Musical assessment body ABRSM has highlighted the importance of promoting body awareness among young musicians, so as to avoid unnecessary strains and poor posture. The organisation explained that “it is therefore important to treat your body with the same respect as an athlete” when learning an instrument.
To this end, ABRSM has outlined a number of techniques that teachers can employ to ensure musicians remain in a peak condition. These include simple and straightforward tips, such as ensuring an instrument is the correct size and getting a light case for heavy instruments, to more in-depth guidelines, such as encouraging mental practice.
Indeed, a short warm up and warm down before and after practice sessions involving a few stretches of key muscle groups is essential to helping maintain a balance posture, as well as preparing students for the lesson to come.
Furthermore, ABRSM recommends that rehearsals are broken up in to 30 minute sessions, with short intervals included where students can get up, walk around and stretch.
“Playing a musical instrument involves highly complex and precise physical movements,” the report said. “And, similar to an athlete, it requires strength, physical flexibility and body awareness – even a short practice session involves considerable repetition of certain movements.”