Dynamics tell the story
A student may play a piece technically beautifully, but with no affect. After the play through, when asked about the lack of dynamic contrast, the student may say that they did play the dynamics. The teacher tells them that they didn’t hear the dynamics. This scenario presents a gentle, mindful, healing way to bring to the student’s awareness that they were dissociating.
I have learned based on my own experience that dissociating can take very subtle forms. It is that feeling of having driven your car but having no recollection of the past few miles. You were operating the car, didn’t get into an accident, but are not sure how that happened. How did you do something so complicated as operating a vehicle and can’t remember doing it?
A gentle way to heal
Music is such a wonderful way to work through anxiety. Teachers can gently lead students back to mindfulness. Since playing a string instrument is a physical experience as well as being emotional and expressive, it presents the perfect opportunity to re-engage the body with one’s thoughts and feelings. Relief from anxiety ultimately comes from the calming of the body.