“The music is in me”

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

Karin Johansson, 61, is the music teacher for the whole of Boden. Since 1982, she has introduced music to the lives of countless eight-year-olds. “Music should be for everyone,” she says.

An average of 20 students in six classes, each year for 37 years. There are a whole lot of Bodensers that Karin Johansson has taught music through the years, year two and three in schools throughout the municipality.

– I have had many children. There are children who say: “You have had my mother in school”, haha. I hope that it is something positive they have experienced and that they have experienced something that they can use in life, she says.

Karin’s musical career began when she herself went to music school as a child and played the violin. This led to her getting a temporary job and starting teaching.

– Then you had to play recorder, otherwise you could not start. It was a very long time ago but then I had to write down all the children who played recorder and judge them and I thought “But my God, that can not be true – how stupid!”

When Karin got a permanent job in 1982, all the children in the municipality were visited by a music teacher together with the class teacher and that is still the case today. Over the years, there have been many changes and a milestone for Karin was when the music school became a cultural school and began to include dance and drama.

– That is the best thing that has happened, now we can have help and can do other things. You can play recorder a little, but you see, there are a lot of ukuleles hanging there on the wall, you can play guitar and other instruments, we have dance and drama and you can make small musicals. Together is always best, says Karin.

Karin Johansson2

Music for everyone

The business is now free. When you go to year four, you have to choose an instrument and the only thing that costs is if you rent an instrument, but it is not expensive.

– The most important thing is that the cultural school is for everyone, that no one is excluded due to finances or social background. It is also important that it is during school hours, otherwise you have to have someone who drives and remembers and then it is not for everyone anymore.

Music teachers often travel between different schools, but right now Karin works mostly at Prästholmsskolan, the special school and Pusslet, for autistic children. Here are children with a variety of nationalities and children with special needs. Meeting them on their terms is something that Karin is passionate about.

– All children should have the chance to play something. That’s super important, that’s my mission. Even children in special schools who have some kind of disability. No one should have to feel left out. You must try to adapt to the individual and where they are. That’s the case with children, but maybe a little extra at the special school.

Karin Johansson3

Growing as a driving force

Karin loves to see the children grow, that’s why she has stayed in the profession all these years.

– You get a lot back, like when you see these little children come to the microphone and dare to sing. That they can develop and dare, be a person who can do it

Two years ago, she and her colleagues started the El Sistema project at Prästholmsskolan. This means that all students in grades two and three may play an instrument (strings or blow instrument) twice a week during school hours, in groups or classes, and then hold a concert for the parents once a month. The concept comes from Venezuela where music is used as a way to keep children away from the streets.

Since she works with music all day, her ears need to rest when Karin comes home, but music will always have an important role in her life. She continues to play the violin and enjoys going to concerts and theater, as the cultural lover she is.

– The music is there, it’s like in me. #

Karin Johansson4


Karin Johansson / 61 years old, music teacher at Kulturskolan, Boden municipality.
Lives / Villa in Bodsvedjan.
Family / Husband, two children, four grandchildren.
Interests / Culture, travel with the motorhome, grandchildren.

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