Music Play School


  • Early education in music aka Music Play School aka muskari is musical education for children under school age
  • You may enroll by applying via
  • The headquarters for the Music Play School is in Espoo Cultural Center in Tapiola.The studies take place mostly Mon-Fri 9-15, but we also have a couple of groups on Saturdays and on Monday and Thursday evenings.
  • Studies take place in 19 daycare centers for the children of the respective institution in Southern Espoo and around Espoonlahti, Matinkylä-Olari and Tapiola regions. 
  • Term fees range from 120€ (45 minutes/week) from 1.8.2024.
  • Daycare center music play school/exemption from tuition fee: if a family has a city-issued decision for a zero-pay daycare fee, the child is also exempt from music play school student fee. The decision is granted for one year at a time. Please submit a copy of the city’s daycare fee decision by email to in the beginning of the school year.
    It is not possible to get a payment exemption for Tapiola music play school groups.
  • Out of the 1000 music play schoolers in EMO, 600 participate in the daycare centers

Group divisions in Music Play School

Family groups
babies of 3-6 months with parents 30-45 min/week
babies of 6-12 months with parents 30-45 min/week
1-year-old children with parents 45 min/week
2-year-old children with parents 45 min/week

Groups that do not require parents’ presence
3-year-old children 45 min/week
4-year-old children  45 min/week
5-year-old children Kantelemuskari 1 60 min/week*
6-year-old children Kantelemuskari 2 60 min/week*

Groups in English
3-4 year-old children 45 min/week
5-6 year-old children 45 min/week

*5-string kanteles will be acquired at the beginning of autumn for all 5 year olds and new 6 year olds. (Does not apply to the English speaking music playschool groups in Sommelo.) The teacher will help if needed.


Main objectives of early education in music:

  • lay a good foundation for the growth and development of a child and their relationship with music
  • awaken a positive attitude towards music
  • support early communication between the child and the parent in the family groups
  • overall delight in musical experience
  • create a safe environment for the child to develop their musical expression
  • learn songs and rhymes
  • develop a child’s musical, rhythmic and motor skills
  • learn to recognize one’s own cultural inheritance in several ways
  • encourage children and parents to make music at home
  • develop listening skills and concentration
  • familiarize the children with the basics of score writing


EMO offers Music Play School activities in 19 daycare centers in Espoonlahti, Matinkylä-Olari and Tapiola regions.

The activities are meant primarily for 3-6-year-old children and possibly also for younger children partaking in daycare. The Music Play School groups are formed by age in co-operation with the personnel of the daycare center. The studies take place according to the daycare schedule in the morning 8-11:30 or in the afternoon 12:30-16:30. The duration of the session is 45 minutes.

In addition to the Music Play School instructor, there is at least one member of the daycare staff present during the session. The Music Play School instructor helps organizing other daycare activities such as parties, events and patron concerts as well as training sessions for the personnel.

We welcome all the daycare Music Play School students to all the concerts and events in EMO. As a culmination of the year, the young students get to perform in Tapiola-Sali of Espoo Cultural Center!

Please contact the instructors for more information about Music Play School in daycare:

teacher Maija Alén:
Nokkalanpuisto daycare, Nuottakunta daycare, Punatulkku daycare

teacher Monika Cibulka:
Friisilä daycare, Kalamies daycare, Matinkylä daycare, Matinraitti daycare, Matinniitty daycare, Niittykumpu daycare, Suurpelto daycare

teacher Paula From:
Haukilahti daycare, Järvitorppa daycare, Merenkulkija daycare, Tontunmäki daycare, 

teacher Susanna Laukkanen:
Lystimäki daycare, Metsola daycare, Toppelund daycare

teacher Pilvi Szilvay-Monto:
Kaitaanniitty daycare, Nöykkiö daycare, Yläkartano daycare

Advantages of the music play school

Throughout the times babies and children of different origins have been pacified with music: humming, singing, cradling. There was an instinctive knowledge that music brings pleasure and a sense of security, it helps to learn, and it may be used to express oneself. In addition, modern brain studies show that a hobby in music, especially if taken at an early age, has significant effects on the brain and benefits the entire human being. A hobby in music increases cognitive skills, attention and adaptability (ability to adjust one’s actions to the requirements of a specific situation), as well as learning a foreign language, for example, or listening comprehension. Music play school contributes to the development of musical skills, motor skills, ability to work in a group, self-expression, self-confidence and concentration.

Focus points of the studies

The common thread of music play school is that its contents are gradually built on previously learned material. A single class is always a part of a bigger picture. We start from the general development of a child. The classes support a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development while they learn music by trying and perceiving it.

Music play school is holistic and it is based on the diverse use of musical elements including rhythm, tempo, form, melody, color of sound, harmony and dynamics. Our methods consist of rhyming, singing, playing, moving, listening and improvisation.

Class description

Babies and their parents
Making music with the help of the parent and through safe interaction. The most important methods are singing, rhyming, dancing, touching games, sneaking around, baby gymnastics and relaxation. Body movements along the songs and rhymes awaken and develop sense of rhythm and support the development of the child’s motor skills, speech and ability to sing.

1-2-year-old children and their parents
Making music together with the parent, using practically the same methods than with the baby groups. The activity is designed according to different types of personality and character. Moments of action are kept short. The familiar games and structure of the class encourage the child to act. At times the 2-year-olds have a moment of independent action. We also try the ways to produce basic beats and play the body, rhythmic and melodic instruments.

3-4-year-old children
The methods are rhyming, singing, moving / dancing, finger games, playing and listening. During the activity we perceive rhythm in several ways. We encourage the children to come along into the songs and games. We learn new songs, rhymes and games. We move in circles, chains and lines, and later freely. We practice movement in different forms, levels, directions, ways of performance and at different pace and we practice abilities to use equipment. The movement may not be cyclic yet.

5-year-old children
The methods are the same as in case with the 3-4-year-old children. We repeat the material learned before and play the body, rhythmic and melodic instruments. We begin playing the 5-stringed kantele by accompanying familiar songs and melodies by ear, improvising and creating original songs. With the help of simple songs and rhymes we familiarize ourselves with beat and rhythm of words and melody. We learn basic rhythm symbols. Along with gross motor skills movement we learn the abilities to use the equipment.

6-year-old children
Methods similar to the ones used with the 5-year-old children. We strengthen the already learned rhythmic and melodic material in different ways. We continue playing the 5-stringed kantele by accompanying songs and melodies. The children learn small melodies from written scores and learn to accompany songs in major and minor with the kanteles and idiophones with the help of score symbols.

The children are encouraged to put together the original melodies and to learn the basics of improvisation. They are also encouraged to perform alone and together. Step by step, we learn to read the musical notation. Children get information on different instruments and hobbies in music.

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