How to Warm Up for Your Performance

Isn’t it exciting to play or sing in front of an audience? Isn’t that why you have chosen your profession and work so hard? Yet, how do you get ready to go out and perform? Photo credit: Ulrich Sollmann, more details: here.

Isn’t it exciting to play or sing in front of an audience? Isn’t that why you have chosen your profession and worked so hard?

Yet, how do you get ready to go out and perform?

If you are a musician you will certainly tune your instrument. If you are singer you will want to warm up your voice. Now, my call here is: Warm up your body!

Your body IS your most important ally. It is the essential instrument before all other. It resonates and vibrates whatever sound and energy you would like to share with the world. It is the basement for a healthy and inspired performance.

Since I have come across many singers and musicians that are not “the-movers-type”, I will share some ideas on how to warm up your body as a non-mover. You neither have to be as flexible as a yogi or as athletic as a tennis player nor as graceful as a dancer. Probably you have tried before but felt kind of wired. I assure you, once you have done it, you will start to enjoy it and feel a difference in your performance.


Do you remember rolling down a hill in your childhood? The smell of grass and the fun? To roll actually is a smart thing to do to warm up your body. By rolling you automatically massage your muscles. You involve your intrinsic and bigger muscles and warm up naturally. To roll in the backstage you don’t need to build a hill. All you need is a yoga mat, a clean floor or a blanket. Some space to move and maybe some privacy. Lie down flat on your back. Melt into the floor, be soft (or otherwise it might hurt) and slowly, by pushing a little with your arm or leg, get the momentum rolling… to just roll from side to side, if you don’t feel like rolling all the way around, will also do you good.


Have you ever watched a newborn move? Hardly do they ever “not” move. Their fingers are constantly moving as if grapping for something. Their legs kick. Their backs and hips curve right and left. They smile. They cry. They curl their lips. Watch a video of a toddler and you can see what I mean. Babies move so much to develop their muscles and to promote their moving skills. Have a little fun and try to copy a baby. You might surprise yourself with new movements.


For this one you probably have to overcome some inhibitions or find your way to connect with your body. Music can help to tune in with your body. Just allow your body to move in whatever way it needs to right now. Allow your hands to move the way they like, your legs, your hips, your head, your neck, your fingers, your eyes, your tongue… whatever comes to your mind, express it. Dance your dance.


There is no rule to tapping your body. You can use your fingertips or flat hands to rhythmically tap your body. I like to begin with my face, tapping lightly with my fingertips… the top of my head, down my neck and shoulders… to the front on my chest, down the arms and back… on my stomach and lower back… down the legs and back up-you get the idea.

Make friends with your body, connect and develop a little bit of a sweat. If you would like to dive further into the issue or find another warm up that benefits you, I recommend: Tai Chi or Qi Gong, Gyrotonics, Alexander Technique, Body Mind Centering or 5Rhythms by Gabrielle Roth.

Claudia Kohl is an artist, Alexander Technique coach, designer and author. She is the founder of The Artists Coaching in Berlin, a studio dedicated to support artists in their creative, artistic process as well as life. She has helped singers, musicians, actors, dancers and circus artists, to build a healthy and inspired carrier. Claudia likes to work with artists suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, chronic pain, burnout or artists with the courage to start something new. She comes from a background of theatre and dance before studying the Alexander Technique and developing her own method with the artists of the famous Cirque du Soleil. As a nomad and curious soul she has traveled and experienced more than most people do in their lifetime. She believes that art is what we are and that it is our responsibility to make the world a better place. She is known for her down to earth, loving and highly inspired, engaging approach to coaching. Claudia’s insights inspire audiences around the world through her monthly “Inspiration” newsletter and online coaching. For artists in Berlin, besides one on one sessions, she offers weekly Bohemian Brunches and Artistic Vision Quests.
Author: Claudia Kohl
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