The Practice Notebook

flutist Zara Lawler shares tips on learning music

Physical Warm-ups: Two Hand Stretches


The following are two hand stretches that I learned from the composer Michael Colgrass.  He gave a class at IU, back in ye olden times when I was a student there and before it became the Jacobs School of Music.

I’ve been using these stretches as part of my warm-up routine ever since.  I hope you will find them as useful as I have.

And a little prize for those of you who have made it to the bottom of this post:

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“Physical Warm-ups: Two Hand Stretches”

  1. On June 15th, 2009 at 2:13 am Helen Says:

    These are great! Thanks for posting. You know, we were probably at that same Colgrass class at IU – wish I’d taken notes. I only remember some of what he told about the position of the eyeballs – pretty much the same as the concept of “drishti” in yoga.

  2. On June 15th, 2009 at 11:44 am admin Says:

    Yep, sounds like the same class!

  3. On June 26th, 2009 at 5:29 pm Wayla Chambo Says:

    I like these a lot! They seem very gentle and low-impact (not pulling or pushing on the fingers/wrists) but also deep if you want them to be.

  4. On July 23rd, 2009 at 10:38 pm The Practice Notebook » Blog Archive » New Category: Amateur Neuroscience Says:

    [...] My Lessons with Kumi by composer Michael Colgrass (who incidentally taught me the hand stretches from this post) [...]

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