Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi

Picture: Kirsi Karppinen

Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi, Turku University of Applied Sciences

At first, we would like to know who you are and what you do?
I’m Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi, PhD and MM, principal lecturer in Creative wellbeing. I’m a developer-educator in arts, health and wellbeing and in creative wellbeing and the responsible educator for our degree programme of Creative Wellbeing.

What was the professional path to your current position?
I have a background in teaching, at primary school and at secondary school. I’m class teacher and music teacher for my first degrees. I worked also for many years in teacher education at Turku University and also in third sector education in music. After completing a degree in music therapy I worked also as a music therapist. After I started working at Turku University of Applied Sciences in 1998 I also started to develop the pedagogical ideas of applying music therapy into education – and wellbeing. My doctoral thesis in 2007 was about the concept ‘therapeutic’ – how could we interpret the therapeutic meanings and possibilities in music and musical interaction in music education?

At TUAS Arts Academy I have worked in different roles and positions during my career as a developer-educator. I’ve had a privilege to pioneer music in hospital and care settings, care music education at TUAS and also to be a member in our dynamic team of developing the field of arts, health and wellbeing. In 2016 I was named as the first principal lecturer in Creative wellbeing (Arts, health and wellbeing) in Finland. For the last six years I’ve been contributing to creating and developing Master School at Turku Arts Academy.

How did you come to be a part of the ARTHEWE developer team?
That is an essential element of my job; to develop the field of Arts, health and wellbeing in terms of educational structurers and to promote education in the field. Nationally and internationally. Erasmus + funding offered us an inspiring frame to build an RDI project that was a good step forward in the development continuum we have worked on during the last 10 years.

What do you think wellbeing is? Why do you think it’s important to promote arts and wellbeing / creative wellbeing? What kind of things you find especially significant?
I see wellbeing as a creative process, as life in itself is. The very core in it is the personal relationship to arts, and the personal experience of wellbeing. Wellbeing is an eudaimonic, holistic process, which has its potentials independent of a person’s age, health or living conditions etc.

What kind of things do you enjoy in your free time? Do you have any hobbies in regard of arts and culture?
Last autumn I started as a singer and keyboard-player in a gospel band, NotBadBand, with four gentlemen. I’ve performed as a gospel singer for many years, but this band is a new aspect. That is really therapeutic for me! I also enjoy of free, associative writing, taking photos and reading (or listening to audio books). I love all kinds of improvising, with colours, movements, music…

Do you have any greetings that you want to send to the readers of the ARTHEWE website?
Respect and nurture your childlike creativity – it’s an important part of your vitality!