Jazz composition (major subject)

Specialise in jazz composition in an international degree programme under the guidance of international top professionals and be a part of an inspiring and vibrant study community.

Opiskelijoita flyygelin ympärillä

Why study here?

You can develop into a professional jazz composer under the guidance of Finland’s leading musicians, composers and international top names and learn to express yourself in your own unique way through your compositions.

We are known worldwide for our high-quality teaching, comprehensive curriculum and the abundant master class activity which also includes possibilities to play and work with the top-notch international jazz musicians.

Content and objective of the programme

As a student, you will receive the necessary knowledge and skills in African-American music, music culture and performance practices to become a professional. Upon graduating, you may take on demanding roles as a composer, arranger, orchestra conductor and pedagogue.

Jazz professionals such as Timo Lassy, Verneri Pohjola, Pessi Levanto, Kirmo Lintinen, Aki Rissanen, Valtteri Pöyhönen and Kalle Kalima are all alumni of the Sibelius Academy who have established themselves in the Finnish and international music scene both as composers and musicians.

You will learn how to combine the form, harmony and melody of jazz music. Through your compositions and arrangements, you will come up with creative solutions for challenges concerning rhythmic jazz expression.

You can choose almost a third of your courses freely. In addition to composing classes, you may choose e.g. music business, music technology or pedagogical studies. During your studies, you will also participate in different musical projects, master classes and social events.

You can also choose courses organised by the other departments in Sibelius Academy or the two other academies of the University and complete so-called joint studies that are available for all students.

Doctoral studies

It is possible to complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at the University as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you will have the option to apply for doctoral studies in jazz and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.

Here are some of our doctors of music. You can find their theses via the links.


The Sibelius Academy’s teaching staff represents the top of the Finnish jazz scene. In 2018-2020, international teacher guests included:

  • Jim Beard
  • Seamus Blake
  • Peter Bernstein
  • René Marie
  • Christie Dashiell
  • Sinne Eeg
  • Jamie Baum
  • Jeff Hirshfield
  • Aaron Parks
  • Tony Malaby
  • Guillermo Klein
  • Marquis Hill
  • Frank McComb
  • Tim Hagans
  • Craig Taborn
  • Mark Soskin
  • Billy Cobham
  • Aaron Goldberg
  • Matt Penman
  • Leon Parker
  • Jonathan Kreisberg
  • Martin Bejerano
  • Phil Markowitz
  • Jeff “Tain” Watts
  • Paul Bollenback
  • Pedro Martins
  • Godwin Louis
  • Samora Pinderhughes
  • Terell Stafford
  • Jason Moran
  • Dana Hall
  • Ralph Alessi
  • Ashley Kahn.

The programme also collaborates with the Manhattan School of Music via video conference. Master classes via video streaming have been held by John Riley, Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz and Gretchen Parlato.


Our University is one of the most sought-after places to study in Finland. Browse the admissions statistics from previous years.

Sibis Alumni Big Band

Our unique big band brings together students, teachers and prominent alumni.

Videos of our students

You can apply to

Degree Programme in Jazz, major subject: jazz composition

  • master’s (2,5 years)

Target degree

Master of Music (MMus)


Department of Jazz Sibelius Academy


English, Finnish, Swedish Read more about language skill requirements

Tuition fee

Annual tuition fee €5,000 for students from outside the EU and EEA countries. Read more about tuition fees

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2022. Studies begin in August 2022.

Persons in charge

Jussi Kannaste Department Head Sami Linna Department Head