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Teosto project introduces musical creativity to school music classes


Teosto is launching a nationwide school project aimed at introducing the creating of music into the curriculum of Finnish schools. In the course of the project, well-known music authors such as Jukka Immonen, Ville Galle, Jenni Vartiainen and Anssi Kela will be visiting schools around Finland to talk about how they write songs and to instruct pupils in how to create music along with their teachers.

Pupils draw and paint artworks of their own in art class, and this is nothing new. But in music classes, pupils mostly listen to and play pieces created by others. What Teosto wants to do is to leverage musical creativity at school at an early age. Teosto wants to see pupils playing pieces that they write or create themselves. The best-case scenario is for pupils to realise not only that they can make their own music at school but that making music may be a meaningful pursuit for their future.

This school project forms part of the more extensive Pumppu scheme, the purpose of which is to facilitate success in music and to improve the operating potential of music authors in Finland.  

Project to involve 12 schools and 19 musicians

There are 12 schools all around Finland piloting the project. These schools will add creating music to their music and mother tongue classes in spring 2014. Each school will also have musical ‘godparents’ to help and support the teachers in teaching kids and teens how to make music and how to write and create pieces of their own. Music authors have been attracted to the project by the opportunity to share their know-how and to recirculate something of the good things and the joy that they have experienced.

“I’m in because I want to give something back. School was very important for me when I began to do things with music, and I think it’s important to have the opportunity to encourage others to explore their creativity,” says Ville Galle, known as one half of JVG, who will be returning to his old school, the Pukinmäki Comprehensive School in Helsinki.

Also involved in the project is composer and producer Jukka Immonen, best known for the songs he has written for Jenni Vartiainen.

“I’m interested in giving children and adolescents better opportunities for finding hobbies and in making it as rewarding as possible to pursue those hobbies. This school project is an excellent example of just such a thing,” says Jukka Immonen, who will be going to Juvanpuisto School in Espoo in the context of the project. 

Project to feed into future curriculum

During the project, experiences of creating music as part of the school curriculum will be documented, and better ways of teaching music in a classroom environment will be explored. Existing tools and methods will be leveraged as diversely as possible in the project. The project aims to lower the threshold for incorporating musical creativity into music teaching in schools, with a view to translating some of the findings of the project into input for the new school curriculum to be launched in 2016.

“Even the current curriculum already strongly recommends that teaching should incorporate musical invention. This project is a response to this recommendation, aiming to introduce means and tools for this purpose. Nothing is better for the students than to meet music professionals, to enjoy the immediacy of communicating with them and to make music with them. Our students have a tremendous desire to learn how to create their own music, and this is giving them exactly that,” says Matti Suomela, a teacher at Vaskivuori Upper Secondary School, who participated in the pilot project with his students in spring 2013.

School project to continue through spring 2014

The school project is being launched on 12 November with a meeting of most of the participating musicians and school groups at Musiikkitalo in Helsinki. Some of the participating music authors already have school visits booked for autumn 2013, but the real work will begin in spring 2014, with each of the ‘musical godparents’ visiting their respective schools.

Teosto is partnered in this project by the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts, Rockway Oy, Otava publishers, F-Musiikki Oy and Atea Finland Oy.

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