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:





Karen Minkkinen Page said...

Dr. Hebert,
I was wondering how you are adapting to life in Finland. I would like very much to move there, if I can find a position in music education. I am a graduate student at BU and am near the end of the MMus program. I teach in New Hampshire currently, but I am also a dual citizen with Finland. How are you managing with the language? I know the Finns are very good at speaking English, but still, it is sometimes hard to fit in if you are not fluent. My Finnish is improving, but I am not sure I could actually teach in Finnish, not for a long time! I am hoping there is room there for a Finn who loves the country and culture, but is not quite fluent in the language. I will be flying to Suomi for my Christmas break. Many at BU send their regards to you.
Karen Minkkinen Page, Kaarina

Sociomusicology said...

Hello Karen:

Finland is great. There are few hours of daylight here in winter, but that will start to improve very shortly. Finns tend to speak English very well, but I am still hoping to develop some proficienty in Finnish. Send me an email and I will get you in contact with people here who can advise regarding the details of school music teaching in Finland. We have a large network of graduates who are teaching music in schools throughout Finland. I will be flying AWAY (back to Seattle) for Xmas break, but hopefully we will meet another time.