An investigation of the strategies used to mitigate mental illness symptoms in choral music ensemble classrooms: A case study
The mental illness epidemic affects people of all ages in every facet of daily life, including individuals involved in music ensembles. The purpose of this study was to interview current choral music educators (N=4) who had suffered from mental illness as adolescents and to determine their perceived level of mental health support from their choral ensemble directors while in middle school or high school. Further, the participants reported their current educational practices related to their students who struggle with their mental health. Finally, the support received by the participants in their choral ensemble classes was compared to the support they currently provide their students. Participants’ recommendations for directors included having an overall positive, safe, inclusive, welcoming, and encouraging classroom environment and building relationships, while avoiding pressuring students to perform perfectly, focusing solely on accolades or contests, disregarding changes in students’ behavior or demeanor, and accusing students of being lazy or unmotivated.