Conducting studies at Sibelius Academy are based on the solid musicianship of its students. Most students are highly skilled with musical instruments, having also gained extensive experience in their working lives or having earned bachelor's or master's degrees. Conducting studies add to the knowledge and skills of these professionals.
Everyday conducting studies at the university level consist of close cooperation between the instructors, students, and the rehearsal orchestra or choir. Various orchestras are part of this package. As to specialization, students choose from orchestral, wind orchestral, and choir options. In addition to conducting studies, the conducting department provides accompaniment as well as chamber music and performance training.
At Sibelius Academy, 60 to 70 chamber music groups work together each year. An important event in the 2011–2012 academic year will be the chamber music week to be held at the end of March. During the week, the students will give chamber music concerts in the Camerata Hall of the new Helsinki Music Centre and in the Concert and Chamber Music Halls of the R Building. In addition, they can play in the monthly matinees at the Camerata Hall and the Chamber Music Hall of the R building. Further, chamber music groups will take part in the centenary festivities celebrating the birth of composer Erik Bergman with a chamber music concert in November 2011. In addition to weekly chamber music studies, four chamber music weekends will be held at Kallio-Kuninkala in Järvenpää as well as master classes with visiting teachers.
Learning and performing the repertoire of one's instrument with a chamber pianist, or accompanist, is an essential part of instrument studies at Sibelius Academy. Currently, there are 21 pianists working both full-time and part-time at the Academy. With them, the students study the structures and harmonies of the compositions' musical scores. An experienced professional pianist is also a valuable support in matinees and during exams.