Laura Tapiola, student 2016-2017 and 2019-2020

The highlight of my first year of study was a gig in Paris. We set off with a group from Sámi music academy. The same occasion featured, among other things, a high school theater group, craftsmen and literary artists. The event marked Finland's 100th anniversary. I never would have thought I'd make such a trip to Paris! The experience was impressive and it was great to be traveling with the group from North. All in all, the first year at the Sámi Music Academy was a great time, and based on that, I went on to study for the second year.

Family yoiks are important

Finding family yoiks has been important. Yoik was found by interviewing relatives and interviewing other knowledgeable people. In addition to family yoiks, there were other yoiks from distant relatives. Some of them felt so distant that I did not take them. Still, learning them was fun. I have since submitted a yoiks that I found and used them in the second year of my studies at the Academy. Yoik and traditional music are the unifying force of the Sámi people: ours.

Teaching great benefit

Here in Utsjoki there is a great school and it is a pleasure to be able to use it. The Academy’s teaching is of great benefit to the working life. I’m working with children and through my work I have been able to transfer the yoiking tradition to children. It is no longer self-evident that in kindergarden you practice yoik. This has a big impact and at the Academy you will notice how the yoik has revived. I do not plan further music career: I’m here now, and I work day at a time. I do not know about the future, but by teaching children at work I will move traditional music forward. Music education is close to my heart.

Identify own resources and potential

Studying at the Music Academy also opened new doors for identifying one’s own resources and potential. The use of sound and its possibilities and versatility opened my eyes. What’s more, its challenges surprised me: what kind of challenges you can have with the use of voice!

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