Skill Levels

Instrumental studies at the Nurmijärvi Music Institute progress from one skill level to another. There are five skill levels: beginner´s level, basic levels 1-3, and advanced studies. Below, the learning contents of the skill levels are described by sub-area, and the contents of the required playing demonstrations are defined. The purpose of the descriptions is to facilitate the understanding of the studies, their planning, and the evaluation of the progress.

The goals of studies at the Music Institute are a positively colored and active relationship with music, versatile playing skills and competence of the basics of music. Along with cognitive and artistic development, the student is guided to find a meaningful way to act with music. The key is to learn to recognize your own skills and develop them independently. In this way, the lifelong ability to enjoy music, and the desire to use music for bringing joy also to others, grow.

Every learner is a unique person. Everyone has their own strengths, challenges, and interests, which are considered at all stages of the study. The basis of teaching is the dialogue between the learner and the teacher.

Experientiality, expressiveness and freedom are part of making music. Learning the playing technique that serves these goals, however, requires disciplined, regular and purposeful practice. Playing technical exercises, scales and etudes is a necessary part of instrument lessons. Progress requires the support of guardians, and active practicing at home.

For practicing, the student must also have an instrument at home. The Music Institute rents instruments to its students, but as the skill develops, it is usually worth considering buying your own instrument. It is good to ask the teachers for advice and help in purchasing the right kind of instrument.

Regular performance in student concerts creates experiences of success that maintain study motivation. Playing together with other students at the Music Institute strengthens the social network woven around music and promotes the social learning of music.

Playing from memory has a long tradition in the history of performing art music. Studying works "by heart" is an important way to develop understanding of music and control of performing. Therefore, parts of the concert and skill demonstration performances are played without sheet music.

Listening to music is a central part of learning to play music. By listening to recordings and especially to concerts, the emotional world of music, concert practices and repertoire are perceived in an experiential way. Again, engagement at home and the support of guardians are central.

Studying music is a long-term process that includes various kinds of learning. After adopting the learning content corresponding to each level, the student prepares a skill demonstration performance to move to the next level. As a rule, the repertoire demonstration is given in a concert-like situation, and it is evaluated verbally. The scales playing competence, which advances the understanding of tonalities and music reading skills, is demonstrated as listed in the level description. After the advanced studies, the Music Institute studies are concluded with a final concert, which the student can also perform outside of the Music Institute.