Degree requirements / Sibelius Academy: Level descriptions, jazz music, folk music and pop/jazz

JAZZ MUSIC, INSTRUMENT

LEVEL D
LEVEL C
LEVEL B
LEVEL A

JAZZ MUSIC, COMPOSITION

LEVEL C
LEVEL B
LEVEL A

FOLK MUSIC

DEGREE PROGRAMME IN MUSIC EDUCATION ALL INSTRUMENTS (also the voice), LEVEL C
DEGREE PROGRAMME IN MUSIC EDUCATION ALL INSTRUMENTS (also the voice), LEVEL D

POP/JAZZ

VOCAL MUSIC, LEVEL D
OTHER INSTRUMENTS THAN VOICE, LEVEL D                             
PRACTICAL ACCOMPANIMENT, LEVEL D
VOCAL MUSIC, LEVEL C
OTHER INSTRUMENTS THAN VOICE, LEVEL C       
ALL INSTRUMENTS, LEVEL B
ALL INSTRUMENTS, LEVEL A

 

JAZZ MUSIC, INSTRUMENT

LEVEL D

Performance exam

  • At least one prepared work in varied tempos and modes from each of the following categories, a total of 6:
    • One jazz standard
    • One jazz piece from the 1940s to the present day (bop, modal, free, etc.)
    • One piece with Latin/rock/ethnic influence

All pieces must be played/sung from memory.

  • Scales and chords
  • Sight reading
  • A solo improvisation

Assessment

  1. Discussion on the performance  with the teacher
  2. Verbal feedback from the jury and an evaluation on a scale of 0−5
     

PIANO, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances            
A. Performances chosen by the student
1. Solo performance on piano
-in tempo or rubato
- melody and accompaniment
2. Performance with a rhythm section
- in tempo
- melody, an accompaniment and improvisation
B. Sight reading tasks from the jury
1. Solo performance on piano from a lead sheet
- melody and harmonies
- in tempo
2. Performance with a rhythm section from a lead sheet
- melody, harmonies, and improvisation according to the student's skills
- in tempo

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.
 

VOCAL, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances           
1. Two prepared pieces in different tempos and modes
2. One sight-reading test, including text

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.

DRUMS, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances           
1. A prepared performance with an ensemble
2. Sight reading tasks
3. Accompaniments with a rhythm section

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.

DOUBLE OR ELECTRIC BASS, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances           
Performance examination:
1. Accompaniments with a rhythm section:
- a prepared task
- Sight reading task
2. Accompaniment a prima vista; individual task
3. Prepared solo

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.

GUITAR, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances           
Performance examination:
1. Accompaniments with a rhythm section:
- prepared task
- sight reading task
2. Accompaniment a prima vista; individual task
3. Prepared solo

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.

HAMMOND-ORGAN, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances            
1. Performances chosen by the student
A. Solo performance on the Hammond organ
- in tempo or rubato
- melody and harmonies
B. A performance with the drums and guitar/piano/wind instrument
- in tempo
- melody + bass line, an improvised solo, and accompaniment by the soloist
2. Sight reading tasks from the jury
A. Solo performance from a lead sheet
- in tempo or rubato, according to the jury's instructions
- melody and harmonies
B. A performance with the drums and guitar/piano/wind instrument from a lead sheet
- in tempo
- melody + bass line, an improvised solo and accompaniment of the soloist

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.
 

WIND INSTRUMENTS, SECONDARY INSTRUMENT LEVEL

Performances           
1. Two prepared pieces: One of the pieces must be a ballad and performed with an accompanying ensemble
2. Sight reading tasks

Assessment
Assessed by a jury on a scale of 0−5.

 

LEVEL C

Performance (other than drums, percussion)
1. A total of 20 prepared pieces, including one blues structure, one "I Got Rhythm" structure and one ballad structure, and a minimum of three of the following from each category:

  • One jazz standard
  • One jazz piece from the 1940s to the present day (bop, modal, free, etc.)
  • One piece with Latin/rock/ethnic influence
    All pieces must be played/sung from memory.

For vocal studies, the programme must include pieces both with lyrics and without.

2. Scales and chords (memorised)
3. Sight reading
4. A solo improvisation

Drums
1.  Prepared accompaniment for a total of 20 pieces, including one blues structure, one "I Got Rhythm" structure and one ballad structure, and a minimum of three  from each of the following categories:

  • One jazz standard
  • One jazz piece from the 1940s to the present day (bop, modal, free, etc.)
  • One piece with Latin/rock/ethnic influence.

All pieces must be played/sung from memory.

2. Sight reading
3. A solo improvisation
4. Basic technique exercises selected by the jury

Percussion
1. Prepared accompaniment for works of different styles (rumba, samba, bossa nova, calypso, be-bop, rhythm & blues, free jazz, etc.) by different types of bands (small bands, big band, Latin American group forms, etc.)
2. Basic technique exercises
3. Sight reading

Assessment

I  Discussion on the performance  with the teacher
II  Verbal feedback from the jury and evaluation on a scale of 0−5

Preceding courses
Jazz rhythm, participation in a jazz ensemble for a minimum of one academic year
One-year repertoire workshop, one year of academic study in the history of jazz

 

LEVEL B

Performance in two parts:
1.  An artistic programme of the student's own choice 15–20 min.
2.  A total of 30 prepared pieces, including one ballad, one piece with modal sequences, one up-tempo piece and one piece with frequent tonal changes, and at least four from each of the following categories:

  • One jazz standard,
  • One jazz piece from the 1940s to the present day (bop, modal, free, etc.)
  • One piece with Latin/rock/ethnic influence.

All pieces must be played/sung from memory.
Any works by the student are included in the first part. For course B, the student cannot choose pieces already performed in course C.

3. Sight readings
4.  A free improvisation demonstration with a band chosen by the board
5. Improvisation by ear on a chord progression of a medium-tempo jazz standard

Assessment
I  Discussion on the performance with the teacher
II  Verbal feedback from the jury and evaluation on a scale of 0−5

Preceding courses
Main instrument Level C performance with min. grade Good (3/5); Ear Training 1; Harmony 1; and participation in a jazz ensemble and repertoire workshop for a minimum of two years; History of Jazz Music.

 

LEVEL A

A 75–120 min. concert programme

Assessment
I  Discussion on the performance with the teacher
II  Verbal feedback from the jury and an evaluation on a scale of Pass/Fail

Preceding courses
Secondary instrument piano / a pianist's secondary instrument unless it has been included in the Bachelor's degree or an equivalent, and all the compulsory study modules of the degree as outlined in the individual study plan. If the Bachelor's degree has been taken at another educational institution, a Level B performance may be required to prove the student's proficiency, at the department head's discretion.

 

JAZZ MUSIC, COMPOSITION

LEVEL C

  • One composition in blues structure
  • One composition in song form (AABA, ABAC etc.)
  • Ballad
  • One bebop theme
  • One hard bop theme
  • Composition with modal sequences
  • Composition according to a stylistic pattern
     
  • Planning and implementation of a set of compositions, including a minimum of four works from the categories mentioned above (concert or recording, min.  40 minutes).

Assessment
Verbal feedback from the jury and evaluation on a scale of 0¬–5

Preceding courses
Jazz Harmony 1, Arrangement 1, Jazz Ear Training 2, Jazz Rhythm, one year of studies in the History of Jazz.

 

LEVEL B

Instruction and study

1. Class attendance and completion of  assignments

  • Composition with irregular meter in the jazz/rock fusion style
  • One through-composed work
  • One composition based on simple meter
  • One recomposed work
  • One atonal work
  • One atonal (free) theme
  • Composition according to a stylistic pattern

2. Planning and implementation of a set of compositions, including a minimum of three works from the categories mentioned above (concert or recording, min. 40 minutes), at least two of which are for a medium ensemble (min. 10 instruments)

Assessment
Verbal feedback from the jury and evaluation on a scale of 0−5

Preceding courses
Arrangement 2, Jazz Harmony 2, Jazz Ear Training 3, Level C graded at least "good" (3/5), History of Jazz Music.

 

LEVEL A

Planning and implementation of a concert with the student's own compositions (75–120 minutes)

Assessment
Verbal feedback from the jury and evaluation on a scale of pass/Fail

Preceding courses
Secondary instrument piano / a pianist's secondary instrument unless it has been included in the Bachelor's degree or an equivalent, and all the compulsory study modules of the degree as outlined in the individual study plan. If the Bachelor's degree has been taken at another educational institution, a Level B performance may be required to prove the student's proficiency, at the department head's discretion.

 

FOLK MUSIC

DEGREE PROGRAMME IN MUSIC EDUCATION ALL INSTRUMENTS (also the voice), LEVEL C

Objective
Students will:

  • master playing and singing styles and the associated repertoire of both the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times;
  • examine technical and stylistic possibilities of an instrument
  • develop their skills in style-specific composition and improvisation
  • creatively apply the traditions

Requirements
A concert of about 45 minutes will be presented with music from the Middle Ages and early modern times and the student's own style-specific compositions and improvisations. Part of the performance can be accompanied.

Assessment
Assessment by the jury: Pass/Fail

 

DEGREE PROGRAMME IN MUSIC EDUCATION ALL INSTRUMENTS (also the voice), LEVEL D

Objective
Students will:

  • master the basic technique of playing the instrument
  • become familiar with different playing styles and types of melodies
  • learn about the history and structure of the instrument
  • obtain the skills for leading a folk music ensemble that will include the student's instrument

Requirements
Program performance of 20 minutes: a repertoire on the chosen instrument, compiled by the student, with the duration of 20 minutes.

Assessment
Evaluation by the teacher and a colleague: Pass/Fail

 

POP/JAZZ

VOCAL MUSIC, LEVEL D

Objective
To broaden vocal range, develop vocal techniques, and to analyse Afro-American phrasing.

Learning outcomes
Students will:

  • become familiar with their individual voice as an instrument
  • build a strong and sonorous voice with an extensive range
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of text analysis and the basics of interpretation
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the special characteristics of and phrasing in African-American vocal styles
  • have the skills necessary to be a soloist in an ensemble
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of African-American vocal material from different decades
  • qualify for further vocal studies

Students will gain familiarity with the repertoires as follows:

  1. 16 songs of an African-American style of the student's choice: students can specialize in an African-American style of their choice
  2. 8 songs of a style of the student's choice
  3. 8 songs of a style of the student's choice
  • One of the three categories must represent blues-based music.
  • All three categories must differ in style.
  • In addition to songs sung in languages spoken in Finland, the repertoire must include songs sung in at least one foreign language.
  • The student's own compositions in the style in question will be approved.

The level performance programme:

  1. 3 pieces from category a
  2. 1 piece from category b
  3. 1 piece from category c
  • The level performance must include at least one piece with a trio or a bigger ensemble and at least one piece with one accompanying instrument or a cappella.

Assessment
Pass/fail: oral feedback from a jury.

Categories to choose from

  • blues based music (incl. blues, gospel, soul, funk, rhythm & blues, hip hop, rap, R&B)
  • jazz (incl. swing, bebop, jazz/Latin)
  • Latin (incl. South American, Cuban)
  • pop/rock (incl. Finnish pop/rock, other pop/rock, punk, heavy rock)
  • Anglo-American folk music (e.g. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez)
  • country music
  • musical, film, and stage music
  • ditties, chansons
  • one singer/songwriter's repertoire
  • compositions by the student

 

OTHER INSTRUMENTS THAN VOICE, LEVEL D                               

Learning outcomes
Students will:

  • be able to demonstrate the most important styles of African-American music
  • understand the function of their instrument in ensemble playing
  • be able to use their knowledge and skills in teaching
  • qualify for further studies.

Content

  • technical practise
  • ensemble-playing
  • familiarity with the key styles of the instrument in African-American music
  • familiarity with the repertoires

Requirements

  • Class attendance
  • Familiarity with a versatile repertoire
  • Technical practice

The student will prepare a repertoire of ten (10) pieces and, with the teacher, choose three (3) pieces representing different styles for the level performance. At least one of the pieces must include an improvised solo. In the pop/jazz piano performance, one of the pieces must be solo or include a piano solo.
The jury can, at its discretion, choose more pieces to listen to from the list of 10 pieces. The pieces must be played without notation.
Prima vista tasks: in class before the performance in the presence of another teacher.

 

PRACTICAL ACCOMPANIMENT, LEVEL D

Requirements           
Examination (technical sections):

  1. Harmonisation and accompaniment of a given melody
  2. Sight reading (melody and accompaniment in an appropriate style; for example, Latin/Med. swing)
  3. Harmonization and arrangement of a melody given a week in advance
  4. Imitation of a recording

Items a) and b) with a preparation time of 30 minutes.
Final concert: with a stylistically versatile programme of 20-30 minutes.
The programme must also include melodies sung by the student, accompaniment and/or ensemble playing and solos.

Evaluation
Pass/Fail

 

VOCAL MUSIC, LEVEL C

In this course, Students will practise healthy and versatile vocal techniques and become familiar with the central African-American music styles and their phrasing.

Learning outcomes
Students will:

  • deepen their awareness of their voice as an instrument
  • have built a strong and sonorous voice with an extensive range
  • deepen their knowledge of text analysis and interpretation
  • demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of the special characteristics of and phrasing in African-American vocal styles
  • have the skills necessary to be a soloist in an ensemble
  • deepen their knowledge of the African-American arsenal of songs from different decades
  • have learnt to use different voice registers and control the transition
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basics of vocal improvisation
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of microphone techniques
  • qualify for further vocal studies

Requirements
Students will gain familiarity with the repertoires as follows:

  1. 25 songs of an African-American style of the student's choice: students can specialize in an African-American style of their choice
  2. 15 songs of a style of the student's choice
  3. 10 songs of a style of the student's choice
  4. 10 songs of a style of the student's choice
  • Either category a or b must represent blues-based music.
  • All four categories must differ in style.
  • In addition to songs sung in languages spoken in Finland, the repertoire must include songs sung at least in two foreign languages.
  • The student's own compositions in the style in question will be approved.

The level performance programme:

  1. 3 pieces from category a
  2. 2 pieces from category b
  3. 2 pieces from category c
  4. 1 piece from category d
  • The level performance must include at least one piece with a trio or a bigger ensemble and at least one piece with one accompanying instrument or a cappella.

Assessment
On a scale of 0-5

Categories to choose from

  • blues-based music (incl. blues, gospel, soul, funk, rhythm & blues, hip hop, rap, R&B)
  • jazz (incl. swing, bebop, jazz/Latin)
  • Latin (incl. South American, Cuban)
  • pop/rock (incl. Finnish pop/rock, other pop/rock, punk, heavy rock)
  • Anglo-American folk music (e.g. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez)
  • country music
  • musical, film, and stage music
  • ditties, chansons
  • one singer/songwriter's repertoire
  • compositions by the student

 

OTHER INSTRUMENTS THAN VOICE, LEVEL C

Learning outcomes
Students will:
• have a command of the key techniques of their instrument
• be able to prepare a versatile repertoire
• will be able to interpret, accompany or improvise on their instrument in the style in question
• qualify for further studies.

Content
• gradual development of instrumental skills through technical practice
• the key characteristics of African-American style for the instrument
• transcriptions and practical assignments
• ensemble-playing
• preparation of a repertoire that includes x pieces of Level C that differ in style

Requirements
• Class attendance
• Playing of transcriptions and technical practice
• Concert of a duration of approximately 45 minutes or with 6–8 pieces with a moderate proportion of improvised solos
• Sight-reading in class before the performance in the presence of another teacher.

 

ALL INSTRUMENTS, LEVEL B                                                           

Learning outcomes
Students will become familiar with the traditions of cultures and musical languages that are not part of the Western art music tradition. The focus is on the knowledge and skills of one or more styles (e.g. African-American music) and on building on the fortes of each student in cooperation with the teacher. Compositions by the student are an option for focus. A central objective of the course is for students to learn the instrumental techniques and phrasing of different styles.

Requirements

  1. Familiarity with the repertoire
  2. 30 pieces prepared to be performed
  3. An artistic performance/concert of approximately 45–60 minutes or with 8–10 works. 

The student will be responsible for the artistic content of the concert and conduct, arrange, or compose material in of for the concert.

Assessment
0–5

 

ALL INSTRUMENTS, LEVEL A

The objective of this course is to develop the student's musicianship through ensemble and solo work. The student must become familiar with an extensive range of styles and command his or her instrument in a manner required by the repertoires. The student must also acquire the skills necessary for independent solo practice and band leading.

Requirements

  1. The student must prepare an extensive repertoire representing different styles at the teacher's and teacher-in-charge's discretion.
  2. A minimum of 5 solo and ensemble performances in or outside the Sibelius Academy. The concerts will be approved by the teacher-in-charge.
  3. Preparation of a concert of high artistic standard. The duration of the concert will be 60–90 minutes. Part of the concert programme must be arranged or composed by the student. The extent of the student's own compositions will be discussed with the teacher.

Teachers in charge of pop/jazz instrument instruction can discuss the different elements of a level performance with the student's instrument teacher.

Assessment
0–5

For level performances provided by other programmes, see the programme or major subject curriculum.