Juha Ojala

Musical experience is a right of every person. Musical experience is not a mystery but a current and interesting object of research. Music education supports that right, growth into musical agency in a multifaceted world.

– Juha Ojala

Juha Ojala

Ph.D., M.M.

Professor (fixed-term)
Music education


Juha Ojala, Professor of music education at the University of Oulu (2014-2018), programme director in music ed., and leader of the Community of Research in Education, Music, and the Arts (CREMA). Ph.D. (U Helsinki, musicology), M.M. (Johns Hopkins U., piano, composition and electronic & computer music; Sibelius Academy, piano). Studies at the Liszt Academy, Budapest. Broad teaching experience as lecturer and univ. lecturer in music (U Oulu 1993–2014), lecturer in music technology (SibA 1997-98) and TA in music theory (JHU 1990–92). Good teacher award (U Oulu 1995). On a leave of absence during academic year 2018–2019.

Research interests

  • Experience, meaning, and mind in music
  • Performing and composing as communication
  • Musical growth and education
  • Pragmatist theory of music and art education
  • Music technology and music education technology
  • Embodied and social cognition in music

Scientific merits

Professional and community activities

  • Ca. 45 scientific articles, 2 monographs, 13 edited publications.
  • Editor-in-chief of journal Musiikki 2013–2017 (The Finnish musicological society)
  • Performances of Western art music, contemporary music, and other musics.
  • Works for orchestra, various chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and electronics.
  • Member in, e.g. The Finnish Association of Composers, The Finnish musicological society, The Finnish Ethnomusicological Association, The Finnish Semiotic Society, International Society for Music Education
  • Supplementary representative, The Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies

Research groups

  • Community of Research in Education, Music, and the Arts (CREMA)

Thesis supervisions

Thesis and dissertation supervision
  • 5 doctoral dissertations supervised.

  • Ca 70 master's theses and numerous bachelor's theses supervised.

Research visits

  • Research visit to the USA

    Fellow, Exploring the Mind through Music, Shepard School of Music, Rice University, Houston, TX.