Fun fact: did you know that the Sydney Opera House was designed by a Danish architect Jørn Utzon, whose work fits into the narrative of Nordic design in the 20th century and is similar to that of Aalto.
"Aalto" is also a Finnish word which translates to "wave". Although nothing remotely resembling Australian surf is to be seen on the shores of Finland, it is still known as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes". Whereas Australians have the beach, Finns have the "järvi", so a word like "aalto" is especially nostalgic and evocative for myself and Stephanie, as we spent the early years of our life together in Helsinki.
Quantum physicists cum philosophers have said that all matter is a wave, including human beings. We are all vibrations that form part of an interconnected web of ripples. Music too is a wave, a vibration of sound waves, and it forms the fundamental basis of our own unique wave experience.
Fun fact: did you know that the Finnish name for viola is "alttoviulu", which directly translates to "alto violin". This is because the viola is the alto member of the orchestral stringed instruments. Unlike violinists who read music from the treble clef, the tessitura of the viola is notated on the alto clef.
The similar pronunciation between the Finnish "aalto", and the English "alto", and the reference to music made it an obvious choice for our logo.
Why the name "Aalto"?
MELBOURNE'S ONLY NORDIC INSPIRED MUSIC SCHOOL
I decided to start Aalto School of Music upon my return to Australia after several years studying piano (plus organ, harpsichord, composition, conducting, amongst others!) at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. Finland is renowned across the globe for its unparalleled education system, and the idea to start a music school was born from a desire to bring the best of what I learned during my studies there and impart it into my music teaching back home in Melbourne. Thus, our teaching methods are largely inspired and informed by the education we received in Finland.
Our philosophy is to approach music education in a holistic way thereby ensuring that our students develop into complete musicians who play their chosen instrument, rather than being just instrumentalists who play music.
Aalto is a home-based studio, perfectly set up for music lessons in Heidelberg, north-east of Melbourne. Our studio is equipped with a Yamaha C5 grand piano, as well as a comfortable place for parents to sit and listen if they wish.
Alongside my music studies at the University of Melbourne, I was fortunate to have had the chance to attend architecture history classes for two years. One of the more interesting historical figures who resonated with my aesthetic sensibilities was Aalto.
Alvar Aalto was a highly influential and historically significant Finnish architect and designer from the 20th century. In a period when a radically modern International Style was on the agenda of most architects, Aalto stands out as one of the few individuals who seemed to offer a wholesome alternative - an organic synthesis that created something new out of the old. While living in Finland, I've had the opportunity to see the work of Aalto as well as other Scandinavian designers - buildings, furniture, and glassware. This same ethos of creating new from old in an organic manner has influenced me in my own field of music.