Pianimals is not only for kids. You too can give yourself a pianistic makeover at the 2023 Pianimals Online Institute sessions. Studio teachers, this is your chance to overhaul your own playing as well as offering your pupils new, effective learning strategies. Exploring the ingenious exercises of Pianimals, the hand learns how, sensorially, so you play better automatically. Physical and musical improvement go hand in hand. Because the learning happens at the sensory level, it stays in the brain, like learning to ride a bike. The process is easy and natural, like babies who take a year lolling around on the ground before eventually getting up to walk... without ever having thought about "how."
The 2023 Pianimals sessions have not yet been scheduled, but you can purchase recordings of past sessions. Please indicate which of the four iterations of the Institute you would like to buy. If you are interested in attending a future institute, please send us an email indicating which times of year might work best for you.
Are you intrigued? You will also be able to attend a Free Introductory Session some weeks before the 8 sessions proper begin.
The free introductory session gives a taste of these new learning strategies, which many of your colleagues would love to know about as well - why not invite them too! Register for this free event Saturday at 6 p.m. European Daylight Time (12 noon EDT in North America, 9 a.m. West Coast)
Each week of the Institute proper consists of two parts:
Awareness Through Piano Movement (ATPM) lessons bring a Feldenkrais sensory experience to the hand, relating its movements to developmental aspects of piano technique. Devised according to the structure and function of the hand, the exercises tap into to unsuspected neurological sources of capability and musicianship, offering you and eventually your students a "pianistic makeover."
All this sophistication is presented to the pupil in a playful, easy-to-grasp manner. Each member of our pianimals menagerie specializes in one particular movement the hand uses on key. It's a cinch for a youngster to imitate the animal and learn a new technique quickly, easily, naturally. The institute prepares you to offer these movements to your pupils by anchoring them securely in your own experience. The individual lessons that follow the group lesson give you a chance to see just how easily the ideas apply to the repertoire, be it beginning, intermediate or advanced.
Participants applying the Piano Somatics strategies to their own technique quickly see how they can be utilized in the teaching studio. At the end of the Institute, participants report feeling sensitized and empowered, and already bringing new insights and a new creative impulse to their teaching. Read some of their comments below.
This online event is the perfect introduction to Pianimals, clarifying the ideas of Piano Somatics and making them easy to apply... and it's a chance for 'old hands' to freshen their knowledge and hone their ability to new levels of perfection.
The weekly sessions are cumulative, but we are open to partial attendance. Register for the entire 8-week course, or pick and choose your sessions from the topic chart below. You may purchase video recordings of the sessions you are unable to attend. Late registrations are also accepted.
Purchase your physical copy of Pianiamals here; if it doesn't arrive on time. not to worry: let us know and we will send you a .pdf copy to help you prepare.
Are you hesitant to attend? Feel you are not advanced enough? Not well-enough prepared? Don't worry; Alan welcomes all, no matter what your ability, no matter whether you are currently practicing a program or not. The Institute really is open to all interested pianists:
There is no limit to improvement!
Here's what some participants have to say:
"Thanks a lot for the very inspiring sessions of the past few weeks! My playing as well as my teaching have improved a lot and I feel extremely motivated after your lessons.
'No matter what the subject is (the thumb, standing, walking, etc), there’s always an immediate effect on my playing. I experience more control and more ease of playing, more creativity and fun. And last but not least: a better sound!
'Because of the new tools I have fewer technical problems and at the same time I choose different (=better!) fingerings. Moreover the Feldenkrais approach arouses a lot of energy or energetic circulation. I get less tired."
Hans van Ham, the Netherlands
"It´s wonderful to watch the other lessons because it keeps the brain active towards new ideas in one's own repertoire. This way of working seems to be super useful. The classic Phil Cohen exercises mentioned in the group ATPM lesson in my experience are always helpful in finding the feeling of structure when I feel disconected."
Yair Zuluaga Soriano, Mexico City
"Thank you for the very impressive lesson last Saturday. Relaxing my muscles in my forearm is my biggest problem, and I could feel the difference just right now in your lesson. I am also a Feldenkrais student, and this is the kind of experience I really need for relaxing and feeling."
Robert Spaeter, Hamm, Germany
"I had a major revelation yesterday about what you’re doing in particular and what the Feldenkrais Method does in general. You are showing us sensorially what our stability and mobility is. Without both in balance, we don’t have control of our movements. The follow-through from this "aha" moment was huge for me. Thanks."
Francie White, Eugene, Oregon
Time Zone Adjustment
All sessions are recorded so that participants from Australasia may watch without burning the midnight oil.
Each Saturday session covers the physical action and musical implications of one Pianimals section:
Purchase Session Recordings
We now have a new page with a detailed list of session recordings. If you would like to acquaint yourself with the Pianimals Method and don't want to wait for a new session to be scheduled, purchase any one of five previous sessions, a complete set of recordings including all lectures, ATPMs and individual lessons.
To let us know your interested in the free introductory session, email Sophia Cholich. Your name will be added to the list of participants and you will receive a Zoom meeting invitation on the Friday before the free Saturday session.
Institute Proper (Pianimals Online Institute 2023 Session, Saturdays
Register for the institute proper in the table below with a secure credit card payment at our retail partner, Stripe.com. To add an individual lesson or lessons, from the shopping cart hit the browser back button twice to return to this page, then add your lesson(s) to the cart. Do the same to add session recordings to your purchase. You can even add books to your purchase without going through another payment procedure by clicking on the main store menu at the upper left hand corner of the browser to view the complete catalogue.
Partial scholarships (somewhat reduced rates) are available to those of limited financial means. If you feel you may qualify for a scholarship, please contact Sophia Cholich to enquire about a discount or partial refund. Sophia can also explain other payment options and answer any questions you may have.
When you fill out the information sheet, be sure to indicate
Are you intrigued? Come to a Free Introductory Session on Saturday, September 17
After registering, please return here to fill out the
After you have completed your institute, please come back to fill out this
QUESTIONNAIRE. This helps us evaluate your experience, tailor your ongoing regime to facilitate further
progress, and fine-tune the structure of future institutes to better meet participants' needs.
Canadian pianist Alan Fraser gives master classes and recitals worldwide and conducts ongoing research and refinement on the ideas put forth in his books
If you must cancel your registration, reimbursement will be as follows:
Cancellations more than two months before Institute opening date: 100% reimbursement.
Cancellations more than one month before Institute opening date: 75% reimbursement.
Cancellations more than two weeks before Institute opening date: 50% reimbursement.
Cancellations more than one week before Institute opening date: 25% reimbursement.
Cancellations less than one week before Institute opening date: no reimbursement except in cases of doctor-certified illness or acts of God.
We reserve the right to cancel the institute due to insufficient enrolment; in this event, all registration fees are fully refundable.