As a student of the Sibelius Academy you can develop into a versatile professional jazz musician under the guidance of Finland’s leading musicians and international top names. You may choose to major in a jazz instrument, jazz singing or jazz composition. Our programme is known worldwide e.g. for its top quality master classes.
In a nutshell
- Target degree: Bachelor's and master's degrees in music, master's degree in music
- Scope of the degree: BA+MA, 180 + 150 credits (3 yrs. + 2,5 yrs), master´s degree, 150 credits (2.5 yrs.)
- Field of art: Music
- Organiser: the Sibelius Academy
- Next time to apply: January 2019
- Studies begin: at the start of the academic year in August
- Person responsible for the degree programme: Department Head Jussi Kannaste
- Other responsible persons/head teachers of the degree programme: Professor Jukkis Uotila, Department Vice Head Sami Linna, lecturers Mikko Helevä and Jussi Lehtonen
Aims and career possibilities
We educate unique and visionary artists. As a student, you will receive the necessary knowledge and skills in African-American music, music culture and performance practices to become a professional. Upon graduating you may take on demanding assignments as a musician, conductor/orchestra leader, composer/arranger and educator. Jazz professionals such as Timo Lassy, Verneri Pohjola, Teemu Viinikainen, Pessi Levanto, Kirmo Lintinen, Olavi Louhivuori, Pauli Lyytinen, Kalle Kalima and Valtteri Pöyhönen are all alumni of the Sibelius Academy and have placed well in the domestic and international fields of music.
Content and structure of the education
Your main subject is an instrument, singing, or composition. During the first three years of completing the bachelor’s degree, you will be studying your own main instrument, singing or composition, as well as supporting jazz subjects such as playing with a band, ear training, rhythm, and arrangements. You will also be taking elective courses of your own choice as well as studies in another instrument. Your studies will also include language and music technology. At the master’s degree stage, almost a third of your studies will be elective. In addition to instrument classes and band practice, you may chose e.g. music business courses or pedagogy studies to obtain a teacher’s certificate. In addition to the Sibelius Academy, you may also take classes from the other academies of Uniarts Helsinki, as well as from joint studies. During your studies you will also participate in different musical projects, master classes and social events. You can also study jazz music at the Sibelius Academy as a student of pedagogy, or in our youth programme intended for amateurs in high school or senior high school.
The NOMAZZ master’s degree programme, established in 2008, annually attracts a growing number of international students to the Sibelius Academy. NOMAZZ is realised in cooperation with the royal music universities of Stockholm and Århus.
Watch the videos
Join the jazz students in Kallio-Kuninkala course centre and get a feel of the jazz department community at the Sibelius Academy!
What is the jazz department entrance examination like and how should you prepare yourself for it?
Watch and listen to our students' experiences and tips for future applicants!
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.
Following graduation you may apply to continue your studies in our doctoral programme in music, choosing between scientific, artistic or applied doctoral studies. Postgraduate degrees offered at the Sibelius Academy are a licentiate degree in music and a doctorate in music. Doctors in jazz music so far include e.g. Jari Perkiömäki, Jarno Kukkonen, Markus Ketola, Riitta Paakki and Mikko Helevä.
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)