Music education

Are you aiming to become a versatile musician, an excellent music educator or a top researcher in music education? Then the music education studies, offered in Finnish or Swedish, are for you!

In a nutshell

  • Target degree: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, master’s degree in musi
  • 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
  • Teaching languages: Finnish, Swedish
  • Next time to apply: January 2019 (new students admitted annually)
  • Number of new study places: annually approximately 30 (programme in Finnish), approximately 3 (programme in Swedish)
  • Studies begin: at the start of the academic year in August
  • Person responsible for the degree programme: Heads of Department Aija Puurtinen, Katri Liira

Aims and career opportunities

Upon graduating from the degree programme in music education you will have extensive knowledge of music, master different musical subjects and possess versatile professional skills in music pedagogy. As a player and singer, you will master different musical styles on several instruments. You will be able to lead a choir and various kinds of bands, and know how to arrange material for different-size ensembles, taking learners of different levels into account. You know how to plan, implement and evaluate teaching and learning while utilizing existing research in the field as you teach and develop it. You are familiar with the ethical and social dimensions of teaching.

Students graduating from the degree programme in music education primarily find work as music teachers in elementary and upper secondary school, but also in other assignments requiring music education expertise, e.g. as teachers of music schools. You will establish close contact with schools and other prospective employers already during your studies. As part of your studies you will complete three on-the-job training periods in schools, allowing you to use and hone your didactic skills in practice.

Our education provides you with the tools to work in a variety of roles within music, for example as a musician, composer, arranger or sound technician. Upon graduating you may also seek to pursue a career as a researcher, or set up your own music business.

Contents and structure of the education

During the first three years of bachelor’s degree studies you will study musical subjects, the pedagogy of teaching as well as research skills, further developed during master’s degree studies. Your studies will also include elective courses and possibly studies in minor subjects, e.g. music technology or the pedagogy of free accompaniment. In addition to study units at the Sibelius Academy, you may also choose courses from the other academies of the university and from joint studies. Your studies will also include language studies.

In your master’s degree studies you will continue studying musical subjects, the pedagogy of teaching and research techniques. Elective studies constitute at least a fifth of your master’s degree studies. During your studies you will take part in various musical projects as a musician, band leader, music composer and arranger. You will gain experience from teaching in schools and other educational institutions, as well as from collaborating with various parties in the field of culture.


Full-time teachers

Heimonen Marja, University lecturer
Juntunen Marja-Leena, professor
Katri Liira, lecturer, Head of Department
Lindholm Marina, lecturer
Mäkinen Toni, lecturer
Partti Heidi, professor
Perkiö Soili, lecturer
Järvelä Aili, lecturer
Puurtinen Aija, lecturer, Head of Department
Seppänen Mikko, lecturer
Tabell​ Max, lecturer
Tikkanen Riitta, lecturer

Research and doctoral study

Upon graduating you will have the opportunity to apply for further studies in music education or another field of music in our doctoral programme.

Doctoral students’ studies will be integrated as much as possible into the department’s teaching and development activities by utilizing the special skills of students. In addition to this, the department organises various interest group activities, which the doctoral students attend. Music education research is coordinated and funded also by the University of the Arts Helsinki’s internal development centre CERADA.

Music education researchers are involved in, for instance, the following research networks:

  • Nordplus
  • Hollo Institute
  • ICON

The music education department’s own research and development projects:

  • MobiSiba
  • Rockway Project
  • Rocksmith Initiative
  • Kuule, minä sävellän! (Hear this, I'm a composer!/Credit Suisse Very Young Composers)

Ongoing reseach projects

Upcoming events

How to apply

Approximately 30 students are admitted to the programme annually, of which 4–5 to the Swedish-speaking programme. General requirements for admittance include sufficient musical skills and educability. The examinations inspect the applicant’s general musical skills, instrument skills and suitability for the field through several different assignments.


Contact information

E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname (at)

Heads of Department Aija Puurtinen, Katri Liira
Professor Marja-Leena Juntunen


siba.admissions (at)