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Research & development projects

Dr. Siljamäki believes the arts can be the transformational momentum for socially sustainable futures. Siljamäki has carried out research projects that focus on practice-orientation and the development of learning environments from the perspective of equality, holistic well-being and social safety.

Her interests include the interface between art and well-being, improvisation in all forms, collaborative learning, collaboration, group work, interaction, multiprofessional collaboration, socially engaged art, societal value and meaning of the arts, learning environments, creative methods, applied improvisation, art-based methods and facilitating and enabling change.

Siljamäki is currently the responsible director of a research project funded by the Kone Foundation. Prior to this she has worked as a post doctoral researcher at the Uniarts Helsinki in two transnational research and development projects (Artwork and Fast45) that explore the future of the art profession and the expanding professionalism of artists. 

You can find examples of past and current research projects and results on this page.

Improvisation as transformational momentum

for equity and safety in school communities

This project explores the potential of improvisation as a force for change in the school community. The project is motivated by concerns about the growing malaise in school communities and the realisation of equity. The project is supported by the Kone Foundation 2023-2026.

Follow the links for more information on the project: 

Access to webpage here

Social media: @improvisaatio.muutosvoimana

Blurred backround of a school class. Text: Improvisation as transformational momentum for equity and sasfety in school communities. Research and development project 2023-2026. Koneen säätiö. Kone foundation. Uniarts Helsinki

Socially engaged art curriculum for training artists

Results from the project artwork 2021-2023

The artwork project aimed to train artists for socially engaged arts (SEA) practice, which refers to artistic and arts-based participatory approaches aiming to influence and instigate social change through art or artistic processes in collaboration with or within a particular community or, more broadly, society. SEA is a multifaceted field of artistry practised in many contexts and informed by several discourses. 

Collaboratively with Dr Kai Lehikoinen, Siljamäki developed a five-part online course "Introduction to socially engaged arts practice", which can now be found in the free online platform. This platform also includes a research-based curriculum for training artists into SEA. 

The Artwork project (2021-2023) was implemented in partnership between five European countries with Erasmus+ funding. 

name of the project: artwork. Names and logos of companies

Art for resilience and flexibility in working life

A service concept designed to develop flexibility and resilience in working communities.

See the Artsmend service model (2021) (only in Finnish).


A computer and camera

A socio-ecological perspective on improvisation in music education



In her practice-oriented research (2021), Siljamäki studied the role of improvisation pedagogy and social environment in learning together, learning through art and well-being. Read the research "Plural possibilities of improvisation in music education: an ecological perspective on choral improvisation and wellbeing" here

A woman and man standing with their mouths open and hands spread widely

Choral singing and improvisation for tension management

A service concept designed to develop flexibility and resilience in working communities.


Siljamäki developed a new kind of choral activity in a multidisciplinary collaboration with psychologist Ninni Rehnberg (YTHS) and physiotherapist Päivi Hamari (YTHS), combining improvisation and singing with social anxiety management and peer support. Siljamäki was also part of the research team that examined this project, which was carried out in collaboration between the Student Health Foundation (YTHS) and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki

A lady moving accross a stage facing a large group of people. Everyone is holding their hands up.
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