From Boston to Helsinki

I am excited to have accepted a new job as Professor of Music at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. The new post begins in August of 2008, so I will be teaching for one more semester at Boston University and then moving to Europe. I will continue to supervise some doctoral dissertations for Boston University as an online Master Lecturer. The new job at Sibelius Academy will emphasize research and thesis supervision, and has come about partly as a result of restructuring within the institution to bring the music education, jazz studies, folk music (ethnomusicology), and arts management/music technology programs into closer collaboration within a single faculty unit. I am eager to work with the faculty in jazz studies, music technology, and ethnomusicology as well as music education, and see enormous potential for many interesting new projects within this unique and forward-thinking institution.

“The internationally renowned Sibelius Academy, located in Finland’s capital city Helsinki, was founded in 1882 and bears the distinguished name of the great Finnish master composer Jean Sibelius. The Sibelius Academy ranks today as one of the largest and most prestigious music universities in Europe. In addition to providing the highest education in the field of music, the Academy engages prominently in performance and in creative artistic activity and research” (from: http://fsa.siba.fi/en/sibelius_academy/).

Here are links to some open-access online articles that discuss music education in Finland:





For those interested in music in higher education and folk music in Finland, Juniper Hill's recent dissertation provides some useful insights: http://juniperlynnhill.net/

The Folk Music Department of Sibelius Academy recently won a major award:

For those interested in Finnish bands, I recommend examining publications by Kari Laitinen available online through WASBE (linked under National Wind Band History / Finland) and the Finnish Music Information Centre (linked under Contemporary Music / Publications / Other publications in English), and certainly the work of Paul Niemisto at St. Olaf's College.

Links for Japanese:


Finlandia and Sibelius

The music education, ethnomusicology/folk music, and jazz studies departments of the Sibelius Academy recently hosted a unique symposium entitled De-Canonizing Music History (Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2007). The conference was organized by Lauri Väkevä, a music educationist who specializes in popular music pedagogy and Deweyan approaches to music education philosophy. Keynote speakers represented the fields of music education, musicology, and jazz studies, respectively:

  • Professor Roberta Lamb (Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
  • Professor Derek Scott (University of Leeds, UK)
  • Professor Lewis Porter (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA)

I presented a paper on hybrid genres in music education histories, and participated on the fascinating Panel Discussion with some outstanding scholars:

  • Dr. Pekka Gronow (chair), YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company)
  • Prof. David Hebert, Boston University, USA
  • Prof. Matti Huttunen, Sibelius Academy
  • Prof. Vesa Kurkela, Sibelius Academy
  • Prof. Lewis Porter, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
  • Prof. Derek Scott, University of Leeds, UK

The symposium was a very impressive experience. Not only does the Sibelius Academy enjoy a strong reputation as one of the world’s leading music schools for classical performance studies, but it is also making unique contributions in such areas as folk music preservation and revitalization, European jazz studies, popular music pedagogy, music technology, and music education philosophy. It is the only music university in Finland, a nation that is internationally renowned for its outstanding educational system. Some of the Sibelius Academy’s innovative programs are described in Juniper Hill’s recent PhD dissertation (supervised by Anthony Seeger and Timothy Rice at UCLA and available online). The Sibelius Academy is directed by visionary leaders, and is positioning itself to play a key role in establishing the future direction of music education in Europe and beyond.

Here are some links to images of Finnish beauty: