The Sibelius Academy’s jazz music department – Sibis Jazz – is the only institution offering university level jazz education in Finland. The education aims to provide extensive and professional knowledge of jazz and African-American music, music culture and performance practices as well as corresponding skills. Our alumni find their place in the large field of music as jazz musicians, composers and arrangers, producers or pedagogues.
As a jazz student, you can major in a jazz instrument or in composition. The education aims at giving you extensive and professional knowledge and skills on African-American music, music culture and performance practices. The teaching faculty is comprised of some of the best domestic jazz artists.
The department has close contact and collaboration with international partners offering jazz education. An increasing number of the department’s students are from abroad, and studies are conducted in English when necessary. Additionally, the department is regularly visited by internationally recognized jazz artists for lectures and concerts.
After graduation, you have extensive work opportunities as a musician, orchestra leader, arranger-composer and music teacher. The Master of Music degree also qualifies you for doctoral study.
Jazz music can also be studied as a practice pupil or at the Junior Academy, designed for music enthusiasts enrolled in primary or secondary school.
How to apply
The application process is different based on whether you apply for instrument and vocal studies or composition. Both programmes have a two-stage entrance examination.
If you apply for instrument or vocal studies, you participate in an audition which will decide which students advance to the second audition and the music theory and aural skills test.
If you apply for composition, you are to submit your own compositions as scores and recordings to Sibelius Academy’s admissions services. In Stage II, you will participate in an audition, a test in music theory and aural skills, and a brief interview.
The University of the Arts Helsinki website includes earlier entrance examinations, which may give you an insight into the entry requirements.
At Sibelius Academy, jazz 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) degree.
Sibelius Academy’s jazz music publication series presents research related to doctoral degrees. Jarno Kukkonen researched Miles Davis’s jazz-rock music in his book Early Jazz-Rock, The Music of Miles Davis, 1967-72.Jari Perkiömäki researched the music of two liberal improvisation pioneers, Lennie Tristano and Ornette Coleman, in his book Lennie and Ornette. You can find abstracts of these books on the Sibelius Academy thesis database. Professor Jukkis Uotila is responsible for the doctoral studies in jazz at the Sibelius Academy.
You can buy the books at Ostinato.
Sibelius Academy’s permanent teaching faculty is comprised of some of the best domestic jazz artists.
The department also collaborates with the Manhattan School of Music. Via video contact, master classes have been taught by John Riley, Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz and Gretchen Parlato.
International jazz artists and professionals such as Randy Brecker, Tim Hagans, Anders Jormin, Phil Markowitz, Jason Moran, Mike Moreno, Will Vinson, Guillermo Klein, Lars Jansson, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Ignacio Berroa, Joey Calderazzo, Jim McNeely, Rafael Barata, Peter Erskine, Jim Beard, Dave Liebman, Ashley Kahn, Vince Mendoza, Joe Lovano and Robert Hurst have made lecturer visits to Sibelius Academy.
- Jukkis Uotila - drums, piano, history of jazz music
- Jussi Kannaste - saxophone (Head of Department)
- Sami Linna - guitar, pedagogy (Vice Head of Department)
- Mikko Helevä - piano, hammond organ, solfége, repertoire work shops)
- Jussi Lehtonen - drums, rythmics
- Visa Mertanen - keyboards (assistant)