In a time where borders between people appear to be strengthening, music projects that enable positive interactions between people from diverse places serve a vital need. Ethno Sweden, the oldest and largest of Jeunesses Musicale International’s folk music programmes, provides such an opportunity. This weeklong residential music camp aims at connecting young folk musicians from around the world by providing a space where they can learn traditional music practices from each other.
This research is placed at a junction between ethnomusicology, community music and pedagogy as it addresses concepts of identity formation in relation to musical encounters that are facilitated by an artistic leader through a particular pedagogical approach. Based on this case study I suggest that through the creation of an atmosphere of openness and respect, participants at Ethno camps are enabled to learn from one another in such a manner that it changes their understandings about the world around them and develops personal confidence and happiness.
After a brief overview of the literature and an explanation of the methodological approach, findings will be explored within the Ethno-research strands of inquiry: experience, pedagogy and reverberations. The experience of the camp is explored by investigating how the organization of Ethno Sweden creates an atmosphere of openness and respect. Following that the pedagogical approach of the camp is interrogated through a consideration of the formally organized group workshops and the informal jamming sessions. Finally, reverberations are explored by considering the impact the camp has had on the lives of its participants, as they explain how they attribute changes in their lives to attending Ethno camps.