Teaching from the Heart: Healing Trauma Through Music

Presenter: Nicole Melrose


This session will empower educators in their desire to implement trauma-informed practices in the string classroom and promote hope and success. We will define trauma, discuss how to recognize trauma responses, and cultivate an understanding of the impact of living with chronic trauma. The majority of our time will be spent sharing practical tools including pedagogy sequencing and approaches to make our classrooms inherently trauma-informed and inclusive.

Nicole will share practical examples from her own work with students in systemically underserved and under-resourced schools where students live with multiple intersecting traumas. Researched-based work will inform this session, as Nicole shares both practical examples and data gathered from her work, along with research around hope and resiliency.

Through a vibrant and dynamic presentation utilizing slides, video, and small group discussion, educators will learn: –

  • How to recognize trauma responses and how they correlate with the nervous system.
  • How to structure the string classroom to be supportive for students who may struggle with understanding how to regulate their trauma-responses and nervous system.
  • How the nervous system responds to sound.
  • What co-regulation is, and how to adapt co-regulation practices for the string classroom.
  • Pedagogical sequencing and approaches that positively impact learning in students with trauma
  • The long-term impact of trauma-informed practices and how they can transform the lives of students.

Educators will leave this session with practical tools and adaptive strategies to implement in the classroom that will empower both the student and teacher.


Nicole is a D’Addario String Clinician and the CEO of StringRise, a social entrepreneurship with a mission to close racial & socio-economic disparity gaps in String Education.

Drawing upon her own experience as a first-generation Lebanese-American from a refugee family, Nicole started her first program with historically underserved students in Dallas, Texas in 2013. What started as a small class with a few crowdfunded violins became a large and thriving program impacting over 300 families, with 100% of auditioning program graduates admitted into Magnet Arts and Talented and Gifted Academies.

Nicole now partners with schools, educators, nonprofits, and Universities to build programs from the ground-up and strengthen existing programs.

Principal Sponsor