Sanna Kivijärvi is a doctoral researcher at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. She has an interdisciplinary educational background with an emphasis in special education, music education, and sociology. During the academic year 2019–2020, she works as a Fulbright research fellow at Teachers College Columbia University (New York, USA).
Sanna Kivijärvi's doctoral dissertation is a thesis by publication that examines the Finnish music education system by analyzing a social innovation for equity, Figurenotes (Kuvionuotit), from both pedagogical and educational policy perspectives. Through the case of Figurenotes, this project examines how the application of notation systems creates equity or inequity within music education, and the interaction of micro- and macro-level educational policies. In order to resolve educational policy concerns, the dissertation focuses on the concept of reasonable accommodation in music education. The dissertation consists of sub-studies reported in four academic peer-reviewed journal articles and a dissertation summary presented in kappa.
In addition to her doctoral research, Sanna Kivijärvi is researching the concert audiences of the Helsinki-based Resonaari Music Centre and embodiment in music education with diverse learners. Her projects are part of Academy of Finland's Strategic Research Council funded research initiative ArtsEqual that regards arts and arts education as a basic public service that should be equally accessible for all. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and served as a peer-reviewer for academic conferences.
Among other teaching assignments, Sanna Kivijärvi has worked as a lecturer of music education at Sibelius Academy, UniArts Helsinki. She has taught Bachelor- and Master-level students in research seminars, including thesis' supervision, as well as pedagogical courses, such as special education in the arts. She frequently holds visiting lectures, and presents papers in international and domestic conferences in music education and the related fields.