Global Music student: My vision and my dreams are at the centre of my curriculum

Read an interview with Global Music student Loïca (Ángela Valenzuela) at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Riikka Hänninen

Watch Loïca's video interview

Is the Global Music Department important and meaningful for you?

I am an international student from Chile. At the Global Music Department, I found a supportive community of people, who are very generous – not only musically, but also as human beings. Being so far away from home, I discovered a fertile space to be a student, musician, and a friend. It helps me to belong to our diverse community.

At Global Music, I feel I am recognised as an artist. My vision and my dreams are at the centre of my curriculum. I have the freedom to realize that vision while I get all the support I need from mentors, teachers, and friends to discover my artistic identity.

As a climate activist and singer-songwriter, I feel that finally I have found a place where I can combine these interests. If I were to go to any other music school, my interests in the climate and the environment would not be an integral part of my program. It would be just something that I can do in my free time. Here, I can include all of this in my studies and make it a part of my artistic identity. I feel I am growing as a person. I do not have to divide myself between different areas of interest, but I can be a whole person.

What do you gain from being in an intercultural environment?

We come together from all continents and start learning about different music traditions, approaches, and theories that are not only Western. It is liberating to realize that there is no right and wrong, but just a myriad of nuances.

There are so many ways to see music and we have to be respectful of those differences. Instead of focusing on what is considered better or more valuable in society, we celebrate and nurture differences because our expression is so diverse, depending on where we come from.

Do you feel that engaging in intercultural dialogue and collaboration has a wider impact on the world around us?

Intercultural dialogue and communication especially in music have a big impact on the world. Our collaboration through music in this department builds bridges instead of barriers.

This approach to music influences me as a human being and affects how I relate to the world as well. Musicians carry their musical identity and culture with them, an entire story of where they come from. You start learning more about different regions’ diversity, problematics, and histories. That brings you closer to an understanding of how diverse the world is.

Because we are open and understanding to each other within our group of students, I have started to understand myself better – at least that is the challenge. Speaking kindly to myself as well as to others becomes a domino effect: the same attitude expands to the world. In every area of life, you start having an influence that brings light to the world through your voice and music.

As we find ourselves in times of crisis, it is even more important that we have this creative space for people to imagine the future we want to live in, and how we want to reinvent our societies after the pandemic, for example.

We are already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis as well, and I feel that music plays a key role in bringing people together. What voices can we bring out with music? What kind of stories do people have? What kind of world do we want to create?

As musicians, we have a key role in making a difference in the world. It will be a lot of work and I am excited about it.


Loïca (Ángela Valenzuela) is a Chilean-born singer-songwriter, climate activist, and Movement Organizer at Greenpeace International. She is currently based in Finland where she studies Global Music at the Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki.

Via her compositions and singing, Loïca seeks to raise urgent questions about the multiple environmental and social crises of our time. She wants to invite our collective imagination to reinvent itself.

You can follow Loïca on Spotify and on Instagram (@loicamusic)

Read more interviews with Global Music students