Ethno Estonia youth music camp has for more than two decades built a (g)local community, successfully bridging borders between formal, non-formal and informal education in the country. The camp itself links all Estonian institutions and NGOs connected with the folk music with Viljandi Folk Music Festival and gathers people of diverse ages, cultural, musical and educational backgrounds. The purpose of this pilot case study is to explore the significance and impact of the Ethno Estonia experience for participants and volunteers-participants, as well as for the local community.
The report is based on the historical background, people’s experiences and theoretical insights from democratic music pedagogies, community music and service-learning. Using qualitative methodological approach, the research examines the impact that Ethno has on the local community,
participants’ musical, personal and social development, as well as on the participant-volunteers’ development, who through service-learning connect organizers and artistic leaders’ teams with the group of participants. Besides connection between folk music university and music schools which send their students to the Ethno Estonia camp (and vice versa), this report presents narratives of four participants. As trained classical musicians with different cultural identities, each participant challenges themselves
by entering the Ethno world of experiment, curiosity and sharing. The data is collected through participant observation, individual and group semi-structured interviews, audio-visual documentation (July 2019) and follow-up evaluation after the camp (September/October 2019). The research suggests that Ethno Estonia is an example of good practice, pointing towards the positive development of ‘ethno-ecosystems’ in the local communities.