Have you ever heard your piano teacher tell you to warm up before starting to practice? Most good teachers will tell you this.
What exactly do they mean? Why do we warm up and what are we warming up when we do this?
Just like athletes of the large muscles (musicians are athletes of the small muscles), pianists need to get their bodies in the "mind-frame" of being active and in a specif way.
We may not be getting ready to run a marathon, but we might be getting ready to play one!
Just as runners stretch out their legs to prevent cramps or shin splints, we pianists need to stretch out our arms, shoulders and other parts of our bodies to prevent injury; especially from repetitive actions.
Let's take a look at some of the best ways to stretch out and warm up your body before playing the piano.
Keep in mind that your goal here is to stretch gently and breathe at the same time. Using your breath with your body increases the benefits of the stretching and energizes you!
In this final step, it's important to take the time to notice if you feel any pain in your body.
Pain is the biggest indicator that we receive from our bodies telling us that something is wrong or that an injury has occurred. Some pain can be a forewarning of an ongoing issue with inflammation that can manifest as tendinitis, strained muscles, or pinched nerves. Paying attention to pain in your body helps prevent further injury down the road.
Some ways to handle pain experienced from playing the piano include:
Taking care of your body will result in better piano playing! Take time to warm up as it will only take a few extra minutes and will result in hours longer of enjoying your music.
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