go back
November 23, 2022

Coaching Young Musicians to Connect with their Inner Voice

Eva Cappelletti Chao knows the struggles of young musicians very well. Not only is she a professional violinist who has played with major orchestras and in famous venues around the world, but she is also the parent of a busy DCYOP student AND a certified life coach who specializes in helping musicians at all stages of their careers learn to navigate challenges by connecting their authentic self with their artistic self.

“I am finding that the spaces I am creating are rare, very meaningful, and so wanted by musicians of every age and stage of their journey,” Ms. Cappelletti Chao shares. “There is an increasing awareness that we need to support our inner well-being as musicians as we focus on the outer well-doing of our discipline.”

This November, Ms. Cappelletti Chao conducted a workshop with students in our Young Virtuosi ensemble  to introduce them to the importance of understanding how our brains work, discuss the power our thoughts can have over our sense of self, and teach them some specific strategies for managing negative or discouraging thoughts. Students also had the opportunity to write their own personal internal commitment to help remind themselves of the skills they learned and empower themselves to move towards achieving their goals.

“It was a privilege to work with your teen musicians of YV!” Ms. Cappelletti Chao shares. “I found them to be curious and honest in talking about their inner experiences as musicians and also quite open to trying perspective-opening tools.  The insights they shared with each other empowered some of them to set their own unique intentions for themselves as musicians; onstage and off.”

While many seemed unsure of what to expect initially, the resulting conversation seemed to help foster a greater sense of connection and camaraderie within the group. As one student shares, “I thought it was really interesting to hear people’s thoughts about DCYOP (good and bad) and I think it would be helpful to have more workshops that focus on the mental health part of orchestra.” 

Other students were eager to share with parents and teachers what they learned and how they might incorporate it into their daily practice. “I’m really grateful you held a special workshop like that,” one YV parent shares. “It’s hard to get through to teens who tend to have a black-and-white outlook. It’s normal – their brains are wired that way for now. I really appreciate that you are helping students develop more fully psychologically as well as musically.  Understanding the power/role of the mind and regulating internal thoughts is so important, especially in performance.”

As DCYOP continues to deepen its commitment to meeting our students where they are and nurturing the whole child, we hope to continue to offer more supplementary courses that will support each student’s growth, not just musically but mentally, physically and emotionally. Stay tuned for more announcements and events in 2023!