Jazz composition, Master

Specialise in jazz composition in an international master’s degree programme guided by top professionals from Finland and abroad. Join our inspiring and vibrant study community.

Opiskelijoita flyygelin ympärillä

Why study here?

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

We are known worldwide for our high-quality teaching, comprehensive curriculum and abundant master class activity. You will have the opportunity to play and work with top-notch international jazz musicians.

Content and objective of the programme

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

Esteemed jazz professionals Timo Lassy, Verneri Pohjola, Pessi Levanto, Kirmo Lintinen, Aki Rissanen, Valtteri Pöyhönen and Kalle Kalima are all alumni of the Sibelius Academy. They 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. In your compositions and arrangements, you will come up with creative solutions to challenges concerning rhythmic jazz expression.

You can choose almost a third of your courses freely. In addition to composing classes, you can 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 Uniarts Helsinki academies. You can also complete so-called joint studies that are available to all students.

New curriculum to be launched

Our curriculum is currently being updated. Teaching according to the new curriculum will start in autumn 2024. Please keep this in mind when browsing the current curriculum.

Doctoral studies

You can complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at Uniarts Helsinki as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you can apply for doctoral studies in jazz and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.

Some of the theses written by our doctors of music are available on-line:


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.

We collaborate with the Manhattan School of Music via video conference. These video-streamed master classes have been held, for example, by John Riley, Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz and Gretchen Parlato.


Uniarts Helsinki 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

Target degree and length of study

Master of Music (MMus)
2,5 years


Department of Jazz Sibelius Academy

Application languages

English, Finnish, Swedish Read more about language skill requirements

Tuition fee

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

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2023. Studies begin in August 2023.

Supervising teacher

  • Jussi Kannaste

    Lecturer, jazz (saxophone), ensemble, Jazzmusiikki, Sibelius Academy
  • Sami Linna

    Lecturer, jazz (guitar), instrument pedagogy, Jazzmusiikki, Sibelius Academy

Ask about applying