(to find more about learning kulning in English, scroll to the bottom of this page)
Kularkraft - the powerful way to wellness
To kula (herding call) is to trust and make visible your inner strength.
It's to take space with your voice and to be here and now in mind and body.
Our world is turning faster and faster and many people become sick due to stress.
We have more and more need of situations where we can let go of our worries and
do something pleasurable and to access our inner power.
Kularkraft enables this by working with each and every ones unique voice potential.
Kulning is very powerful, it's an exiting cultural history and it´s a fun and releasing
journey of voice exploration!
What is kulning?
Kulning is an old communicating voice technique used in Swedish and Norwegian
summer farms long ago. It was a way for calling the cattle and communicating with
other people over long distances. You use a very high, strong and powerful voice
when you kular, and in a quiet forest it can be heard for kilometers.
Everyone can find a powerful voice, so you don't need to have a special singing voice
to learn how to kula. The important thing is to use your own unique voice,
that everyone has. Even men can kula, even though it's not so common.
My name is Karin Lindström Kolterud, and I have kulat for many years. I learned from
Agneta Stolpe from Dalarna in Sweden. I also discovered that I'm a carrier of tradition
as my Norwegian family stayed at summer farms at the beginning of the last century.
They used kulning as a working tool, calling for the animals. And as a folksinger today,
I keep that tradition alive. I have grown up with folk music around me, swedish and
norwegian, and I love to sing the old traditional songs, but I also make new ones.
I do kulning almost every day in the forest.
For me, in combination with natural experience, it's an extraordinary way of mindfulness.
I have worked for many years at the outdoor museum Skansen in Stockholm, and learned
how to make butter and cheese, as my grandmothers mother once did at the summer farm.
I have performed with kulning at Skansen, and in many other contexts. In 2011 I started to
give courses in kulning and folksong. Here are some thoughts from participants about me
as a teacher:
-"brilliant, inspiring, musically stimulating, creates curiosity, makes it simple- almost
-"Calm, clear, engaging and happy"
-"Confident, empathetic, competent and caring"
A research project
In 2015/16 I studied at the Royal College of Music.
The course was about how music and health could be connected to each other.
I made a study of how kulning could actually support wellness for people with fatigue
syndrome. It turned out to be a very positive result in relation to reduced levels of stress,
experience of inner strength and mindfulness, both in body and mind.
One participant said that kulning had given her more inner strength to manage other
areas of life.
Another one described kulning as therapy and grounding.
As an exhausted person she said that she needed some more than just relaxing.
She needed the power also to do someting. She said kulning had helped her with that!
A participant said that kulning had given her the ability to get in contact with her
Another said that kulning made her come into a rush of strong happiness.
Then, another said that for her, kulning was a way to personal growth and to find
her primal female power. She had experienced that, as a women today it wasn't
allowed to take so much place in the soundspace. She thought that it was liberating
to kula, and felt free when it suddenly was allowed to make some noise. :-)
Through kulning she had discovered a new pride in being a woman!
How could kulning work as wellness?
It is, in my experience, very empowering to discover a voice potential you maybe
didn't know you had!
We know that negative stress is not healthy. During long and serious conditions of
stress the body can be injured, for example the cardiovascular activity, immune system
and metabolism. But, fortunately the body also has got a system working against stress
with substances like calming oxytocin.
In research today, we know quite a lot about the connection between music and health.
It can actually be measured in several parameters in the body.
For example joyful singing gives good vibrations inside and can activate our own
morphine, beta-endorphin, and also increase the activity of immune system.
The anabolism is stimulated while singing and that can increase the resistance against
negative stress. The practice of mindfulness is also found to be an important clue for our
wellbeing. When you do kulning - it's a way to really be in your body. You have to be to
make these loud powerful sounds! You are also very concentrated, and that makes less
space for stressful thoughts.
My strategy as a teacher is to create a space for learning that is safe, relaxed, playful and
encouraging. The method I use when I teach kulning is very basic. We integrate the whole
body and work from scratch with thorough voice warming up. And slowly, in a playful way,
we can approach our powerful voices. I also use relaxing exercises which are inspired from
the art of qi gong, feldenkreis, sounding and mindfulness.
Summer farm traditions
The life at the summer farms has existed since the middle ages, mostly in Sweden and Norway.
In the old agrarian society "fäbodar" were used as summer farms where people took all
the animals (mostly cows and goats) during the summer time, so the cattle could find their food
in the forest. For the main part, women stayed at the summer farms, and took care of the milk
and made products like butter and different kind of cheese. It was a heavy work with long days,
but at the same time life at the summer farms seemed to have a sense of freedom.
The animals were treasures, and the owners often had a loving approach to their animals which
were given very beautiful names like; Tjärna, Gullrosa, Sköna and Sommarlöv
(Tarn, Goldenrose, Beauty and Summer leaf).
Courses in English
Mostly, I give courses for groups in Swedish, but non-Swedish speakers are also welcome,
as I can translate into English. If you are a hole non-Swedish speaking group we can arrange
a course in English if you are here in Sweden. I also offer private lessons in English.
Come to my place in beautiful Sörmland, Sweden and I´ll take you out in the forrest
to explore the art of kulning!
To see upcoming courses, please look under the heading "kurser",
or you can give me a call or send an e-mail:
+46 (0) 70-4611290