Apply to degree studies with a string instrument as a main instrument (Bachelor + Master)

Admissions guide to the 5.5-year programme in Classical Music Performance (violin, viola, cello, or double bass as a main instrument).

Degree studies with a string instrument as a main instrument are a part of the Classical Music Performance programme. Applicants seek for entrance in main instrument groups. The main instrument is either violin, viola, cello, or double bass.

Admissions schedule 2022

  • Application period: Send your application in Studyinfo portal between 5 January 2022 8 am EET and 19 January 2022 3 pm EET
  • Submit required attachments and possible advance assignments at latest 26 January 2022 3 pm EET
  • Sibelius Academy confirms your eligibility to apply at latest 25 February

A preliminary schedule of the entrance examinations will be published in January 2022.

  • Applicants demonstrating their language skills with a language skills certificate: Submit your test result certificate at latest 20 May 2022 3 pm EET
  • Sibelius Academy publishes admissions results 3 June 2022
  • Confirm your study place at latest 15 July 2022 3 pm EET:
    • Officially accept your study place
    • Register for the academic year
    • Conditionally admitted applicants: Submit the required degree certificate
    • Students who are required to pay tuition fees: Pay your tuition fee
  • Waiting list procedure ends 2 August 2022 3 pm EET
  • New students’ studies begin in August 2022

Who can apply?

A person with the background education required for the degree programme in question and sufficient language skills may apply for studies.

In addition, a person who completes the required background education after the end of the application period, but no later than 15 July 2022 at 3 pm EEST is eligible to apply. In that case, the admission decision is conditional until the applicant submits a certificate of the completed degree. If the applicant fails to submit the certificate by said deadline, the study place will be cancelled.

The Sibelius Academy may, at its discretion, also accept a temporary certificate issued by the educational institution if it indicates that the applicant has completed all studies required for the degree and will receive the degree certificate later.

Sibelius Academy will check every applicant’s eligibility before the entrance examination.

Students are admitted to the Sibelius Academy based on their performance in the entrance examination. Certificate-based admissions or quotas for first-time applicants are not in place.

Combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees (3 + 2.5 years)

A person who has completed at least one of the following is eligible to apply:

  • The Finnish Matriculation Examination
  • An International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
  • A European Baccalaureate (EB) diploma at a European School
  • A Reifeprüfung or Deutsches Internationales Abitur (RP / DIA) diploma
  • A Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification, a further vocational qualification, or a specialist vocational qualification defined under the Act on Vocational Education and Training
  • A foreign degree or qualification that makes you eligible for corresponding higher education in the awarding country
  • A Cambridge Advanced International Certificate (AICE)
  • A degree at a Finnish higher education institution or a degree abroad corresponding to at least a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, a person who has been granted the right to study in a university in Finland is eligible to apply.

Other exceptions to eligibility

The applicant cannot apply for both 5.5-year and 2.5-year programmes of a single major subject or main instrument in the same year. However, if the applicant submits an application to both programmes, the Sibelius Academy will

  • take account of the application for the 2.5-year programme if the applicant is eligible for it, or
  • take account of the application for the 5.5-year programme if the applicant is not eligible for the 2.5-year programme.

If the applicant has completed a higher education degree at the Sibelius Academy, they cannot apply for the same main subject again, or the same main instrument in the case of Classical Music Performance.

The student admission for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes applies to applicants who do not have a valid right to study at Uniarts Helsinki at the beginning of the applied right to study, with the exception of persons who have the vice rector’s permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. A degree student registered at Uniarts Helsinki may apply for a change of right to study within the Sibelius Academy or between academies. There are separate instructions for applying for a change of the right to study and for applying for a permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. More information about the rule of one study right can be found here.

Language requirements

The languages of tuition in the Classical Music Performance programme are Finnish, Swedish, and English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in one of the abovementioned languages by the given deadline. However, the majority of group tuition at the Sibelius Academy is provided in Finnish or English.

How to apply

Submit your application in the spring’s first joint application period from 5 to 19 January 2022 by 3 pm EET in the Studyinfo portal.

Submit the supporting documents and any advance assignments in accordance with the instructions provided.

Supporting documents

Submit the supporting documents via the Studyinfo portal as PDF files by 3 pm EET on 26 January 2022. If the documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, append a translation by an authorised translator into one of these languages.

Documents required from all applicants:

  • Degree certificate of the background education and a transcript of study records
    If you complete your degree after the end of the application period, it is adequate to submit the degree certificate by 3 pm EEST on 15 July 2022.

    In case of a foreign degree, the Sibelius Academy may request clarification on the degree’s status within the awarding country’s education system.
  • Certificate demonstrating language proficiency
    If you demonstrate your language proficiency based on your previous studies, the degree certificate or its appendix must clearly indicate the language in which the degree was completed. The degree demonstrating language proficiency must be completed by 3 pm EEST on 15 July 2022.
  • Official proof of identity
    Append a copy of your passport, EU identity card or Finnish driving licence to your application.

Applicants to programmes organised in English are also required to submit:

  • A document exempting from tuition fees
    If you apply to study in English, you will be liable to pay tuition fees unless you submit a document indicating that you are exempt.

Refugees, persons in a refugee-like situation and asylum seekers:

If you are unable to submit documentary evidence of your degree, you may still be deemed eligible to apply. Submit a reliable report on the completed degree that grants you eligibility to apply and an additional report explaining why the documents are not available. In addition, submit an official decision on your refugee status (asylum decision or residence permit based on protection, or a proof that such an application is pending). Submit the required documents by email to the Admissions Office by (date and time). The Sibelius Academy will make a decision on your eligibility based on the submitted report. Applicants with refugee status must provide proof of their language skills required for the studies in one of the ways specified in the selection criteria (in Language requirements).

Advance assignments

Any advance assignments are mentioned in the target programme’s admissions criteria. The advance assignments must be submitted as attachments to the application.

The advance assignments must clearly state the applicant’s name and the programme to which they relate. Do not submit any other advance assignments than the ones requested. Upload the materials to the Studyinfo portal as early as possible. Large files may take several hours to upload if there is a lot of traffic in the system.

Entrance examinations

You can be invited to the entrance examinations if:

  1. you have submitted an electronic application form and the required attachments at Studyinfo portal, and
  2. the Dean of the Sibelius Academy deems you eligible based on the submitted documents.

The implementation of the entrance examinations for each programme is described in the programme’s admission criteria. Preliminary schedules will be published in the programmes’ admissions guides in January. The entrance examination schedules of separate programmes may overlap. If the applicant has applied for multiple programmes, they must choose which examinations they attend in case of overlaps.

A programme’s entrance examination may consist of several stages and contain multiple sub-tests. If the applicant does not participate in all of the examination’s compulsory sub-tests, they cannot be admitted as a student.

The Sibelius Academy will send applicants instructions and schedules for participation in entrance examinations in the entrance examination invitation. The exact times for individual entrance examinations are confirmed at the latest in the morning of the entrance examination day. Individual examination times cannot be changed except for compelling reasons not attributable to the applicant. Such reasons include the matriculation examination (or a corresponding event) and an accident or sudden illness (a medical certificate is required). In such cases, the examination time can only be rescheduled within the limits of the Entrance Examination Board’s working timetables.

The entrance examination is a closed event attended by the applicant, the Entrance Examination Board and the agreed assistants (for example, an accompanist, a training choir, a board assistant or the applicant’s assistant). Entrance examinations may not be recorded.

If you wish to cancel your participation in the entrance examination, notify the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office by email as soon as possible.

Individual arrangements in the entrance examination

If you require individual arrangements in the entrance examination because of a sensory or physical disability or other corresponding reason, more information on individual arrangements can be found here.

Violin entrance examination

Applicants for this programme are not required to complete advance assignments. All applicants who have submitted their applications by the deadline and who have been found to be eligible will be invited to the entrance examination. 

The main instrument exam consists of two stages, and it is held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The entrance examination also includes a general music skills test.  

First stage 

In the first stage, all applicants play the first movement with cadenza from one of the following violin concertos by W.A. Mozart: 

  • B flat major KV 207 
  • D major KV 211 
  • G major KV 216 
  • D major KV 218 
  • A major KV 219 

In addition, all applicants perform a freely selected programme. 

The total duration of the first stage programme must not exceed 15 minutes.  

Based on the scores given for the first stage, the Board will invite a maximum of 25 applicants to the second stage of the entrance examination. 
 

Second stage 

The applicants accepted to the second stage will perform a freely selected programme (however, a different programme than in the first stage), the total duration of which must not exceed 15 minutes. 

All compositions must be performed from memory and without accompaniment (including the compositions requiring accompaniment, such as movements of violin concerti). 

The Board may, at its discretion, listen to only a portion of the programme. 

General music skills test

In addition to the main instrument exam, the entrance examinations for the 5.5-year degree programmes include a test on general music skills.

The tests can be used to assess, for example, the ability to read music, understanding of musical concepts (keys, harmony, cadences, intervals, time signatures and time values), perception and writing of notes based on hearing music, and knowledge of the history of Western art music.

Model assignments that the applicant can use to get an idea of the competence required in the test will be published in the admissions guide at latest on 12 January 2022. More detailed information on the implementation of the test will be provided in the entrance examination invitation for each programme.

The general music skills test will be arranged in connection with the final stage of the entrance examination for each programme, either remotely or on-site, depending on the implementation method of the main instrument exam.

If the entrance examination has two stages, the general music skills test will be held in the second stage. If the entrance examination only has one stage, the Board may only invite applicants who have received a sufficiently high score in their main instrument exam to the general music skills test.

The examiners of general music skills tests will give the Entrance Examination Board an opinion on the applicant’s capability for completing the studies in accordance with the curriculum within the target duration and the possible need for remedial studies. The Entrance Examination Board will take the opinion into account as part of the overall assessment.

The results of the general music skills tests can be used as part of the assessing the starting level of applicants selected as students. If the selected applicant does not demonstrate sufficient capabilities for university-level general music skills studies, they are obligated to complement their competence with remedial studies. Further information will be provided in the acceptance letter. Remedial studies must be completed before the actual general music skills courses.

Viola entrance examination

Applicants for this programme are not required to complete advance assignments. All applicants who have submitted their applications by the deadline and who have been found to be eligible will be invited to the entrance examination. 

The main instrument exam will be held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The entrance examination also includes a general music skills test. 

In the exam, perform a freely selected programme that contains one caprice by Rode and two other compositions that represent different stylistic periods. The programme does not need to be performed from memory, apart from the caprice by Rode. 

Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment, the accompanying instrument is a piano. You may use your own accompanist, or one provided by the university. In your application form, please indicate if you want to use a university accompanist. The Sibelius Academy does not offer the opportunity to practice with the accompanist before the entrance examination. Changes to the accompanist selection cannot be made after the deadline for the submission of the sheet music. 

If you are using the accompanist provided by the university: 

  • Submit the sheet music of your freely selected compositions as instructed in the invitation to the entrance examination. Submit the sheet music in PDF form and each composition as a single file (not one page per file). The maximum file size is 20 MB. The names of the composer and the composition as well as your name and the programme you are applying for must be stated at the beginning of the sheet music of each composition. 
  • Bring the same sheet music to the entrance examination as either originals or copies taped together. 

The Board may, at its discretion, listen to only a portion of the programme. 

General music skills test

In addition to the main instrument exam, the entrance examinations for the 5.5-year degree programmes include a test on general music skills.

The tests can be used to assess, for example, the ability to read music, understanding of musical concepts (keys, harmony, cadences, intervals, time signatures and time values), perception and writing of notes based on hearing music, and knowledge of the history of Western art music.

Model assignments that the applicant can use to get an idea of the competence required in the test will be published in the admissions guide at latest on 12 January 2022. More detailed information on the implementation of the test will be provided in the entrance examination invitation for each programme.

The general music skills test will be arranged in connection with the final stage of the entrance examination for each programme, either remotely or on-site, depending on the implementation method of the main instrument exam.

If the entrance examination has two stages, the general music skills test will be held in the second stage. If the entrance examination only has one stage, the Board may only invite applicants who have received a sufficiently high score in their main instrument exam to the general music skills test.

The examiners of general music skills tests will give the Entrance Examination Board an opinion on the applicant’s capability for completing the studies in accordance with the curriculum within the target duration and the possible need for remedial studies. The Entrance Examination Board will take the opinion into account as part of the overall assessment.

The results of the general music skills tests can be used as part of the assessing the starting level of applicants selected as students. If the selected applicant does not demonstrate sufficient capabilities for university-level general music skills studies, they are obligated to complement their competence with remedial studies. Further information will be provided in the acceptance letter. Remedial studies must be completed before the actual general music skills courses.

Cello entrance examination

Applicants for this programme are not required to complete advance assignments. All applicants who have submitted their applications by the deadline and who have been found to be eligible will be invited to the entrance examination.  

The main instrument exam will be carried out by video, and it consists of a compulsory assignment and freely selected assignments. The entrance examination also includes a general music skills test. 

NOTE! A link to the instructions will be added in December 2021.

Submit a video or two separate videos for assessment. Submit the videos via the Studyinfo portal by 20 April 2022, 3pm EET (Finnish time). The programme for the videos: 

Compulsory assignment 

Make a video recording on which you perform the compulsory assignment. The sheet music for the compulsory assignment will be sent to you via e-mail no later than 3 weeks before the deadline for submitting the video recording. The compulsory assignment does not need to be played from memory. The video containing the compulsory assignment must be submitted as a video file via the Studyinfo system (YouTube or Vimeo links will not be accepted). 

Freely selected assignments 

Submit a video recording for assessment, on which you play 2–4 freely selected compositions from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and interpretative skills. You may submit previously recorded concert performances (filmed after 1 July 2021) as your freely selected assignments. 

Play facing the camera so that your face and hands are visible at all times. The video must not be shot from too far away. You must be visible in the frame from head to knees. 

An individual piece must be recorded as a continuous and unedited take. However, not all pieces need to be recorded in the same session. 

General music skills test

In addition to the main instrument exam, the entrance examinations for the 5.5-year degree programmes include a test on general music skills.

The tests can be used to assess, for example, the ability to read music, understanding of musical concepts (keys, harmony, cadences, intervals, time signatures and time values), perception and writing of notes based on hearing music, and knowledge of the history of Western art music.

Model assignments that the applicant can use to get an idea of the competence required in the test will be published in the admissions guide at latest on 12 January 2022. More detailed information on the implementation of the test will be provided in the entrance examination invitation for each programme.

The general music skills test will be arranged in connection with the final stage of the entrance examination for each programme, either remotely or on-site, depending on the implementation method of the main instrument exam.

If the entrance examination has two stages, the general music skills test will be held in the second stage. If the entrance examination only has one stage, the Board may only invite applicants who have received a sufficiently high score in their main instrument exam to the general music skills test.

The examiners of general music skills tests will give the Entrance Examination Board an opinion on the applicant’s capability for completing the studies in accordance with the curriculum within the target duration and the possible need for remedial studies. The Entrance Examination Board will take the opinion into account as part of the overall assessment.

The results of the general music skills tests can be used as part of the assessing the starting level of applicants selected as students. If the selected applicant does not demonstrate sufficient capabilities for university-level general music skills studies, they are obligated to complement their competence with remedial studies. Further information will be provided in the acceptance letter. Remedial studies must be completed before the actual general music skills courses.

Double bass entrance examination

Applicants for this programme are not required to complete advance assignments. All applicants who have submitted their applications by the deadline and who have been found to be eligible will be invited to the entrance examination. 

The main instrument exam will be carried out by video, and it consists of a compulsory assignment and freely selected assignments. The entrance examination also includes a general music skills test. 

NOTE! A link to the instructions will be added in December 2021.

Compulsory assignment and freely selected assignments 

Submit a video recording via the Studyinfo portal by 20 April 2022, 3pm EET (Finnish time), the programme of which is 

  1. Franz Simandl: Double Bass School, Part II, etude no. 1 in E flat major 
  1. Two free-choice compositions from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and interpretative skills. You may submit previously recorded concert performances as your freely selected compositions (filmed after 1 July 2021). 

Play facing the camera so that your face and hands are visible all the time. You must be visible in the frame from head to knees. The video must not be shot from too far away. 

The programme does not need to be performed from memory. The compositions may be solo works or works with piano accompaniment. Compositions including accompaniment should be performed with accompaniment if possible. 

An individual piece must be recorded as a continuous and unedited take. However, not all pieces need to be recorded in the same session. 

General music skills test

In addition to the main instrument exam, the entrance examinations for the 5.5-year degree programmes include a test on general music skills.

The tests can be used to assess, for example, the ability to read music, understanding of musical concepts (keys, harmony, cadences, intervals, time signatures and time values), perception and writing of notes based on hearing music, and knowledge of the history of Western art music.

Model assignments that the applicant can use to get an idea of the competence required in the test will be published in the admissions guide at latest on 12 January 2022. More detailed information on the implementation of the test will be provided in the entrance examination invitation for each programme.

The general music skills test will be arranged in connection with the final stage of the entrance examination for each programme, either remotely or on-site, depending on the implementation method of the main instrument exam.

If the entrance examination has two stages, the general music skills test will be held in the second stage. If the entrance examination only has one stage, the Board may only invite applicants who have received a sufficiently high score in their main instrument exam to the general music skills test.

The examiners of general music skills tests will give the Entrance Examination Board an opinion on the applicant’s capability for completing the studies in accordance with the curriculum within the target duration and the possible need for remedial studies. The Entrance Examination Board will take the opinion into account as part of the overall assessment.

The results of the general music skills tests can be used as part of the assessing the starting level of applicants selected as students. If the selected applicant does not demonstrate sufficient capabilities for university-level general music skills studies, they are obligated to complement their competence with remedial studies. Further information will be provided in the acceptance letter. Remedial studies must be completed before the actual general music skills courses.

Entrance examination assessment

Applicants’ performance in the entrance examinations is assessed by programme-specifically appointed Entrance Examination Boards. The boards assess the knowledge, skills and capabilities of each applicant and their capacity to complete the degree studies within the normative duration for the completion of a degree. The assessment takes account of how the applicant’s previous education and experience reflects in their competence and assesses their competence in relation to the objectives set in the curriculum.

In addition, the Entrance Examination Boards for strings will assess, based on the applicant’s performances, the applicant’s artistic development ability, technical capabilities, performance skills, learning capabilities, their understanding of the styles of different periods, and the applicant’s potential to develop artistically and technically during their studies. 

Scoring of the entrance exam  

The Board will assess the applicants’ performances in all stages of the entrance examination on a scale of 0 to 25 points. If the entrance examination consists of two stages, the applicant’s performances in all stages of the entrance examination will be taken into account in the assessment of the second stage. The score for the second stage will remain the applicant’s final score. 

Admissions results

The boards rank the applicants of each programme based on their entrance examination score. The final decision on students admitted to the programmes and those placed on the waiting list is made by the dean of the Sibelius Academy.

A study place is offered to highest scoring applicants who meet the selection criteria. Applicants ranked behind the admitted students may be placed on a waiting list in the order of their score. The waiting lists are either programme-specific or group-specific if there are several groups in a single programme. A study place will become vacant and can be offered to an applicant on a waiting list only if one of the applicants admitted to the same degree programme (or group) chooses not to accept the study place, or if someone who has been conditionally admitted fails to submit the necessary documents by the end of the deadline.

If there are no applicants who meet the admissions criteria, some programmes may choose not to admit new students. If a specific degree programme does not admit any new students, applicants to that programme cannot be placed on a waiting list.

Announcement of results

Admission results, including the names of the applicants who have given the permission to have their names published online, will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website. In addition, each applicant can view their situation in the Studyinfo portal. Admitted applicants and those placed on the waiting list are informed of the results by email.

Feedback

Applicants may request feedback on their entrance examination performance. The feedback provides the applicant with information on how the evaluation criteria stated in the admission criteria were applied in the assessment of their entrance examination. Instructions for requesting feedback will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website in connection with the publication of the admission decision.

Rectification procedure

If you believe that the Sibelius Academy has acted contrary to its admission criteria, you can request for rectification to the student admission decision from the Sibelius Academy in writing within 14 days of the publication of the admission results.

The rectification procedure is not intended as a means for receiving feedback, asking for further information about the admission or requesting unjustified re-evaluation. Instructions for submitting a request for rectification will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website in connection with the publication of the admission decision.

More information about the rectification process can be found here.

Accepting the offered study place and starting your studies

An offer of admission can be accepted either via the Studyinfo system or by filling in the confirmation form attached to the letter of acceptance and by delivering it to the admissions office. You must accept your study place by the given deadline. If the confirmation arrives late, it will not be considered.

Accepting an offer of admission is a binding choice, which cannot be changed or cancelled later on.

You must also register as attending at the Sibelius Academy before the academic year begins – more information will be sent to you along with your acceptance letter.

First-year studies begin in mid-August with an orientation period that is compulsory for all new students.

More information on accepting the offered study place and starting our studies at the Sibelius Academy can be found here

Questions or comments?

You can contact us via e-mail at siba.admissions@uniarts.fi.

The Sibelius Acad­emy Ad­mis­sions Chat 23 November

What is it like to study at the Sibelius Academy and live in Helsinki? Join our admissions chat to find out! There are two sessions available on Youtube at 12 pm (UTC+2) and 8 pm (UTC+2). Links are available on this page.

Ask and apply!

Want to study at Sibelius Academy but don’t know how to get started?

Use this link to listen to the audio recording of our admissions chat from November 2020:

Click here if you wish to read the text version instread of listening to the audio recording.

You can also watch our fall 2019 edition of the admissions chat in Uniarts Helsinki’s YouTube channel. In this video members of our staff and students answer your questions about the Sibelius Academy in English.

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