Department of Folk Music

We are pioneers of folk music pedagogy: a leading educational unit in our field with an international network.

We research and revive historical singing and playing styles and use them to create something new. We educate multitalented experts in folk music to become independent actors in arts and culture, integrated in the communities and society of today. We bear special responsibility for the traditions of folk music and dance in Finland and neighbouring areas. We uphold cultural diversity and its spectrum of instruments, sounds and styles, especially the range of oral traditions.

We also study, teach and do research on music from all around the world. We develop learner-centred, holistic music pedagogy and do research on phenomena related to folk music as part of art, history, art education and culture. For us, tradition means a connection to our collective past as a living phenomenon with creative capacity, encompassed in the art, culture and everyday life of today.

We think that it is important to not only have in-depth expertise in folk music but also to bring the joy of playing music, singing, dancing, improvising and composing to everyone. Music and dance belong to everyone!

Contact information

  • Sirpa Lahti

    Head of Department, Folk music, Sibelius Academy
  • Kristiina Ilmonen

    Professor, folk music (wind instruments), folk music (percussion), Folk music, Sibelius Academy
    Part-time teacher, Folk music, Sibelius Academy

Studying folk music

Study to become a professional in folk music in an internationally leading unit offering higher education in folk music.

Explore our publications

We publish artistic, pedagogical and research publications to support teaching and to share the results of our research.

Cooperation and networks

We engage in active cooperation with Finnish and international institutions, organisations and events.

Artistic activities and events

Our artistic activities involve concerts, recordings and online publications. We organise events and participate in events organised by Uniarts Helsinki.

Full-time folk music personnel