Tag Archives: finland

“Shall we let the music out?”

Preparations are again under way for the third Music Therapy Seminar at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. “Shall we let the music out?” is aimed at anyone interested to learn more about music therapy and the research at the university by both MA and PhD students through workshops.

There will be a choice of workshops to attend, but no matter what you choose to see, you will not be disappointed! This is a wonderful opportunity to see how budding music therapists work and lead sessions. You’ll get the opportunity to play music (don’t worry, you won’t be alone!) and you’ll undoubtedly get drawn in by the atmosphere and leave smiling.

Book your chance to take part in this LAST opportunity from these MA students through this email address: intromt@gmail.com.

See you there!


Making the Move

It’s coming closer to the time when students have to start thinking about what’s next. Those words can be terrifying, petrifying, but liberating.  What’s next? But, what if there’s more to it than that? What if it’s not just what’s next, but where to next 

Moving overseas can seem daunting, but thousands have done it before you, so it can’t be so bad, right? The thing is, one needs to plan well and figure out all the possibilities on offer. Talk to people. Read about others’ testimonials. Read old newspaper articles which talk about the place you’re researching. Open your ears and your heart to new possibilities and new people. Read a blog about a course you’re interested in…

So, practically speaking, what are some things you need to know when applying to the course?

Here is a short list of FAQs that you can peruse and leave a comment if you have more questions! Pass on this information to those you think might be interested in music therapy or work in the field and let us know what you think about the possibility of studying music therapy, studying with like-minded and open people and living and studying in the Land of a Thousand Lakes!

Thinking of applying for the next Music Therapy Master’s Programme at Jyväskylä? Here are some FAQ that might help you make your decision! 

1) What are the requirements for entry? 

Language requirements: English is the working language, so if you do not have English as a native language, you must have an equivalent to a TOEFL score of 580 – paper based – or 237 – computer based – or 92 – internet based. Also the IELTS score is acceptable – the score should be 6.5 or above. 
It helps to have a background in Music, Psychology or Therapy but one does not need to have a full working knowledge of therapeutic approaches or methods to be able to apply or complete the course. 

2) What is the atmosphere like within the programme/city of Jyväskylä?

The course is quite small for a MA – everyone is friendly and helpful and the overall atmosphere of the university is very pleasant. The city may have 80,000 inhabitants, but it has a very close-knit, compact feel and all amenities are within a short distance of each other. 

3) What is the clinical training like in the course?

The clinical training is comprised of two sections- Internship I and II. The first is 12 sessions and the second 20. The second is organised in the student’s own time whereas the first is done within class time and scheduled by the class teachers. 

4) What is the public transport like?

As of now, each single journey on the bus costs €3.30. It is possible to get a card that lasts for longer e.g. a 6 month card which costs €50 or a card that entitles the holder to 40 trips. This can be quite expensive. Most students cycle. The city is small enough to be able to get everywhere within quite a short time and there are always second-hand bicycles available for new students. For more information on second-hand items in Jyväskylä, visit the FB page Foreigners in Jyväskylä or Second-hand items in Jyväskylä. You may find someone from your own country who can tell you how they find it living in Finland  

5) Language courses.

For the MA course, all foreign students must take two Finnish language courses – Suomi 1 and Suomi 2. It is possible to continue these studies as a side course. 

6) Information on accommodation can be found here:https://www.jyu.fi/en/study/services/accommodation_degree_students 

7) How easy is it to make friends in Jyväskylä?

There is a strong international culture here because there are so many exchange students. If you would like to get to know a few before coming here, try the ESN FB page, where all the erasmus students currently living in Jyväskylä will be! There are a lot of activities one can do to get to know people such as choirs, orchestras, art clubs, other types of music groups, sports courses offered at the sports centre/university sports organisation as well as potential flatmates. All international students are “in the same boat” when they arrive here, and there are lots of events/parties/trips to Lapland/Russia/Stockholm, so plently of opportunites to meet new people!!


3rd International Conference on Music and Emotion – Jyväskylä, 2013

How does one define emotion? This is the age old question, right? It’s personal, subjective, feelings. Ew. Emotions are so hard to describe even though we feel them all day, every day. They are my feelings, why do I need to describe them?

This is something which is important for us to understand for so many reasons. As a music therapy MA student of course this topic is an intricate thread in the course. I have always believed that music and emotions are connected. How would it be possible to listen to Beethoven and not feel the power emanating from it? It’s almost impossible to listen to Latin music and not feel your foot start to tap or the music move your body as if with a cajoling physical force. For me, they’re connected – again, it’s my opinion.

However, it may be completely presumptuous of me to jump to any conclusion which would imply that everyone feels the same way about certain pieces of music they way I do.

Sit back. Clear your mind. Think of a song, a melody that evokes a strong feeling in you. Maybe thinking about the music isn’t enough to really get a true sense of the feeling or emotion you get when you actually listen to it. Music is powerful; power beyond words. But that’s what the researchers who attended the conference in Jyväskylä from June 11th – 15th wanted to do – express what we feel when listening to music in words and try to understand it on a broader scale. From Neurophysiology to Everyday Listening, to put it colloquially, this conference ‘had it all’. Keynote speakers were, as to be expected, no less than inspiring. Eric Clarke, Antonio Camurri, Jane Davidson, Klaus Scherer, Stefan Koelsch – all big names in the business. Who could say no to a line up like that?!

Of course, the University of Jyväskylä is the perfect place to hold such a conference. The department of music is well known for its research in this exact topic – music and emotions, music, gesture and movement – which, of course, is undoubtedly related to the emotions we experience whilst listening to music – music perception, and many more.

(If you’re interested to know more about the type of research that has been done at the Centre of Excellence 2008-2013 at Jyväskykä, follow the yellow brick road…em, this link: https://www.jyu.fi/hum/laitokset/musiikki/en/research/coe/publications )

Well, not only was the department in Jyväskylä the perfect host to the conference, the city itself is beautiful. With 16,000 students – 1,000 of which are international – at the main university, not including JAMK – the University of Applied Sciences – the secondary and priary schools, this city of 135,000 inhabitants is definitely the definition of a “student city”. Not that it feels like a city. The feeling one gets whilst being here is more of a small town with nice shopping centres surrounded by countryside. Perfect for nature enthusiasts. Naturally, the conference wasn’t all work; there were more than enough social events organised to keep the delegates wanting more. From a 3 hour cruise around Jyväsjärvi – the lake on which shores the university lies – to a jazz jam session which led to an embarrassing amount of 1920s style dance attempts (http://ravintolapoppari.fi/). (Musicians – possibly the best peeps to party with? Everyone knows how to play something!) An amazing Sauna experience (what else, this is Finland!) and mouthwatering meals at an old-style, stunningly located, authentic finnish community settlement (http://www.savutuvanapaja.fi/index.php?page=main).

Geoff Luck, the conference chair, and Markku Pöyhönen, who definitely should not go without mentioning, were absolute stars – it couldn’t have run any smoother. Of course, the staff (i.e. us willing students who were lucky enough to be able to help out) couldn’t have asked for such an inspiring opportunity. Not many people can say that they had the chance to attend talks by prestigious researchers at an international event which took place on their very doorstep.

Long days and lots of smiling were part and parcel for the helpers. A photo is worth a thousand words and this one describes from left to right our interpretation of music -> emotion!Image