Adrian Casas Lupercio - conducting expert

Warm up for conductors

Discover how conductors warm up

In this new video, Adrian gives you practical tips on how to warm up before your conducting performance.

Released on December 2, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello, everyone. My name is Adrian Casas. I am a violinist and conductor from Regina, Canada. We're here today to talk about warmups for musicians and for conductors. Music making is a very physical activity, you use a lot of muscles and you burn a lot of calories to make music. So just like any physical activity, we need to get your body ready from what you're doing right now to what you're going to be doing later on.

Now, think of it this way. Do you mind if I ask you right now to stop doing what you're doing and go and do a fullest sprint for one kilometer at full force. So one mile at full force sprinting. Some of us won't even attempt to do it. Some of us might be able to do it, but something's going to hurt. You're going to get an injury or it's not going to be pleasant. So music making should be the same way. Because it's a physical activity, we need to get our body ready and our muscles ready to go.

Now, there are tons of exercises out there and tonsil for stretches. So if you have some favorite ones that you would you like to do before even doing a scales or before starting grabbing your baton or your bow, feel free to share them on the comments below. As long as they don't hurt, they are all good.

For conductors, there are a few muscle groups that I will like you to start thinking about before you step into the podium. First of all, is your chest muscles. So do some gentle stretches, but make sure that they don't hurt, that you don't hyper-extend your muscles. So gentle stretches to start warming up your chest muscles. Another one, another group that I want you to start thinking about is your shoulders. You're going to be moving your shoulders, you are going to be waving your arms. So think of exercises that just roll your muscles and start warming up your shoulders up and down. And make sure that there is no injury. There is no stress on your muscles, it's just some warm up. So be gentle, be kind to your shoulders. Also your back. So your trapezius back there and your back muscles as well.

So some stretches for your neck. Something gentle that doesn't injure and doesn't hurt. Make sure that you keep that for a few seconds right there. And make sure it doesn't hurt. The moment something starts to hurt, you have to stop and revise what you're doing. The goal is to never hurt.

One more muscle, very important muscle, is your brachial radialis muscle. So your forearm basically, and the little muscle that twitches here. That one is important when you grab your baton, that one is going to lift your baton all the time. So some exercises that just stretches those muscles and get them ready to go.

Remember that if something starts to hurt or you feel like something is just not working the right way, seek the help from a professional, like a physician or a physiotherapist. And they will give you some exercises for you that will get you back into shape. Be always kind to your body because as conductor and as a musician, your body is your main tool. So always be kind.

Again, if you have some favorite exercises out there, feel free to share them below. They are all good as long as they don't hurt and as long as they don't stress your muscles too much, they are all really good. Some of the ones I can think about right now is Elizabeth Green Conducting Warmups, and they are really good out there on YouTube. And yeah. So start the stretching, start warming up before you make music. Thank you very much. Thank you for watching and stay safe.
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