadership and initiative while writing and practicing songs together.

Artur Uronen on Soiva 2024

“Open Mic” Sessions:

There will be multiple times throughout the week for small ensembles and individuals to share their progress with the full group, whether by the campfire, at the outdoor amphitheater, or other venues at the retreat property.

Outdoor Activities:
The Gwinwood Retreat Center offers ample space to enjoy summer recreation activities. Located on 29 acres of forested land, open meadows, and undisturbed wetlands on beautiful Hicks Lake, there will be opportunities for swimming, canoeing, outdoor field sports, walking the labyrinth, singing by the campfire and more.

Performance Showcase:

On our final day, we will head to the National Nordic Museum in Seattle for a performance showcasing all of the music we’ve learned, created and practiced throughout the week. This performance will be free and open to the public, courtesy of the museum.

Private Lesson (optional):
Campers have the option to take one 30-minute private lesson during the week with one of the instructors. Instruction will be available in singing, piano, guitar, bass guitar and percussion/drums, as well as music production, recording and mixing.

QUESTIONS? E-Mail Soiva Coordinator Maria Männistö at:


Maria Männistö, Soiva Coordinator