Apply to the degree programme in Church Music (Bachelor + Master)

Admissions guide to the 5.5-year Church Music programme.

Church music degrees involve a wide range of musical competence, including the possible qualification for church musician positions in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. 

You can apply to study either in Helsinki or in Kuopio (please note that in Kuopio, studies are offered only in Finnish). On the application form, you can also indicate you are willing to accept a study place in either of the cities. This means that the university will place you in Helsinki or in Kuopio (to ensure an equal number of students in the two cities). Successful applicants will be located for study based on their final scores in the entrance examination. You may be denied admission if you have not applied for the programme for which your entrance examination score qualifies you. 

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 Church Music programme are Finnish, Swedish, and English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in one of the above-mentioned languages by the given deadline.

Students for studies conducted in Finnish, Swedish, and English are selected in separate admissions groups. The eligibility studies qualifying students for church musician positions in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland can only be completed in Finnish or Swedish.  

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.

Entrance examination (church music)

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 entrance examination consists of two stages. The first stage will be carried out remotely and the second on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

First stage

The first stage of the entrance examination will be carried out remotely and includes the following sub-tests: 

  • piano or organ audition and a short introduction of the compositions 
  • voice audition and a short introduction of the compositions 

Sub-tests will be carried out using video recordings. Submit your video recording via the Studyinfo portal by 15 March 2022, 3pm EET (Finnish time). You are responsible for the production of the video recording.

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

Make a separate video recording of each sub-test. Individual compositions must be filmed in one continuous and unedited take. However, different compositions do not have to be filmed in the same session. If you film the compositions of a sub-test separately, combine them into a single video recording. 

Film the instrumental performance video from the side, so that you are fully visible while playing. Film the vocal performance video facing towards the camera, so that your face is visible the whole time. 

The videos must not be shot from too far away. You must be fully visible in the frame. One video recording must last no longer than 10 minutes. 

Piano or organ audition and a short introduction of the compositions 
Record a video of yourself performing two compositions that illustrate your instrument skills. Give a brief talk to introduce the compositions at the beginning of the video. You may perform the compositions on piano or organ, or one on piano and the other on organ. If you are unable to use an acoustic instrument, you may perform the compositions also on an electronic keyboard. 

Voice audition and a short introduction of the compositions 
Record a video of yourself singing. Give a brief talk to introduce the works at the beginning of the video. Begin with a hymn of your choice without accompaniment (1 or 2 stanzas). Then sing at least one classical solo song and, if you wish, another song. If you sing two songs in addition to a hymn, you may use an accompanist in one of them. However, one of the two songs must be unaccompanied.  

Based on the scores given for the first stage, the Board will invite a maximum of 40 applicants to the second stage of the entrance examination. Applicants invited to the second stage will be notified by e-mail.

Second stage

The second stage will be held on site at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. It includes the following sub-tests: 

  • Interview and aural skills 
  • Instrument and voice audition 
  • Demonstration of musical interaction with a group 

The aim is to organize all sub-tests during the entrance examination so that each will be able to complete all sub-tests in one day. The final schedule is determined by the number of applicants. 

Interview and aural skills 
The Board will interview the applicants. 

In connection with the interview, the applicant may give a demonstration on a secondary instrument for a maximum of 5 minutes or otherwise describe their musical skills that are not demonstrated in the other parts of the entrance examination. A piano is available in the interview room. 

The aural skills test includes sight-singing and repeating of intervals, harmonies, and short melodic items, for example. 

Instrument and voice audition  
The Board will assign the applicant a hymn to prepare and a short piano assignment. The applicant will have a total of 20 minutes at the piano to prepare for the audition. The assignments do not have to be played or sung from memory. 

In the audition, the applicant will perform: 

  • one verse from the assigned hymn singing in the key of your choice without accompaniment 
  • the piano assignment 

Demonstration of musical interaction with a group 
In the demonstration of musical interaction, the applicant will showcase their musical and working skills as the leader of a vocal ensemble. The ensemble will consist of eight church music students (2 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors, and 2 basses). The demonstration will last no longer than 10 minutes.  

In the demonstration the applicant will practice the option of their choice with the ensemble:  

  • One of the listed songs with 3–4-voice parts (link to the sheet music in the invitation to the entrance examination)    
  • A self-selected song with two or more voice parts and with or without accompaniment. If the song has accompaniment, the applicant will accompany the vocal ensemble themself. The applicant must bring 12 copies of the sheet music for the singers and the Board if the assignment requires sheet music. 
  • A musical assignment suitable for the student group in question (e.g. body percussion) 

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, during the entrance examinations for church music, the Boards will assess the applicants’ musical knowledge and skills as well as their capability for studies in church music and versatile musicianship. 

During the instrument and voice audition the Board will also assess the applicant’s ability to read music and their musical comprehension. 

During the aural skills test, the Board will assess tonal perception of music, the ability to distinguish pitch and timbre, and tonal memory.  

During the demonstration of musical interaction, the Board will assess the applicant’s group interaction skills and the applicant’s ability to structure the assignment and work appropriately. The assignment does not require choral conducting studies or previous experience in working with a group.

Scoring of the entrance examination

The Board will score each of the applicant’s sub-test on a scale of 0 to 25.  

Sub-tests will be weighted in the final score as follows: 

First stage:  

  • Piano or organ audition 25 % 
  • Voice audition 25 % 

Second stage:  

  • Interview 10 %  
  • Aural skills 5 %  
  • Instrument and voice audition 20 %  
  • Demonstration of musical interaction with a group 15 %

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.

Read more about the programme