top of page lowering the threshold to composition – an interview on FMQ

During the later half of 2010's, composition was included in Finland's National Core Curricula. Around the same time, composition coaching and composition teaching have become available for the students in the Finnish music institutes.

Due to the huge demand for teaching materials in the field of composition coaching, a workgroup of composition pedagogy specialists in the framework of the Society of Finnish Composers and Mutes society joined their forces to launch an online teaching materials databank, The Opus1 databank was launched in September 2018 and has since gathered substantial interest, both in Finland and abroad.

Jyrki Lähteenmäki interviewed composer Markku Klami for his article for FMQ (Finnish Music Quarterly), about the Opus1 databank and its goals and Klami's views on the situation of composition pedagogy in Finland at the moment.

“The purpose of the website is to offer material and tips for low-threshold composition teaching in particular. The assignments are accessible, and the expert articles discuss composition pedagogy and envision what composition teaching could be like in the future. The short-term goal is to involve all education providers in developing composition teaching. The long-term goal is to establish composition teaching as a standard feature at music institutes", Klami says in the article.

Composition coaching and teaching in Finland is very strongly focused on the student. A composition lesson is very student-centred and involves a lot of verbal dialogue even if musical action is very much in the focus. The teacher’s job is to find out what the student wants, not to impose their aesthetics or value base on the student.

“We should also remember that composition teaching is not just about writing music but also about getting performances. Organising a composition concert is always an effort, but for students it is encouraging and also a good learning experience. We should establish broader-based and continuous cooperation with instrument teachers. Musicianship is expressed in multiple ways, and composition is one aspect of it. Composition can be an aspect of an instrumentalist’s musicianship just as well,” Klami sums up in the article.

Read Lähteenmäki's article with Klami's interview here:

FMQ's Special feature on Finnish music education can be found here:


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