Sarah Cummings was raised in the Finnish American community of South Paris, Maine. Her grandparents (paternal - Komulainen and Mikkonen; maternal - Haverinen and Heikkinen) emigrated from the Kuhmo region of Finland at the turn of the 20th century. Musical from a young age, she earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education and a master's degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Maine. She has been teaching in Maine's public schools since 1989 and has drawn on her years' experience teaching instrumental music to write this book. Sarah has become a respected member of the cohort of kantele players and teachers. She assisted with the English translation of musical language in Arja Kastinen's 11-string kantele guidebook, In Visible Vibration and has been recommended as a resource for information in the United States by kantele builders at the former Soitinrakentajat AmF in Leppavirta, Finland. Sarah also organized and hosted The Maine Kantele Institute (MKI), a week-long course for kantele playing and building in 2003, 2004, and 2008. Instruction was provided by professionals from Finland and attracted participants from all over the United States and Canada. Sarah's respect for her heritage and love of music have fostered her passion for the kantele and Finnish folk music. She again lives in a community deeply rooted in Finnish culture with her husband, Scott, also a musician and teacher. They are working to convert their 1880s barn and property into a venue for concerts, workshops, and other events, including a future Maine Kantele Institute!