Warm-Up Stretches to Practice With Your School Orchestra

Recent research into the physical health issues of musicians has shown the importance of proper stretching. That is why the authors of Expressive Techniques for Orchestra included these stretches in their book. String musicians can avoid or, at least, lessen carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive motion injuries, and upper/lower backaches by the use of proper posture, movement while playing, and preparing the body to play through appropriate stretching exercises.

The authors encourage the use of the orchestra stretches as a part of the daily warm-up routine. They believe you will find that the number of students complaining of tension, tiredness, or aching will be lessened.

These stretches may be repeated at any point in the class where students begin to show fatigue. It will increase blood flow and oxygen to the specific spots of the body addressed by each stretch. During rehearsal, you may want to target a specific area and do a single stretch. For example: if you are using a drill to rehearse a difficult left-hand fingering, you may choose to take a break and use one of the stretches targeted at the hands.

Stretch #1

Stretch #2

Stretch #3

Stretch #4

Stretch #5

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