Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:17
The intercultural language of music
Text: Laura Myllykoski Photos: Mika Saloranta
- International co-operation has always been a focus point for us, Jouko Tötterström, the International Relations Coordinator at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences' School of Music, Dance and Media explains. Apart from student and teacher exchange, the Department of Music is also taking part in numerous projects that include the northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The Department of Music doesn't have an English degree programme yet but according to Jouko there are plans for a degree programme leading to a Master's degree in music.
- Our staff is very flexible and skilled in languages so it isn't impossible for a non-Finnish speaking student to study fully here.
There are several overseas students studying at the Degree Programme in Music even now. Jouko notes that the language barrier shouldn't be an obstacle for talented people to get education.
The studies in classical piano music allow the students to take part in a seminar organized by the Barents' Piano Association.
Piano-playing across the borders
For the past six years the Department of Music has been involved in the Barents Piano Association. It is a project that brings together teachers and students from Tromsø, Piteå and Oulu once a year to a piano seminar.
The three Schools of Music take turns in organising the event and in 2008 it will be hosted by School of Music in Piteå. In Oulu the seminar has been organised twice. The whole event lasts from two to three days and consists of presentations and courses. Students can take part as audience, performers or as participants of the course.
- Basically it depends on our ride to the seminar, how many students can take part but in the past years everyone who has wanted has been able to join.
At the moment the seminar is relevant only to those students who are studying classical music.
- The option of pop and jazz music was only started a year ago so the international network isn't there yet.
The Barents piano association is only a part of a bigger cooperation between the University of Lapland, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Luleå Tekniska Universitet and Høgskolen i Tromsø. There have also been projects concerning orchestral, choir and church music.
The Department of Music has created firm relations to similar academies in the Nordic countries. Students are encouraged to study abroad during their third year as an exchange student via Nordplus and Erasmus programmes.
The countries with most cooperation schools are Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia and Poland. At the moment there are three students studying abroad.
- The biggest number of students going out through an exchange programme this far has been seven but our ultimate target is at least twelve students per year.
According to Jouko the students should be a bit more daring in going abroad. And as noted earlier there are all the time talented overseas students studying in Oulu.
- Some of them haven't spoken a word of Finnish when they arrived and even their English skills have been poor but during their studies they have picked up Finnish and eventually after graduating have been employed in Finland.