VALPARAISO – Kassie Meeks has been named Innovator of the Month for April by the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. Meeks is creator of the Northwest Indiana Suzuki Conservatory, a step she took after being inspired by world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin who advocated yoga for violinists.
Meeks not only incorporates yoga techniques when teaching violin, but she also teaches yoga for all students. “Violin playing includes so many details, but it all really comes down to only two things,” she said. “It’s all about balance and relaxation.”
Aided by yoga techniques, students learn to relax and achieve balance which allows the music to flow. She cites the example of a stressed student learning to breathe fully, creating longer exhales which allow the muscles to relax. Approaching 30 years in playing the violin and 17 years as a professional instructor, Meeks said she is always pleased when students chose to pursue the violin for their career, but that’s not her goal.
She was nominated by Richard Marrell.