Classical instruments: Guitar

Are you fascinated by guitar playing? As a major student of guitar at the Sibelius Academy, you’ll have the opportunity to refine your playing skills to the highest possible professional level in an international, welcoming and highly talented environment.

In a nutshell

  • Target degree: bachelor’s and master’s degree in music, master’s degree in music
  • Scope of the degree: BA + MA, 180 + 150 credits (3 yrs. + 2.5 yrs.), MA 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
  • Persons responsible for the degree programme: Responsible teachers Ismo Eskelinen (guitar) and Andrzej Wilkus (guitar pedagogy)

Objective of the studies and career opportunities

When studying guitar as a major at the Sibelius Academy, you will focus on achieving a high level of artistic and instrumental expertise combined with strong pedagogical skills. After completing your studies, you will have the best possible set of skills needed when entering the working life. 

In addition to the Sibelius Academy’s guitar teachers, you will also learn from international guest professors by participating in master classes that are held on a regular basis. Guitar is also available as a minor subject for students of other subjects.

After graduation, you can work as a soloist, chamber musician or guitar teacher, or alternatively in other jobs that require expertise in music and the arts. You can choose to pursue a career in research, administration or media, or start your own business in the field of music. During your studies, you’ll develop your ability to work in the cultural sector with people and organisations from different fields and engage in collaborative projects with different cultural institutions.

Almost all of Finland’s most esteemed classical guitar players have completed their degree at the Sibelius Academy. Some examples of these graduates include Otto Tolonen, Ismo Eskelinen, Andrzej Wilkus, Janne Malinen, Timo Korhonen, Juuso Nieminen and Jyrki Myllärinen.

Contents and structure of the education

Contents and structure of the education


In addition to individual instrument lessons, you will study chamber music, guitar pedagogy, sight-reading, guitar history, repertoires and free accompaniment. Besides guitar studies and other courses complementing your major, you will also complete elective studies and possible minor subject studies. You can complete courses organised by the Sibelius Academy or any of Uniarts Helsinki’s other two academies, and there are also so-called joint studies that are available for all students. As part of your degree, you will also complete language studies. 


Guitar pedagogy studies will support your soloist and chamber music studies and your journey of becoming a well-rounded, versatile musician. You’ll learn to observe the learning processes of other students as well as your own, increase your knowledge on the development stages of children’s and young people’s psychological and motoric skills, and learn to analyse them in terms of guitar playing technique, interpretive abilities and repertoire. Performing in concerts is also essential to your studies, and you and other guitar students will take the stage as part of an annual festival, for example. 

How to apply

Links to the admissions guides and more information about applying can be found on the admissions page. The next application period to the University of the Arts Helsinki is in January 2019.

Doctoral studies and other further training

After graduation you have the opportunity to apply for postgraduate studies in music with our doctoral programme, focusing on scientific, artistic or applied doctoral studies. At the Sibelius Academy you may graduate with a licentiate degree in music or a doctoral degree in music.



Part-time teachers

  • Otto Tolonen
  • Janne Malinen
  • Petri Kumela


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