Musician - Pedagogue - Researcher

Eeva Siljamäki combines her practical experience as an artist and pedagogue with research on improvisation, learning and applied arts. She is a facilitator and enabler of learning. She sees difference in people as a strength and starting point. With empathetic and adapted methods and content she can suit the needs of each group, or each individual. 

With a masters degree from the Sibelius Academy (2003, Master of Music, MMus) she continues her studies as a doctoral researcher at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland (2012-) in research center CERADA.

Contact: eevasilja (@)


My  pedagogical know-how is based on 20 years of experience with various groups, communities and choirs. I have vast experience of working with people from "non-singers" and organisational development to amateurs and professionals in the arts.
I consider myself a facilitator and enabler of learning.  I see difference in people as a strength and starting point. I am empathetic and adapt methods and content to suit the needs of each group, or each individual. 


I am a professional in music as a performer and vocalist, choral conductor, improviser and arranger of choral music in the field of non-classical music and improvisation.
​My interest is in original and characteristic projects, which I have executed as a singer, musician and choral conductor at the interface of drama and music. 


I am finalizing my doctoral dissertation in the field of music education as a doctoral researcher at the University of the Arts Helsinki in Finland. 
​In addition to being an internationally published scholar my research involves my own pedagogical and artistic work as an improviser and choral conductor. 


Doctoral research 

Plural possibilities of improvisation in music education:

An ecological perspective on choral improvisation and wellbeing

I argue that in an interdisciplinary, improvisatory learning environment with applied arts and free improvisation not just musical learning is enhanced, but also social learning, growth, and general wellbeing. The study contributes to scholarly debate on instrumental and intrinsic value of the arts, societal impact of the arts, learning and improvisation pedagogy both theoretically and practically.


I explore free improvisation through the lived experience of participants in two choral activities at the interface of music and theatre. Social interaction, improvisation and playfulness are at the core of the activities forming a learning environment that accpets 'failure'. I explore what meanings the participants assign to the activities guided by the quality of social interaction instead of musical quality.

1) Arts intervention for students living with social anxiety
​...was developed in transprofessional collaboration between the University of the Arts and Finnish Student Health Services in 2013-2014. I acted as a responsible music pedagogue and facilitator combining choral singing, and improvisation with health care expertise. The intervention aimed at offering tools for higher education students living with social anxiety. ​

2) Social interaction at the center of free choral improvisation
​ the practices of one improvising ensemble, Helsinki Improv Choir (2014). Free vocal improvisation that combines improvisational theatre music is practiced and performed in shared leadership between amaterus and professionals of music end theatre.

This research is conducted as part of the ArtsEqual project funded by the Finnish Academy




Siljamäki, E. (2021). Free improvisation in choral settings: An ecological perspective. Research Studies in Music Education. 

Siljamäki, E., & Kanellopoulos, P. A. (2020). Mapping visions of improvisation pedagogy in music education research. Research Studies in Music Education, 42(1), 113–139. 

 Watch & Listen:

Live recording of Siljamäki as a member of the panel in "The big improv discussion" 

@ Arts without borders? conference 22.10.2016.

 with Shawn Kinley, Rita Marcalo, Adam Rudolph and Kai Lehikoinen (chair)

Live recording of Siljamäki presenting the study on an arts intervention with students living with social anxiety

@ Arts Equal research days 2.5.2016 

Live recording of a composition combining composed and improvised music by Siljamäki

@ premiere January 31st 2020 

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