Sibelius Academy

Studies at the Sibelius Academy begin with an orientation period. During the orientation you will make your individual study plan and enrol for tuition. You will also get to know your fellow students. The freshmen choir is a great way to make friends and meet other Sibelius Academy freshmen.

NOTE! This site will be updated during the summer.

Freshmen choir

The traditional Sibelius Academy's Freshmen choir will not be organized due to the current Coronavirus situation.

Individual study plan HOPS

The individual study plan (HOPS) is a plan where the modules of the students degree along with the schedule for each semester are recorded. First year students make their first HOPS during the orientation period. Counselling for making your study plan is available during the orientation period as well.

It is recommandable to take a look at your own degree structure and unit descriptions before your HOPS discussion. You will find them in the study guide.

To help you tp orientate yourself to studies, check student's online tutor here.

Studies in general music skills
Note! This page is intended only for bachelor's level students of classical instruments.

Starting your studies in general music skills 2020: instructions for new bachelor students in the Department of Classical Music

Welcome to start your studies at the University of the Arts, Sibelius Academy!


Bachelor’s level studies in music include studies in so-called general music skills:

  • Music history
  • Structural awareness of music (so called muha-studies)
    • aural skills
    • applied analytical skills (‘music theory’, harmony and analysis).


We will place new bachelor’s level students into groups based on their previous studies, study programme, language, and the skills they demonstrate in the preliminary assignments and/or placement tests. We kindly ask you to complete the electronic Surveypal form linked below by August 15th and submit the preliminary assignments according to the instructions below. You will start your studies at one of the following levels:


  1. Most bachelor students start with courses ”Structural awareness of music 1a: Aural skills”, ”Structural awareness of music 1b: Applied analytical skills” and “History of Western art music 1: Introduction”. If you have some previous studies in aural skills and music theory and manage to do the applied analytical skills and aural skills (part A) preliminary assignments successfully, this will be the appropriate level for you.


  1. If your current skills level in music theory and/or aural skills requires supplementing, you are required to take an intensive remedial course in music theory and/or aural skills. This remedial course will be offered in the week of August 30th-September 3rd, after which the students will either move to regular 1st-year groups, or if necessary, continue the remedial studies throughout the first academic year. Remedial studies are not required in music history.


  1. If you have already completed music-theory, aural skills or music history courses at the university-level, or have advanced skills in them, you can apply for credit transfer (so called AHOT process) of your previous studies. The credit transfer needs to be applied immediately at the beginning of your bachelor’s studies through the form linked to this letter. You also need to submit the specific set of preliminary assignments (see the attached PDF files; for applied analytical skills the list of links below is recommended) and participate in a placement test during the orientation period in August. 



Preliminary assignments and placement tests


  • In Aural skills, everyone*) has to do the preliminary assignments (see separate instructions in a PDF file), attach them to the survey and return them by August 15th. If you have difficulties in doing the preliminary assignments, you may need the remedial studies. If you apply for credit transfer of your previous aural skills studies, you also need to participate in a placement test on Aug 24th, 2021.



  • In Music history, there are no preliminary assignments or placement tests. If you wish to apply for a credit transfer of your previous music history courses (which need to be from higher education), choose the ‘credit transfer’ option in the Surveypal form. Read carefully the music history course descriptions (four courses) in the Study guide (, formulate and justify your suggestion, which courses you would transfer from the previous studies. You also need to attach a certificate of your previous studies, including a brief description of their contents and working hours.


The placement tests take place on Tuesday, August 24th. Below is a rough timetable:


9-11am Aural skills placement, oral part (only if you apply for credit transfer)
11am-2 pm Applied analytical skills placement for everyone. You will be divided in groups
12.30-3pm Aural skills placement, written part (only for credit transfer; small groups)


Link to the questionnaire (Surveypal form), deadline 15.8.:


Please read the instructions for the preliminary assignments carefully. There are separate files for Aural skills and Applied analytical skills. You need to attach your answers (as pdf or mp3 files) to the Surveypal form. If you apply for credit transfer of music-history courses, you also need to attach a certificate of your previous studies (transcript of records and possible translations to English).


If you have questions concerning these assignments or the general music skills studies in general, guidance is available via email during the orientation period as well as during the summer as follows: 


Please note that bachelor’s level studies in music require regular attendance on group tuition lessons. Please familiarize yourself with the group lesson policies after you have received your Uniarts user account and plan your schedule accordingly. We will inform you should any restrictions in connection with COVID-19 interfere with the above schedule.

Credit transfer

Prior studies or competences acquired in other ways may be credited towards a degree at the Sibelius Academy. The decisions are made according to the Uniarts Helsinki general guidelines on accreditation of prior learning (AHOT), and to the Sibelius Academy guidelines. The AHOT application should be done at the beginning of the studies and when the first study plan is drawn up or at the latest during the first semester.

Discuss the possibility of credit transfer with your departments study coordinator in your HOPS discussion at the beginning of studies. More information in ARTSI.

Language and communication studies


International degree students are required to complete the following language and communication classes:

X-yk14 English for Music Studies and Practice 1 (3 cr)
X-yk15 English for Music Studies and Practice 2 (2 cr)
X-K19 Written Communication (1 cr)
X-K11 Finnish 1 (4 cr)

Vocal Arts students also take the following courses:
X-K23 Italian Language 1 (4 cr)
X-K24 Italian Language 2 (5 cr)
X-K25 German Language 1 (4 cr)
X-K26 German Language 2 (5 cr)


English 1 & 2 classes involve intensive English language practice and language immersion activities with music content. Topics include, for example, introducing yourself and your major subject, musical instruments, musical eras and styles, music theory and notation terminology, music analysis and writing a résumé and biography.

Already fluent in the special English of Music?
If your English skills are excellent (Level B2 or higher) and you have extensive experience in using English in music settings, you can earn credits for both English for Music Studies and Practice 1 and 2 by compiling portfolios where you showcase your skills as a fluent English language user. There are separate portfolios for both courses, and both include an oral exam. More information on the portfolios:

Uncertain of your language skills?
If you are uncertain of your English skills, you can complete the Dialang test independently online: (the website works on the university’s computers). This test will help you to determine whether you should take a brush up course before the actual English courses (X-K20 Preparatory course in English, 3 cr). The Dialang test is also a part of the English 1 portfolio. You can save your test score by taking a screen shot of the results (between A-C2).


This class focuses on honing your academic writing skills during the third year of your studies. Inquiries: Emmi Huttunen,


This is a beginner’s class. No previous knowledge in Finnish is needed. If you have studied Finnish before, please contact Sanna Teerenhovi about your options. If you want to learn more, you can take three more classes at the University of the Arts.

X-K11 Finnish language 1 (4 cr)
X-K12 Finnish language 2 (4 cr)
X-K13 Finnish language 3 (4 cr)
X-K14 Finnish language 4 (4 cr)

Inquiries: Sanna Teerenhovi,


If you have already studied Finnish or English (at another university), you can fill in the form for accreditation of prior learning, to see if your prior studies substitute some of the required language studies in your degree at the Sibelius Academy (a link to an electronic form will be published later). Please attach an official transcript of records/other documentation on your prior studies. More information:


Learn a Language with a Duo Partner
If you’re into independent and effective language learning, you can improve your current second language skills or learn the basics of a new language by signing up for the Duo Second Language Program to earn 1 or 2 credits.



Further information is available on the university intranet (
FOR STUDENTS / Course selection and completing studies / Language and communication studies and Uniarts joint studies.

Language and Communication Teachers and Staff

Sarka Hantula, tel. +358 50 345 3946
English (Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy)

Emmi Huttunen, tel. +358 50 574 6504
English, Communication Studies in English, Lecturer in charge of the language and communication studies

Laura Lehtinen, tel. +358 50 4141 536
Communication Studies in Finnish, Finnish as a Second Language (S2)

Sara Leppänen, tel. +358 46 921 3521
Swedish, Communication studies in Swedish

Sanna Teerenhovi, tel. +358 50 5756 353
Finnish as a Second Language (S2), Finnish as the Second Domestic Language, Communication Studies in Finnish

Pilvi Järvinen, tel. +358 50 4720 849
Language and Communication Studies Coordinator, Accreditation of Prior Language Learning

Email addresses:

Do you have questions about language or communication studies and don't know who to ask? Contact

Pedagogy studies

Students in the music education programme have teacher's pedagogical studies included in their curricula. Students in instrument and vocal subjects, jazz and folk music, church music, general music and music technology can also include optional pedagogy studies in their curricula. You will get more information on pedagogical studies during the orientation period.

More information is also available in ARTSI.

Individual classes

To be able to receive instruction and attend classes, you need to have your individual study plan HOPS approved and be registered as attending. You may request classes from a certain teacher at your HOPS discussion. The head of department decides which students are allocated to each teacher and at that time considers whether your request is possible.

Group tuition

Group tuition - rules for students

First year students enrol to group tuition during the orientation period. Guidance is given in the Student’s everyday network services info and in the HOPS discussion. In following years students enrol to group tuition in the spring.

  • Group tuition requires regular attendance. Inform the teacher if you can't attend a class.
  • Don't be late from classes.

  • A small number of absences may be compensated by individual study. Unless otherwise informed by the teacher, the limit is 3 classes / semester (when the tuition is 1 class / week) and 6 classes / semester (when the tuition is 2 classes / week).

  • Instrument class, chamber music rehearsal, another course or work are not acceptable reasons for absence.

  • Keep track of your absences. Find out the contents of the class and what tasks were given. The teachers do not provide individual materials for those who have been absent from class.

  • Confirm your place in the group by being there for the first class.

  • Teaching times and groups are not adjusted according to the student's individual schedules.

  • Previous studies (prerequisities) must be registered before a place in the group can be confirmed.

  • Assignments must be completed within the given time or latest within one year from the end of the course.

  • If you need to leave the course unfinished for any reason, get in touch with your study coordinator.