'When someone is healthy inside, it sounds that way' - Mental health services in conservatoires

RCM students rehearsing at Wigmore Hall (c) Phil Rowley

Rita Fernandes hears from administrators, counsellors and teachers from music schools about what defines a successful conservatoire mental health support system

While undertaking research for this article I was hit with a caveat at every turn. ‘You can’t talk about mental health without talking about general health’; ‘It’s impossible to separate a young musician’s mental health from their musical performances’; ‘To understand a conservatoire’s mental health service, you must understand the educational structure in which it exists.’ What came from this endless zooming out was the realisation that when talking about mental health services in conservatoires, we are in fact talking about what responsibility institutions have in forming the best, and by extension healthiest, musicians possible…

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