Goals and methods
The Finnish String Teachers’ Association (Suomen jousisoitonopettajien yhdistys ry, SJO) aims to develop the teaching of string instruments in Finland and to promote interaction between string players. For this purpose, the Association disseminates relevant information and contributes to interaction between string teachers, both in Finland and abroad, by publishing a members’ journal and organising meetings, courses, concerts and other activities supporting pedagogical practices.
SJO’s annual, nationwide Interaction days are organised together with Finnish music institutions. The statutory annual meeting is held concurrently with the Interaction days.
The Violin forum, organised together with the Sibelius Academy, has been part of the Association’s agenda since 2004.
The SJO members’ journal has been published since 1979. It is issued once a year, and the layout has developed from a xeroxed handout into a high-quality, printed magazine. In the future, it is likely that the journal will also be available online.
SJO was unofficially founded in 1975 by Anja Ignatius, Arto Noras and Tuomas Haapanen. In a meeting held in October, 1976, Professor Arto Noras was elected as the chairperson and cellist Seppo Kimanen as the secretary of the Association. The official founding took place in 1979, when Professor Tuomas Haapanen began his 10-year term as the chairperson. During the term of his successor, Leena Siukonen (1989-93), bylaws were passed and SJO was officially entered into the Register of Associations.
Subsequently, the prestigious position has been held by violinist, DMus Lajos Garam (1993-1996); cellist, DMus Raimo Sariola (1996-2002); violinist, DMus Merit Palas (2002-2010); and double-bass player, M.M Lasse Lagercrantz (2010-2013). The Association is presently chaired by diploma violinist, music pedagogue Heidi Mantere.
Honorary members of the Association are Professor Anja Ignatius (1911–95), violinist Leena Siukonen (1924-94), violinist Seppo Tukiainen, and Professors Tuomas Haapanen, Arto Noras and Géza Szilvay.
The Finnish String Teachers’ Association is a member organisation of the European String Teacher’s Association ESTA.
Heidi Mantere, ESTA President