Eeva Mäkinen

Alumna of the week Eeva Mäkinen is a multitalent in music and in project management


Eeva Mäkinen is a multiply skilled artist who graduated originally as a church musician and as a piano teacher. After her graduation she worked as a piano teacher at the Conservatory of Kuopio and completed her Master’s Thesis in Music and Music Education alongside work. In the 1990’s Eeva concentrated mostly on playing and completed her studies in piano, organ, cembalo and clavichord. During musical instrument fabrication courses Eeva also built a clavichord and a cembalo. Gradually her professional career extended from teaching of numerous instruments to directing baroque and chamber music and to maintenance and tuning up of antique instruments.

The culmination of Eeva’s studies regarding early music was her Doctoral Thesis in 2004. After the dissertation she started to seek completely new directions in her professional path concentrating on the development of culture-oriented wellbeing services. Eeva aimed at gaining new capabilities in order to create the TAKUULLA! project family and her vision of The Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland (Hyvinvointivoimala or VOIMALA). She studied branding, marketing, administration of education, social media, entrepreneurship, leadership and team training. She has been the mastermind of the TAKUULLA! project family with the support of the Conservatory of Kuopio and the City of Kuopio since 2012.

- During this time music and dance has been introduced in maternity clinics, kindergartens, schools, in the hospital, in the Psychiatry Center, at the vocational school, in associations and nursing and rehabilitation centres, says Mäkinen.

TAKUULLA! projects disseminate wellbeing through music and dance

In TAKUULLA! projects (Certainly! projects) artistic and cultural capabilities are rooted in to the social, health and educational sectors of the municipalities and other organisations. The dissemination demands profound pedagogical co-operation in between the project artists and the employees of target organisations.

- It concerns exploiting the existing cultural capabilities and talents of the personnel and about refining them and involving them in the everyday work. The workshops last from one month up to a year so that developed capabilities have time to root down to workplaces. Also musicians and dancers learn from the multi-professional co-operation, describes Mäkinen

As a result of these activities the citizens can be offered free-of-charge recreational possibilities through everyday municipal services. All groups are implemented in a multi-professional manner, taking naturally into consideration the expectations and needs of the parents of the children and the youth.

TAKUULLA! phase (2012–2013) included five pilots with the City of Kuopio. They were executed in maternity clinics (Joy of the baby), kindergartens (music club), first two classes of primary schools (music and dance clubs), secondary schools (band workshop of the hospital school) and in the community care unit of a psychiatric ward for young adults (pilot and research of dance expression).

In TAKUULLA 2 follow-up project project (2013–2014) the created capacities were disseminated and in the process the emphasis started to shift towards supporting groups with specific needs: children, youth and families (childrens’ cancer ward of the Kuopio University Hospital), Kuopio Mother and Child Home Association (mothers with problems of abuse of alcohol and/or narcotics), Puijola association/Girls’ house (young mothers and young women in the need of support in growing up) and Savo Vocational College (rehabilitative training and coaching).

In TAKUULLA 3 project (2014–2016) musical competences were integrated in the activities of the ward of Children and the Youth at the Kuopio University Hospital and the Letter of Intent of The Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland (VOIMALA) was signed.

The scope of the TAKUULLA YHDESSÄ! (CERTAINLY TOGETHER!) -project (2015–2016) is to offer youngsters with recreational possibilities, promote their wellbeing, prevent marginalisation and strengthen youth’s participation in the civil society.

Vision 2020: The Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland (VOIMALA)

The Wellbeing Power Plant is a network of co-operation and its task is to develop wellbeing services and multi-professional capacities which take advantage on the possibilities of culture. It co-operates with the municipalities of the region and the goal is that the network of co-operation will enlarge and stabilise in the Eastern Finland as a permanent form of co-operation by the 2020.

Many years of hard work starts to pay off: TAKUULLA! activities are enlarging, the pilot leaders are invited to train, presentations are asked in seminars and conferences of different fields, researchers are interested in the project and international co-operation is about to begin. Eeva’s task is to look for new possibilities for funding, prepare applications, look for partners, supervise the execution of projects, maintain and enlarge networks and promote the Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland.

Certainly it is worthwhile to try: Letter of Intent of The Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland was signed in February 2015 by nine prominent organisations of Northern Savo, the biggest ones being the Kuopio University Hospital and the University of Eastern Finland.

- Funding brings responsibility; the following year we will exploit and disseminate exising practises, promote CERTAINLY TOGETHER! -project and The Wellbeing Power Plant of Eastern Finland side by side and in addition we will co-operate in national networks and working groups, Mäkinen tells.

Text: Maaret Teperi