Accordion, guitar, kantele

Sibelius Academy offers university-level studies for accordion, guitar and kantele that help you achieve expertise and knowledge and develop your individual artistic vision.


In the accordion, guitar and kantele programmes, you will be able to follow an educational path stretching from youth education to doctoral study that will provide you with a high level of professionalism. The internationally successful education programmes’ objective is to give you an artistic capability and understanding of music based on technical mastery of your instrument. After graduating from the accordion, guitar or kantele programme, you will be able to work as a soloist, orchestra or chamber musician and a teacher. The Master of Music degree also qualifies you for doctoral study.


The objective of the accordion, guitar and kantele programmes is to also promote each of the versatile instruments for concert use. The public can hear the results of our artistic activities involving accordion, guitar and kantele teaching at events such as concerts arranged by Sibelius Academy as well as at festivals, on tours and in competitions in both Finland and abroad.


Doctoral study


At Sibelius Academy, graduates study toward doctoral degrees in the Arts Study Programme, the Research Study Programme or the Applied Study Programme. The doctoral degrees available at Sibelius Academy are Licentiate of Music (LicMus) and Doctor of Music (DMus).





Sibelius Academy’s accordion teaching focuses on versatile soloist studies, spanning different genres from baroque to contemporary music, and extensive pedagogical skills. The studies also include chamber music, sight-reading, accompaniment and improvisation and the history and repertoire of the accordion. The 5,5-year bachelor’s and master’s studies for the accordion prepare students for soloist, music teacher, chamber musician and musician assignments. The programme aims to discover each student's professional identity. The accordion class also organises seminars and master’s courses regularly.


Sibelius Academy’s classical accordion class is considered one of the most eminent in its field. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, and the class receives students on exchange regularly. The classical accordion programme began in 1977, and countless internationally successful accordionists have studied in the programme, including Mika Väyrynen, Janne Rättyä, Mikko Luoma, Veli Kujala, Niko Kumpuvaara, Ari Lehtonen, Heidi Luosujärvi, Vincent Lhermet, and Ivan Sverko.


Classical accordion can be studied at Sibelius Academy’s Junior Academy. The Master of Music degree also qualifies the graduates for doctoral study. Sibelius Academy has had five doctoral graduates who have had accordion as their main subject. Currently, there are five accordionists who are completing their doctoral degrees.


In the classical kantele programme, you will develop your instrument skills and personal artistic vision. Other key content of studies includes chamber music, pedagogic skills, accompaniment, and an introduction to the traditions of the kantele. The first generation of professional kantele players who specialised in classical music participates actively in the field of modern classical music and pedagogical work. One of the newest areas of instruction is the electric kantele and the innovation in new forms of expression that it provides. You will have the opportunity to work with living composers interested in the instrument, and several of our students have developed skills in composition, as well. The classical kantele main subject programme was launched at Sibelius Academy in 1987. Over the years, the department has taken charge of the national duty of preserving and reforming kantele music. In addition to Finns, two Estonians and one Russian student have graduated from the kantele class. Several exchange students from the Baltic countries have taken part in the education, as well.


In the guitar programme you will focus on achieving a high level of artistic and instrumental expertise combined with strong pedagogical skills, all of which are highly valued in professional guitarists. In addition to individual instrument lessons, you will study chamber music, guitar pedagogy, sight reading, guitar history, repertoires and practical accompaniment. To complement the expertise of the permanent department staff, the guitar programme invites international professors to provide master classes on a regular basis. The department also teaches guitar for minor-subject students.





Part-time teachers



Part-time teachers



Part-time teachers

  • Otto Tolonen
  • Janne Malinen
  • Petri Kumela
  • Jukka Savijoki

How to apply

Links to the admissions guides and more information about applying can be found on the admissions page. The next application period to the University of the Arts Helsinki is in January 2018.

Tulevia tapahtumia

Contact information

All University of the Arts Helsinki e-mail addresses are in the form of firstname.lastname (at)

Coordinating teachers:

Accordion: Lecturer Matti Rantanen

Kantele: Lecturer Ritva Koistinen-Armfelt

Guitar: Lecturer Andrzej Wilkus


siba.admissions (at)