Teaching Students About Avicii’s Death


The tragic passing of Swedish DJ and music producer Tim Bergling, better known by his stage name Avicii, in April 2018 sent waves of shock and sadness throughout the music world and beyond. At only 28 years old, Avicii’s death was ruled a suicide, making it a poignant reminder of the importance of mental health awareness. For students studying music or simply having an interest in the industry, discussing Avicii’s life, career, and untimely death can yield valuable insights into navigating success while prioritizing mental wellbeing.

The Rise of Avicii

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1989, Avicii showed an early interest in music. He quickly progressed from mixing tunes on his computer to creating his own original tracks. By age 18, the aspiring DJ had already signed with a leading management company and released his first successful singles.

His breakthrough came in 2011 with the release of “Levels,” which catapulted him into international stardom. Over the next few years, Avicii continued to produce hit songs including “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” “You Make Me,” and many others. As his fame grew, so did an unrelenting schedule of performances and studio commitments.

Battling Health Issues

The immense pressure from touring and producing took its toll on Avicii’s physical health. In early 2012, he was hospitalized for acute pancreatitis due to excessive alcohol consumption. This marked the beginning of a series of health issues that persisted during much of his career.

Avicii continued to tour heavily but grew increasingly weary. In March 2016, following more hospitalizations and surgeries, he announced that he would retire from touring after honorably fulfilling his remaining obligations.

Mental Health Struggles

Avicii’s personal documentary, “Avicii: True Stories,” provides unique insight into the inner turmoil he experienced during his rise to fame. The film showcases the relentless pressures faced by those in the music industry, highlighting that success can come at a great cost to one’s mental health. In particular, the documentary sheds light on the vulnerability of high-profile artists who are often isolated behind a facade of success and glamour.

Lessons for Students

When teaching students about Avicii’s death, it is crucial to discuss the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues. Organizations like the Mental Health Foundation offer valuable resources for learning about different aspects of mental health and can help start the conversation.

Similarly, discussing strategies for coping with stress, anxiety, and depression can be instrumental in helping students navigate their own challenges both within and outside of the music industry. Young musicians should be encouraged to prioritize self-care amidst their aspirations for success.


By examining Avicii’s life and untimely passing experience, students can gain valuable insights into the challenges faced by those in the music industry. Taking time to discuss mental health awareness and develop coping strategies can help students better understand their own limitations while striving for success in their chosen field. Ultimately, as educators and mentors, it is our responsibility to ensure that the next generation learns from Avicii’s tragic experience and that his legacy lives on in our commitment to mental wellbeing.

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