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Embracing versatility: Professionalism and playfulness intersect in Mutaveijarit’s music for children

by Julius Töyrylä

Formed at the Sibelius Academy ten years ago, Mutaveijarit (Mud Rascals) has nurtured a deep-seated love for children’s music. With their versatile approach to music and commitment to professionalism, they’ve captivated audiences and cooked the finest mud soups with audiences in different ages. The band celebrates their 10th anniversary in 2024.

“Ten years have passed and we’re still here!” 

This is what the band recalls in the green room of the legendary live music venue Tavastia in Helsinki before kicking off their concert to mark the beginning of their 10-year-celebratory year. 

“We appreciate the versatility. Since children’s music is timeless, we strive to apply our full professionalism to the songs, making them enjoyable for everyone,” they reflect.

Mutaveijarit were formed at the Sibelius Academy in 2014 among music students enrolled in the “Songs for Children” class. Since then, the eight members have cultivated a shared passion for children’s music.

Mutaveijarit 1 Mutaveijarit 2

Through numerous award nominations and appearances in notable arenas – such as the beloved children’s show classic Pikku Kakkonen, cherished by Finnish families for generations – the band has garnered a steady following and remained dynamic and active for a decade.

Mutaveijarit at Tavastia’s backstage before the gig.

In their 10-year anniversary concert, the band invited the choir of Kaisaniemi Primary School, led by teacher Kirsi Pettinen, to join them.

A comment from one student during the soundcheck perfectly captures the essence of the Mutaveijarit’s music and performance style: 

“It’s so hard not to sing along! I want to sing everything!”

Mutaveijarit are also known for their elaborate incorporation of props and theatrical elements into their performances. The band members’ vibrant personalities and commitment to musicality shine through in the quality and themes of Mutaveijarit’s music. 

While the songs may appear to be typical children’s music, they contain underlying messages and lessons. One can even discern some political elements and rather melancholic themes in the lyrics. For instance, the song “Sadepäivä” (A Rainy Day) portrays rain and boredom, but also emphasises how rain can be a source of play, encouraging children to view rain as a chance for fun and imagination. Similarly, the song “Saimaannorppa” (Saimaa Ringed Seal) portrays the mundane life of a Saimaa ringed seal, highlighting the desire for an endangered animal to live in peace. It instils in listeners an appreciation for life, both theirs and that of others. The songs are filled with care for the world.

Sometimes it rains, but it’s all right!

The choir added a captivating element to the performance with their rap sections and melodica playing. 


The entire Tavastia venue is packed with fans of all ages. The atmosphere is electric, with even the youngest audience members moving to the music. 

The live setting showcases Mutaveijarit’s fun performance style, allowing audiences to experience the improvisation and other elements firsthand. 



Mutaveijarit consists of Eveliina Saikkonen, Veikko Muikku, Johanna Mäkitalo, Mari Nieminen, Miia Reko, Jussi Nikula, Saija Santavirta and Leena Untamala.

Photos and text: Julius Töyrylä