Information for New Students

On this page, you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding, among other things, study progress and study counselling.

Viulistityttö ja viulistipoika soittavat duona kulttuurikeskus Orvokin luokassa.

The violin duo practices in the cultural centre Orvokki. Playing together is great!

Welcome aboard!

If you are a new student, congratulations! You have chosen a great hobby – music will bring loads of joy to your day-to-day life! At the Vantaa Music Institute, you will gain valuable building blocks for your life and many memorable experiences in the world of music. Through regular practice and the help of our great teachers, your will learn to play and/or sing in a way that brings joy to you and others.

Basic Music Education – Syllabus Information

Singing and playing lessons   

Singing and playing lessons (30–75 minutes) consist of practising with the chosen instrument and playing/singing music from various genres.  

Music perception subjects’ lessons   

Music perception subjects’ lessons (MUHA lessons), which can begin at age 10, consist of learning the basics of music and singing. Later, students are taught music-related IT skills and music arrangement and composing skills. If willing, those under the age of 10 can attend pre-training by joining a Keys to Music group.  

Music group sessions

Music group sessions aim to teach the participants to play/sing together as a group and to hear other players’ and one’s own contribution in a group context. Depending on your instrument, you can participate in group music sessions as part of a duo (during playing lessons), orchestra, choir, group, ensemble or during MUHA lessons.

Performances and Practising at Home

Performances and listening  

Performances can be organised in many different ways. You can play or sing solo or as part of a group, ensemble, orchestra, choir or production. The performance can take place at an event or at one of the music institute’s matinees, evening events or concerts. During a performance, songs rise to a higher level as does the playing/singing.  

On average, each student should perform two times per school year, either solo or together with a group. Performances are a great form of social interaction. You can share what you have learned with others and gain constructive and encouraging feedback that helps you develop your skills further. Music studies also entail listening to other students’ performances. By listening to others, you can learn a lot about music and gain valuable insights that help you develop your own playing skills. You might even hear your next favourite song for the very first time at one of our student concerts. You should attend concerts outside our institute too, at least occasionally!              

Practising at home

The only way to learn an instrument or singing is through practice. At the end of each playing or singing lesson, you will get homework. You should work on it rigorously. Practising just once or twice is not enough, do it as much as you can – every day, if possible! Sometimes practice may feel boring, but you should still keep doing it. If you practise regularly, your skills will develop fast, and the playing will become more and more enjoyable!  

With practice, parents’ encouragement and support are also vital, especially for very young children. You don’t have to be an expert. Simply reminding and encouraging the child to practise will do.

Absences and Cancellations

Student absences  

If you have to skip a lesson, always inform your teacher about it well in advance. The teacher is not liable to reschedule the lesson. If you are going on a holiday trip, you can discuss rescheduling the missed lesson(s) with your teacher. However, this has to be done well in advance.  

Teacher absences

The music institute will inform students about all teacher absences as promptly as possible. Every effort will be made to reschedule your lesson. In its place, you may be asked to attend a group lesson or a concert, for example. When the teacher’s absence is long-term, a substitute teacher will be sought. For group-session subjects, substitute teachers will also be sought, though finding one at short notice is often difficult. When a substitute teacher cannot be found, the corresponding lesson is usually cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

Music Studies and Other Hobbies

Every school year, the music institute organises a small number of large concerts. Such concerts require additional practice sessions that are scheduled separately. Students will be informed of these sessions well in advance. If you are taking part in a large production, it is important that your other hobbies can go on the back burner for a short period of time. Correspondingly, the music institute will accept the inverse, when/if your other hobbies require similar full attention.

Teacher–Home Communication

Many of our teachers require their students to use a homework pad to write down their homework and other necessary details. Such details can also be entered into the Eepos Service in electronic form.

Teachers, students and parents/guardians can communicate in any suitable way, such as via email, SMS messaging or phone. Teachers’ contact details can be found in the Eepos Service. Parents/guardians and students can contact the relevant teacher any time they have questions or other matters to discuss.

Parents/guardians can also find up-to-date information on the student’s progress via the Eepos Service. Both parents/guardians and the student will be given access details when the corresponding study place has been confirmed. The Eepos Service includes a progress table containing the student’s passed courses, performances and overall progress related to set goals. In addition, the Eepos Service also includes an instrument-specific syllabus and its goals.

Study Progress

Studies at the music institute progress from one level to the next.  Basic Studies consist of studies that belong on three Music Skills Levels. These are followed by Advanced Studies. Progress is assessed using goal tables. The teacher and student jointly plan a suitable programme for each level, of which a small portion is performed before an audience. The student receives a verbal assessment of their playing which is then marked into the goal table. With instrumentation, it usually takes approximately three years to progress from one level to the next.

Suspending Studies for a Predetermined Period

When basic or advanced studies have to be suspended, it must be done via application in spring in conjunction with the annual continuation notification. The reason for the requested suspension must be significant, such as military service, maternal leave, studies abroad or the like. You should also discuss the planned suspension with your teacher. If the student in question is a minor, the suspension notification/application must be signed by their parent/guardian. All suspensions that would occur during the school year are discouraged.

Ending Studies

If you wish to end your studies, this must be declared in spring in conjunction with the annual continuation notification. If you plan to end your studies, you should also discuss the issue with your teacher.  

In cases where a student wants to end their studies after the school year has begun, their parent/guardian (or the adult student) must send an end notification to our office at: musiikkiopisto@vantaa.fi. If you do not want to continue studying during the spring semester, you must notify us before it begins (1 January). If you do not do so, you will be charged the full spring semester tuition fee.

Assessment of studies

At the beginning of your studies, you will be provided with Eepos login details for your personal Eepos user account. On the account, you will find your personal goal table where your teachers will add assessments and feedback on your studies. The goal table also includes a self-assessment section and programme completion and performance details. At the beginning of each school year, an annual plan will also be added to the service. At the end of the school year, you and your teacher will jointly assess how well you have managed to fulfil the goals set in that plan.

Study Counselling

Generally, all questions related to your studies should be answered by your teacher. If necessary, they will help you get further assistance.

Hearing Protection

As a music student, it is very important that you do your best to protect your hearing. Hearing damage can begin to occur unexpectedly, so it is vital that you protect your hearing well even when/if no issues are yet apparent.   
 
Noise exposure depends on the length of your practice sessions, so it is very important to take occasional breaks. With regard to acoustic instruments, percussion instruments, drums and wind instruments are the ones that produce the highest decibels. The next loudest are the piano and vocals.  
 
If you need only occasional protection, the earplugs sold in pharmacies and other stores are sufficient, assuming you do not remove them until the music is over. For additional protection, you may also consider purchasing custom-moulded earplug (such as Elacin ear plugs) at your own expense. During music lessons, the lowest protection level (9–15 dB) is the most suitable and sufficient.

Keywords

MusicHobbies