If you've ever gone to an orchestra or band concert, you have probably heard the musicians, before they get started with the concert, all playing their instruments – sometimes you might recognize a short bit of a melody, or just seemingly random notes. It sounds like a mess – no one is playing anything together just lots of different sounds that don't go together. Why are they doing that? Don't they know it sounds bad?
What they are doing is called warming-up, and there is a reason for it. The musicians are getting their instruments, minds, fingers, ears, and mouths already to play. They might just be playing a few notes to get going, or they might be playing a brief solo passage that they will have to do during the concert.
If you've played any sports, you've encountered this idea of warming-up, too. Athletes will often stretch or jog in place before running out on the court or field. Most of you have probably done warmups before a game – maybe kicking that football (or soccer ball, for the Americans) around, dribbling or shooting hoops with a basketball, or playing catch and throw with someone on a cricket or baseball field.
When you must give a speech at school, you practice it in front of a mirror, or maybe in front of your family or your friends. Believe it or not, business people do that, too! Teachers, in their planning, warm-up by mentally (or sometimes out loud) work out how they are going to introduce a topic. Construction workers look over plans for a structure and figure out the best way to build. Mom or Dad put together a shopping list, and gather the coupons, bags, money, car keys, and everything else they need before they go. Everyone, in some way, warms-up as part of their job or home life.
So, why do we all warm-up in some way? Here are several reasons:
1. To Prepare: In the musicians' case, they are getting their minds, bodies, and instruments ready to play. In your parents' instance, before going shopping or making a recipe, they get all the items they will need together before they leave or start, so that they can get it done efficiently and not have to make multiple trips.
2. To Practice: Speech givers or teachers want to practice how and what they are going to say, so it flows efficiently, makes sense, and so they don't have to constantly look at their notes while doing it. They will often so it in front of a mirror or others, so they can see or get feedback on how they can better interact with others.
3. To Protect: Whether it's the musicians, athletes, or construction workers, they want to do the job or activity safely, so that the things they use are protected, and that their bodies are ready to do the work in a safe way, so they are not injured. This also helps them be more confident and do their best job possible!
If you want to learn more about our music classes at the Music and Language Learning Center, schedule a free consultation with us today!
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