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Apply to the master's programme in Jazz

Admissions guide to the 2.5-year Jazz programme (instrument or vocal studies, and jazz composition).


Application period: between 8 and 22 January 2020 (at 3pm EET)
Entrance examinations: a video recording replaces the entrance examination
Admissions results: published 1 April 2020

Who can apply?

All applicants applying for a bachelor’s and master’s degree or only a master’s degree at Sibelius Academy are required to have an educational background relevant to the degree programme in question. You must submit a copy of your existing qualification or degree certificate via the Studyinfo portal to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office by the given deadline.

If you complete one of the degrees mentioned below only after the application period ends, the decision on your admittance is conditional. In this case, you must submit a copy of your degree certificate to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office after you graduate (but no later than the deadline set for conditionally admitted applicants’ degree certificate submissions). If you fail to produce a verified copy of your degree certificate by the deadline, you will not be granted a right to study at the Sibelius Academy. Sibelius Academy can also at its discretion accept an official provisory degree certificate issued by a university or other institute of higher education that shows you have completed the course and will receive the official degree certificate or diploma later.

Sibelius Academy will check every applicant’s eligibility before the entrance examination.

Master’s degree (2.5 years)

To be eligible to study for a master’s degree at Sibelius Academy you need to have completed at least one of the following:

  • A lower university degree in music (Bachelor)
  • A university of applied sciences degree in music
  • A foreign degree or qualification in music that makes you eligible for corresponding higher education in the awarding country
  • At least a lower university or university of applied sciences degree in another field and, additionally, university-level music studies, which serve as proof of sufficient skills and knowledge for a master’s degree in music.

You cannot apply for a master’s degree programme if you have not completed at least a lower university degree.

Sibelius Academy may require you to complete remedial studies of an extent requiring a maximum of one year of studies. You must complete the remedial studies in a manner prescribed by the department head during your first year of study. You will be notified about any remedial studies required when you receive your admission results. The remedial studies will not count towards your degree.

Other exceptions to eligibility

You cannot apply to both the 2.5-year and the 5.5-year programme of a single main subject, or main instrument in the same year. If you do, only your application to the 2.5-year programme will be taken into account assuming you are eligible. If you are not eligible for the 2.5-year programme, your application to the 5.5-year programme will be taken into account.

If you have completed a higher education degree at Sibelius Academy, you cannot apply for the same main subject again, or the same main instrument in the case of Classical Music Performance.

If you already have a right to study toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree at Uniarts Helsinki, you need to apply for a change of right to study, or for special permission to pursue two degrees simultaneously. Read more here.

Language requirements

Degree studies at Sibelius Academy require sufficient command of Finnish, Swedish, and/or English. You must demonstrate your language skills with a language proficiency test or prior studies in order to apply to Sibelius Academy. If your chosen programme has several languages of study, you are only required to prove your proficiency in one of the languages.

The languages of tuition in the Jazz programme are Finnish, Swedish, and English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in one of the abovementioned languages by the given deadline. However, the majority of group tuition at the Sibelius Academy is provided in Finnish or English.

>> Demonstrating your language skills in English

>> Demonstrating your language skills in Finnish

>> Demonstrating your language skills in Swedish

You must provide proof of your sufficient language skills usually by the end of the application period. Sibelius Academy recommends all applicants to demonstrate their language skills by submitting the necessary certificates in advance. However, if you are unable to demonstrate your language proficiency by the deadline, the decision on your admittance is conditional. In this case, you must submit an acceptable certificate of your language skills to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office as soon as possible (but no later than the deadline set for conditionally admitted applicants’ certificate submissions). NOTE! If you do not submit the required proof of your language skills by the given deadline, you will not be granted a right to study at the Sibelius Academy.

How to apply

There are two main subject options in the Jazz programme:

  1. Instrument or vocal studies
  2. Jazz composition

Submit your electronic application in the Studyinfo portal before the end of the application period. Late applications will not be accepted. Submitting your pre-examination assignments or other supporting documents is not considered initiation of application proceedings if you do not submit the actual application form by the deadline.

Supporting documents

All certificates and other supporting documents must be submitted (as .pdf files) via the Studyinfo portal to arrive at the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office before the given deadline.

All applicants should submit the following documents:

Certificate of your prior education and a transcript of study records
If you have completed your education outside of Finland, we might ask for clarification of the educational system and the level of completed education in the country in question. If you complete your degree after the application period ends, you do not need to submit your degree certificate in the initial application stage. The certificate should be provided once completed (but no later than the deadline set for conditionally admitted applicants’ degree certificate submissions).

Certificate demonstrating your language skills
If you demonstrate sufficient language skills through previously completed studies, the degree certificate or its appendix, the transcript of study records, or some other official document issued by the institution in question must clearly state in which language the studies were completed. In order for your education to be counted as proof of language proficiency, it must be completed by the deadline set for conditionally admitted applicants’ certificate submissions.

Document that proves release from liability for payment of tuition fees
If you are applying to study in English, you will be required to pay tuition fees unless you submit documentation (e.g. a copy of your passport) that shows you are exempt.

Your submitted documents must state your current name and the degree programme they relate to. If the documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, you must submit an authorised translation into one of these languages.

If you are a refugee or in a refugee-like situation, or an asylum seeker and unable to submit documentary evidence of your qualification, you may still be deemed eligible to apply. Read more here.

Entrance examinations

>> GUIDE: Submitting admissions materials via Studyinfo portal (published in December 2019)

If you fail to deliver the required video auditions, or other supporting documents, certificates, or clarifications to Sibelius Academy by the deadline and in the required format, your application will be rejected.

You must notify the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office as soon as possible if you do not wish to take part in the entrance examination.

Entrance examination (instrument or vocal studies)

A video recording replaces the entrance examination. You are responsible for the production of the video recording and for finding an accompanying ensemble to play on the recording.

Submit your video audition to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Studyinfo portal no later than 29 January 2020 (3 pm EET). On the video audition recording, you must perform:

  1. A free-choice jazz composition or, for example, a composition of your own. The piece must be played or sung from memory, with or without lyrics.
  2. A free-choice solo transcription played solo or with a metronome (max. 2 minutes)
  3. A compulsory piece:
    • For instrumentalists: “Stablemates” (B. Golson). The piece must be played from memory.
    • For vocalists: “How High the Moon” (M. Lewis) and “Detour Ahead” (H. Ellis / J. Frigo / L. Carter). The pieces must be sung from memory.
  4. Introduction

In the video audition, you must be accompanied by a rhythm section. Solo performances will not be accepted (excl. the transcription).

The video audition can be recorded in several takes and more than one space. However, individual pieces must be recorded in one take (as in a live performance), and the recordings of individual pieces must not be edited.

You must play facing the camera so that your hands can be seen at all times. You must be seen in the video all the way from the head to the knees. The video must not be shot from too far away. Please make sure that the audio compressor or automatic dynamic adjustment of any kind is switched off on your recording device.

On the video audition recording, you must introduce yourself briefly (background, education, and motivation for applying to the Sibelius Academy and the programme in question). The duration of the introduction is 3-4 minutes. The introduction must take place in Finnish, Swedish, or English. The introductory section can be submitted to the Sibelius Academy as a separate file; in other words, you do not need to include it in the actual audition video.

Read also the general instructions on how to make your audition video.

You are responsible for making sure that the video audition meets the admissions requirements. Video auditions which do not meet the requirements will be rejected.

The Entrance Examination Board will interview some of the applicants based on the information given in the application, any certificates submitted, and the video audition recording submitted. The interviews are conducted via Skype.

Entrance examination (jazz composition)

A video recording replaces the entrance examination. You are responsible for the production of the video recording and for finding an accompanying ensemble to play on the recording.

Submit the following assignments to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Studyinfo portal no later than 29 January 2020 (3 pm EET):

  1. CV
  2. Two (2) pre-examination assignments, both as sheet music and a recording:
    • An arrangement of “Out Of Nowhere” (J. Green / E. Heyman)
      Line-up: a minimum of 4 wind instruments plus a rhythm section
    • A composition by you for a line-up of your choice
      A lead sheet for the composition will also suffice
  3. A video audition on your main instrument
  4. Introduction

The recording need not be made with an ensemble. The compositions must be written on pages not exceeding the A3 size.

In the video audition recording, you must perform a tune on your main instrument chosen from the list of 20 well-known jazz compositions drawn up by the Entrance Examination Board. The tune must be played or sung from memory. The stylistic interpretation can be freely chosen (for example, swing, latin, bebop, rock jazz, free jazz, etc.). For singers, an interpretation of the melody is sufficient.

You must be accompanied by a rhythm section. Solo performances will not be accepted.

The video audition can be recorded in several takes and more than one space. However, individual pieces must be recorded in one take (as in a live performance), and the recordings of individual pieces must not be edited.

You must play facing the camera so that your hands can be seen at all times. You must be seen in the video all the way from the head to the knees. The video must not be shot from too far away. Please make sure that the audio compressor or automatic dynamic adjustment of any kind is switched off on your recording device.

On the video audition recording, you must introduce yourself briefly (background, education, and motivation for applying to the Sibelius Academy and the programme in question). The duration of the introduction is 3-4 minutes. The introduction must take place in Finnish, Swedish, or English. The introductory section can be submitted to the Sibelius Academy as a separate file; in other words, you do not need to include it in the actual audition video.

Read also the general instructions on how to make your audition video.

You are responsible for making sure that the video audition meets the admissions requirements. Video auditions which do not meet the requirements will be rejected.

The Entrance Examination Board might interview some of the applicants based on the information given in the application, any certificates submitted, and the video audition recording submitted. The interviews are conducted via Skype.

Admissions grading

Your entrance examination and its components will be graded. If you fail to complete any of the compulsory parts or components of the entrance examination, you will not be granted a right to study at the Sibelius Academy.

In written examinations, your answers will be scored. In other examinations, the Entrance Examination Board will assess your skills, knowledge, and educability based on the programme-specific admissions criteria.

For educability, the Entrance Examination Board will assess your ability to complete your degree studies in the normative duration for the completion of a degree in accordance with the decree on university degrees (bachelor: 3 years, master: 2.5 years).

Assessment (instrument or vocal studies)

The selection is based on the Entrance Examination Board’s assessment of your skills, knowledge, and educability demonstrated in the entrance examination. The entrance examination will assess your command of jazz-oriented tonality and rhythms, ensemble playing skills, and musical vision for jazz. Your introduction will be used to form an impression about your study motivation, future plans, and visions as an artist.

The Entrance Examination Board will evaluate applicants on a scale of 0-25 on the basis of their assessment of the applicant as a whole.

Assessment (jazz composition)

The selection is based on the Entrance Examination Board’s assessment of your skills, knowledge, and educability demonstrated in the entrance examination. For the compositions and arrangements, the Entrance Examination Board will pay attention to the command of tonal harmony and voice leading, musical form of the compositions and arrangements, and insightful knowledge and use of jazz tradition and aesthetics. Your introduction will be used to form an impression about your study motivation, future plans, and visions as an artist.

The Entrance Examination Board will evaluate applicants on a scale of 0-25 on the basis of their assessment of the applicant as a whole.

Announcement of results

Uniarts Helsinki Board decides the number of new bachelor’s and/or master’s students to be accepted to Sibelius Academy. No more than 170 new students will be admitted to Sibelius Academy in 2020. Uniarts Helsinki does not apply the first-time applicant quotas in their admissions.

The entrance examination results will be available at Sibelius Academy’s Helsinki (Nervanderinkatu 13) and Kuopio premises at 9.00 a.m. on the day of the admissions results. Results will also be published on the Uniarts Helsinki admissions website, including the names of applicants who have given permission to publish their names online.

If you have been accepted to Sibelius Academy or added to the wait list we will send you an email on the day results are published.

The most successful applicant or applicants after the accepted candidates can be placed on a wait list for places that may become vacant at a later date. The wait lists are either programme-specific or alternatively group-specific, if there are several wait lists for different groups in a single programme. If you have been placed on a wait list, you may only be admitted to the programme if someone in the programme in question (or group in question) does not accept the study place, or if someone who has been selected conditionally fails to submit the necessary documents by the end of the deadline.

If the admissions criteria aren’t met, some programmes may choose not to admit new students. If a degree programme does not accept any new students, no applicants can be placed on a wait list for places that might become vacant at a later date.

Feedback

You have the opportunity to receive feedback on your entrance examination performance. A list of people responsible for giving feedback will be announced on the Uniarts Helsinki admissions website when results are published. Feedback is intended to guide you to further improve your performance and help you identify areas for improvement.

How to request for rectification

You can request for rectification of the Dean’s admission decision from Uniarts Helsinki within 14 days of the publication of the admission results. The right of appeal means that you have the possibility to request for rectification if there is a reason to believe that there has been an error in the decision-making process.

The right of appeal is not intended as a means for receiving feedback or asking for further information about the application process.

Read more here.

Accepting the offered study place

You can accept your study place electronically on the Studyinfo system or by submitting the confirmation form attached to your letter of acceptance by e-mail to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office. You must accept your study place by the given deadline.

If the confirmation arrives late, it will not be considered. The confirmation of acceptance is binding and irrevocable, and it cannot be cancelled. If you want to give up your study place after first accepting it, you are still considered to have accepted the study place for the semester in question (for more information, see ‘one study place per term’ provision).

Tuition fees

>>Tuition fees and scholarships in Uniarts Helsinki

Uniarts Helsinki will charge an annual tuition fee from non-EU and non-EEA students studying for a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in a foreign language. The amount of the fee will stay the same for the duration of a particular student’s studies.

If you are liable for payment due to your nationality, you must use the application form in the Studyinfo portal to notify whether you have a document that would release you from payment. The documents that prove your right to exemption should be submitted to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office by the end of the application period. If your liability to pay the fee changes after the application deadline, please contact the admissions office immediately.

Scholarships

Uniarts Helsinki has a scholarship programme for students who are liable for payment in the form of tuition fee waivers. The applicants should note that the university does not offer any scholarships for living expenses.

If you are liable for payment, you must state on the Studyinfo application form if your wish to apply for a scholarship from Uniarts Helsinki to cover the annual tuition fee if you get accepted. A separate form is used to apply for the scholarship (link to the tuition fee waiver form can be found on the Studyinfo application form).

The scholarships are granted for one academic year at a time based on applications. The amount of the scholarship is 2,500 or 5,000 euros. If a student is awarded a scholarship, they will be notified of the decision personally at the same time as they receive the admission results.

Starting your studies

The academic year begins and new students are expected to attend from mid-August. If we offer a preliminary course in music theory before mid-August, course participants will be given a detailed schedule in their letter of acceptance.

New students must register at Sibelius Academy before the academic year begins – more information will be sent to you about how to do this along with your acceptance letter. You can apply for the right to be absent for the first year of studies only under certain statutory circumstances. Read more here.

The right to absence must be applied for in writing to Sibelius Academy before the end of the registration period. Submit a certificate that entitles you to absence with your application.

Questions or comments?

You can contact us via e-mail at siba.admissions@uniarts.fi. You’ll also find answers to frequently asked questions here.

Admissions chat

Want to study at Sibelius Academy but don’t know how to get started?

You can watch a video of our live admissions chat which was recorded on 14 November 2019. On the video our staff representatives and students answer your questions about Sibelius Academy. The video is in English.

>> Link to the YouTube video