Classical instruments: Percussion

As a major in percussions at the Sibelius Academy you will receive an internationally acknowledged, high-quality education in percussion instruments and solo instruments used in Western orchestral music.

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 study credits (3 yrs. + 2.5 yrs.), master’s degree 150 study 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: Head Teacher Antti Rislakki
  • Other responsible persons/Head Teachers: Head Teacher for Chamber Music, Tim Ferchen

Aims and career possibilities

Tutkinnon suoritettuasi saat valmiudet työskennellä monipuolisena lyömäsoitinten ammattilaisena sekä solistina että orkesteri- ja kamarimuusikkona. Lisäksi voit halutessasi suorittaa laajat opettajan pätevyyden tuottavat pedagogiikkaopinnot.

Contents and structure of the education

The instruments you will study mainly include percussion instruments required in orchestral music, such as timpani, snare drum, bass drum, glockenspiel, tambourine and cymbals, as well as solo instruments such as marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, and various percussion set-ups.

You will receive 90 minutes of personal instruction in your main instrument per week. In addition to the teaching of your own instructor, you may regularly participate in master classes by visiting teachers. As a student, you will also be provided with great opportunities to play together with students studying other instruments, or as part of the SibA Percussion Ensemble, which gives concerts on an annual basis.

During your three-year bachelor’s degree studies, you will complete B level performance in accordance with the level requirements for percussion instruments. You will be studying chamber music and taking part in the Sibelius Academy symphony orchestra already in your first year of study. Your studies will also include musical perception skills, music history, pedagogy, language studies, studies in a minor subject and elective studies. The Sibelius Academy offers e.g. elective studies in composition and arrangement, conducting, and studies in jazz and folk music. You may also choose study units from other academies of Uniarts Helsinki as well as from joint studies.

At the master’s degree stage you will continue studying your main instrument and complete the A level performance. In your elective studies you may choose to develop your competence more widely or focus your interest on e.g. orchestra and chamber music or contemporary music.

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.

Teachers and contact information

Our teachers possess plenty of expertise in different percussion instruments and your individual instruction will therefore usually be divided between several different teachers.



Antti Rislakki

Olli-Pekka Martikainen (vv.)


Part-time teteachers:
Tim Ferchen

Lassi Erkkilä

Sami Koskela

Pasi Suomalainen

Samuli Viitanen


Contact information

Lecturer Antti Rislakki
050 5293 192