Justin Doyle teaching choir conducting student George Parrish

Justin Doyle launched the International Visitor Programme

The Sibelius Academy international visitor programme was kicked off in January with a choir conducting master class by conductor Justin Doyle. He visited the Sibelius Academy for a three-day master class and will be coming back to work with the students later this year. During his visit he reviewed some of the working methods familiar to the Sibelius Academy students.

An international group of eight Sibelius Academy choir conducting students from very different backgrounds participated in Doyle’s master class.

- I saw they all have a real thirst for knowledge and passion and a desire to understand. As conductor I find it crucial to be able to be a team player and the way I work with a choir is to be more of a team leader. What I find great when working with a class of eigth was to notice how they learn from each other and share knowledge. And at the same time I hope that by working with eachother they also learn how supportive they can be to oneanother, too. They can support each other not just now that they are working together as students but for the rest of their careers, too. This way they’ll have something very valuable, the support and respect of a colleague!

One thing that is quite unique to the Sibelius Academy conducting class is the opportunity to conduct a life professional choir regularly. Also Doyle respectes this feature in the Sibelius Cademy education.

- Vokis - the real-life studio choir that the students get to conduct here - is an amazing opportunity; the students are able to see their theoretic ideas in practise and in real time – weather their gestures are able to translate to interpretation, he says.

Another speciality of the Sibelius Academy conducting class are the video sessions, following the session with the choir.

- Feedback is valuable and to be honest, the best tool for the students in their career will be self-evaluation. The video sessions give the students a chance to review what they have just done and reflect – and find something to work on the following day. When you’re standing in the conducting box it’s really hard to take in the information and give out information at the same time – to be active and passive at the same time, Doyle says.

Listen to Doyle's interview on Soundcloud

The Sibelius Academy has invited 29 artists representing the top of their respective fields from around the world to join the International Visitor Programme. The visiting teachers will work alongside students usually in periods of one year or two years at a time. This long-term engagement makes it possible to carry out an artistic project of the students, starting from the planning all the way to the completion.

More about the Sibelius Academy's International Visitor Programme

More about Justin Doyle

More about conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy