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Degree Program in Classical Music Performance (Kantele)

University of the Arts Helsinki
Program overview
5.5 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
English, Finnish, Swedish

Start dates
August 2023

August 2023

August 2023

About this program

Degree Program in Classical Music Performance (Kantele)

This 5.5 year program leads to a Bachelor's and a Master's degree.

The kantele program is multi-faceted and highly respected both by national and international standards. It has a unique mission in fostering and renewing kantele music and pedagogy. Kantele artists who have studied at the Sibelius Academy and achieved global success include Eva Alkula, Eija Kankaanranta, Kristi Mühling and Hedi Viisma.

The flexible curriculum caters to individual interests and aims at providing students with wide expertise and top-level mastery of the instrument. You will have the chance to grow into a professional with your own strong artistic vision. 

The kantele major focuses on versatile soloist studies, spanning different eras and genres as well as the development of extensive pedagogical skills. In your studies, you will also learn more about chamber music, free accompaniment and improvisation, ergonomics when playing, as well as the history and modern state of kantele. The program gives you the opportunity to work with composers and composition students and learn about how to incorporate electric kantele and music technology in your music. You will also become acquainted with the structure and maintenance of kantele.

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted as a degree student to the Uniarts Helsinki, applicants must have command of the language of instruction used in the program. Having sufficient language skills is, in principle, a requirement in order to be eligible to apply, and it ensures that the applicant has demonstrated educability and suitability for university-level education and has the communication skills needed as a student.

The academies determine the languages of instruction for each degree program. The languages are stated in the program's admission criteria as well as the syllabus.

If a program has several languages of instruction, applicants are only required to prove their proficiency in one of the languages.

Applicants must demonstrate their skills with a language certificate or prior studies. Language skills may also be assessed as part of entrance examinations.

A number of our study programs is offered in Finnish, Swedish, and English. This means that the student has the right to use any of these languages in teaching and study attainments, unless it is otherwise stated in the curriculum or the character of teaching makes it impossible. Please notice that most of our group instruction is held in Finnish or English.

These requirements are followed in our bachelor's and master's admissions, and in doctoral admissions where appropriate.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Classical Music Instrument Performance / Kantele, Bachelor and Master of Music (3 yr + 2.5 yr)

Kantele, Bachelor of Music

Instrument and ensemble skills

  • Optional studies
    • Free accompaniment

Proficiency demonstration and maturity essay

General music skills

  • Structural awareness of music 1
    • Assignments (optional)
  • Structural awareness of music 2
    • Structural awareness of music 2a
    • Structural awareness of music 2 b
    • Assignments (optional)
  • Advanced structural awareness of music
  • History of Western art music
  • History of music essay, optional
  • Optional studies
    • Kantele study

Pedagogical skills

  • Pedagogical skills (select option A or B)
  • Option A, pedagogical skills
  • Option B, pedagogical skills

Study and career skills, and ergonomic studies

  • Studies determined by the apartment
  • Optional studies
  • Language studies
    • Foreign Language
    • Second official language
    • Written communication
    • Foreign language

Kantele, Master of Music

Instrument and ensemble skills

  • Master course

Proficiency demonstration and maturity essay

  • Maturity essay

General music skills and communication skills

Career and study skills

  • Studies determined by the department

For more information, please check the course webpage.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

The languages of instruction for this program are English, Finnish and Swedish.


The tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students is €5000 per year.

Tuition fees at Uniarts Helsinki are only applicable to Non-EU and non-EEA students studying for a BA or a MA degree in English.


Target degree - Bachelor’s + Master’s Degrees in Music

The objective of the Classical kantele major is to develop the student's diverse instrument skills and personal artistic vision.Major studies in Classical kantele have been available at the Sibelius Academy since 1987. Over the years, the department has taken charge of the national duty of preserving and reforming kantele music.

Continuing studies

It is possible to complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at the University as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a masters degree, you will have the option to apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.

Career paths

After graduating as a professional kantele player specializing in Classical music, you can work as a soloist, chamber musician or kantele teacher, or alternatively in other jobs that require expertise in music and the arts in the field of contemporary music

About this institute

University of the Arts Helsinki

The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) offers the highest education in fine arts, music, dance and theatre in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. Uniarts Helsinki’s wide selection of programs in the field of arts and productive dialogue between teaching...

Read more about this school

Why study at University of the Arts Helsinki

  • The University of the Arts is one of the leading performing arts universities in the world: Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy has ranked among the top 22 universities in the QS World University Ranking for five consecutive years (2016–2022).
  • We have unique facilities for creating arts with two campuses in Helsinki and a new building for fine arts which was opened in 2021. The facilities are in the use of the Academy of Fine Arts as well as students of light design, sound design, and design for the performing arts. We host over 1,000 public performances or exhibitions per year.
  • At Uniarts Helsinki you can study in an inspiring environment where different disciplines of art influence each other. The academies of Uniarts Helsinki;Academy of Fine Arts, Theatre Academy and Sibelius Academy, have roots deep within the Finnish arts education and history of art. The predecessors of all three academies were founded in the 19th century although then they operated under slightly different names.
  • The Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki is an international academy with a focus on fine arts. Students' personal aspirations and one-to-one guidance in teaching are at the heart of the academy.
  • The Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki is one of the largest music academies in Europe. It is the cornerstone of the Finnish music culture through its expertise in teaching, research and artistic activities.
  • The Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki is a reformer of the performing arts and offer the highest education in theatre, dance and writing in Finland.

Contact info

University of the Arts Helsinki

Sörnäinen campus
Sörnäisten rantatie 19
00530 Helsinki

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