Joined study days bring together doctoral students from Finland and the UK

The fifth joined Study Day between the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki brought together doctoral students of the two institutions on 13-14 May 2019 in Helsinki. Previously these events have already been organized in May 2017 and May 2018.

The topics varied from the culture of performance accuracy, historical/contemporary types of virtuosity, and the rendition of space in music, to how to present a proof of concept. Three doctoral students from each institution participated: Lucy Abrams, Ville Raasakka, and Tuomas Kivistö from the Sibelius Academy and Amy Jolly, Freya Waley-Cohen and Nick Smart from Royal Academy of Music. While the classical performers were the majority, composers Waley-Cohen and Raasakka’s as well as Smart, representing jazz, added interesting new perspectives.

The participants collectively reviewed the collaboration of the past 2,5 years and agreed that the collaboration should continue.

- We discussed possible ideas such as a more continuous collaboration format through small group work and supervision exchange; the use of live online group sessions, summarizes Mieko Kanno, professor of Artistic Research at the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki.

The collaboration between the doctoral schools of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Sibelius Academy begun in 2017 with the idea of examining musical skills as a critical component in the practice-led doctoral work. Both institutions set a very high standard of musical skills for the doctoral work involving performance.

- We wanted to know more about what difference excellent musicianship makes in the doctoral studies. So, we set out two study days per year, one in May in Helsinki and the other in October in London, Kanno explains.

The project is designed for doctoral students in the early or middle stage of their studies. The participating students give 30-minutes presentations involving hands-on performance component, and there is always a substantial time for discussion. The aim is also to build up and have a community of like-minded people.

More information:
Prof. Mieko Kanno