Student mental health in 2024

Students thrive when they are engaged in their innate creativity.
Self expression recognized by another human being makes us feel seen and appreciated. Students become excited when their creativity is accessed. They experience a sense of flow in which time stops. It’s like being in love. Their new ideas are a gift to the world. We don’t have to have the same great ideas coming from the same great people all the time. Celebrating uniqueness is good for mental health not only for an individual but also for that person’s community. There is a sense that anything is possible. All doors are open.

We have more control than we realize.
We all need choice and in reality there is always another choice to be made. There are some decisions that are final but we have more control over our lives than we acknowledge. I try to offer choices especially to my teenage students whenever possible. For instance, when working on solo repertoire, I ask students how they want to start. Is there a place they want to work on first or start at the beginning and play through of the piece? Meanwhile, I provide a curricular framework, lesson structure, communication with the parent, and support when a student gets stuck.

Society is rapidly evolving with newer and more complex technologies.
Lately I have been grappling with whether this 300+ year practice of learning a string instrument has been caught up in this momentum. I think parents are feeling the pressure to set up their children as best they can for the world they will face in adulthood. My belief is that Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy of a positive home environment and step by step method of learning is more important than ever.

Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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