Amherst

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, AMHERST

We are hoping against hope that in June-July 2023 we will be able to rejuventate this, our flagship institute, in Bezanson Hall on the beautiful U. Mass campus. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on scheduling as they arise.

Bezanson Recital Hall of the U. Mass Department of Music & Dance has two fine Steinway D pianos, and its stellar acoustics assure an exceptional level of artistic work at this Institute. Practice facilities including Steinway pianos will be available at the Music Department.


Bezanson Hall
   
Bezanson Hall

Amherst is historically significant: the last and largest professional training given by Moshe Feldenkrais took place here, and the Dorothy Taubman Institute was in residence for many summers. We look forward to soaking up this historic atmosphere with you next summer.


OPEN TO ALL INTERESTED PIANISTS

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 what the state of your program. The Institute really is open to all interested pianists:

  • professionals who wish to hone their skills to the highest possible level.
  • teachers who want new ways of teaching technique to their students
  • students who wish to improve their sound and agility
  • adult amateurs who wish to feel more in command of the instrument

There is no limit to improvement!


U MASS & OTHER DISCOUNTS

U. Mass Music Department students and staff are welcome to audit the institute at no charge, and receive a 35% discount on active participation fees. Students from other schools receive a 25% discount, and seniors above 65 a 10% discount.

Instrumentalists and vocalists are also welcome to attend the institute: Fraser's application of Feldenkrais ideas to musical performance works equally well no matter what your instrument.


LOCAL TEACHERS: INTRODUCTION TO PIANIMALS

2021 saw the publication of Pianimals, Fraser's new piano method based on the Feldenkrais Method. If you are a teacher who wants to introduce Pianimals into your studio but cannot attend the institute, you are welcome to take lessons with Alan on a pay-as-you-go basis while he is in Amherst. The special focus will be using Pianimals to empower the technique of your young pupils. You are also welcome to bring select students for a session or two. Please contact Christine Olson to arrange these lessons.

ARRIVAL & ONSITE REGISTRATION

Your registration packets will be distributed at the opening gathering. Coffee and donuts at 8:30 Monday morning, the opening session at 10.

DAILY SCHEDULE
9:00-10:30 2 lessons
10:30-11:30 Group Awareness Through Movement (ATM)™ lesson
(If possible, please bring your own yoga mat or blanket for this class.)
11:30-13:00 2 lessons
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 2 lessons
15:30-16:30 Seminar & Group Awareness Through Piano Movement (ATPM)™ lesson
16:30-18:00 2 lessons
18:00... Evening meal & chill out time

The seminar-ATPM format is new. Alan will begin by lecturing on a topic, then field some questions about the material, and then create an Awareness Through Piano Movement lesson that grows out of that lecture's focus.

You are free to attend the entire day or take a break from watching the lessons to rest or do a little bit of practicing. Each entire session is recorded and will be made available for future reference.


6-DAY SCHEDULE
Monday 8:30 - Informal meetup, registration confirmation, coffee; introductory session.
9:45 - Modified Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Update on hand structure & function as applied to music performance.
Tuesday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: How can that pesky thumb give 100%? When it relates functionally to the whole.
Wednesday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Rotation - as does the pelvis in walking, so does the wrist in playing.
Thursday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Rethinking a weighted touch in the light of skeletal mechanics and orchestration.
Friday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Shaping phrases with the arm is our ultimate tool for higher musicianship.
Saturday 9:00 - Modified Daily Schedule
15:00 - Seminar: Using the physical-musical relationship to solve specific
                 technical trouble spots and to develop the playing of younger pupils.

16:00 - Pre-recital rest break while Alan leads a Pianimals Online Study Group session
18:00 - Participant Recital (Optional Participation)
20:00 Closing session... and party!

The question period in each seminar is a chance to take the discussion in a whole new direction, for instance, back to one of the topics below covered in a past institute. Which of these topics is of special concern to you? Make a note to yourself to bring it up with Alan in one of the seminars.

PAST LECTURE TOPICS
Hand Structure & Function The Celestial Hand Arch - The Voice of the Piano
Weight Technique Arm Weight, the Anti-Gravity Function, Elasticity and Biotensegrity Update
The Thumb I Pass And Do Not Pass The Thumb Under: It's Complicated!
Rotation Rotation at the Micro and Macro Levels
Musicianship & Technique Physical Strategies to Enhance Phrase, Polyphony & Orchestration
Feldenkrais & Piano Expressively Directed Micro-Timing: A New Musical Aesthetic
Pianimals Use The Pianimals Exercises & Compositions in your Teaching and your Playing
Q & A Which Aspects of Piano Somatics Intrigue You... Frustrate You... Mystify You... Satisfy You?

a lecture
   
Lecturing, 2016

TRAVEL




GETTING THERE

Here is the location of Bezanson Recital Hall at the University of Massechusetts, Amherst:
Note: Parking passes are available at $5 a day - contact Christine Olson if you need a pass.


BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL, BOSTON LOGAN

This U Mass web page offers information on getting to Amherst from several different airports. The closest of these is Bradley International in Hartford, CT. Here are driving directions from Bradley International, which also has several airport shuttles. Boston-Logan Airport is 2 1/2 hours from Amherst by bus , and 2 hours by car.


ACCOMMODATION




LODGING

BILLETING IN PRIVATE HOMES
Christine Olson has arranged with several of her neighbours in nearby Northampton to offer low-cost accommodation ($25 a night for private room and shared bath). The neighbourhood is a 20-minute drive to U. Mass. and we will provide a shuttle service. Please contact Christine if you would like to be billeted in one of these homes.

HOTELS, HOSTELS, AIRBNB
See the U. Mass website for a list of hotels and hostels in the area. Booking.com and Airbnb.com offer other accommodation possibilities. HILLEL HOUSE in Amherst offers inexpensive, comfortable accomodations: dorm housing with shared bath, kitchen and laundry.


A Harp Lesson
   
A Harp Lesson

REGISTER




FEES & REGISTRATION

  • The active participation fee covers a daily individual lesson, daily group ATM and ATPM lessons, daily seminar lectures, and observation of all other lessons.
  • The passive participation fee covers full participation in all activities but with no individual lesson.

Click on your preferred option below to pay by credit card at our retail partner, Stripe.com.

Amherst Institute one day two days three days four days five days six days
Active Participation $140 $275 $410 $545 $680 $795
Passive Participation $45 $90 $132 $172 $210 $247

COMBINING ACTIVE AND PASSIVE DAYS

To combine active and passive registrations, hit the back button on your browser to add another purchase item to the same payment procedure. For instance, if you want to attend for five days but only have three individual lessons, purchase three Active Participant days and two Passive Participant days for a total of five. At completion of your registration, please return here to fill out the PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE, indicating which institute you will be attending (U Mass), and what days.

Discounts

We offer discounts for senior citizens, students up to 25 years of age, and those in reduced financial circumstances. For more information, please contact Sophia Cholich and let her know your status. If you qualify for a discount, you will receive a partial refund on your initial payment.


BEFORE & AFTER THE INSTITUTE




INFORMATION SHEET & FOLLOWUP QUESTIONNAIRE

After registering, please return here to fill out the REGISTRATION QUESTIONNAIRE.

After you have completed your institute, please come back to fill out this FOLLOWUP 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.


CONTACT




ABOUT US - CONTACT

ALAN FRASER

Canadian pianist Alan Fraser gives master classes and recitals worldwide and conducts ongoing research and refinement on the ideas put forth in his books

He is at work on several new volumes. Visit here for more on Alan Fraser. If you have concerns or questions about your participation in the institute and would like to address them directly to Alan Fraser, send him an email.

Christine
   
Alan with the decoration conferred upon him by Christine Olson in 2016

CHRISTINE OLSON

Christine Olson is a pianist, piano teacher and Alexander Technique teacher based in Northampton. Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Method are like two peas in a pod, so it was natural for her curiosity to be stimulated by Alan's approach over a decade ago. Christine is the originator, general coordinator and administrator for the U Mass institute. Contact her at:

Christine Olson
12 Forbes Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
413-586-4012
christine@theforbesstudio.com


INTRODUCTORY ONLINE EVENTS




COME TO AN INTRO AFTERNOON OR EVENING

The Pianimals Introductory Seminars

Alan Fraser runs another institute based on Pianimals, his new piano method based on the Feldenkrais Method. This institute runs for 8 weeks with each Saturday session based on one of the eight sections of Pianimals, sections which follow a developmental line. Many teachers find that in preparing themselves to use Pianimals with their pupils, they are giving themselves a "pianistic makeover" at the same time.

Alan generally holds a FREE INTRODUCTORY SESSION offering you a chance to familiarize yourself with this new approach to piano development. Why not attend - you may even get picked for a free mini-demo piano lesson! Please click on the link below to sign up by email for your free attendance at an intro sesssion.

Send us an email, and we will send you information about the next upcoming Free Intro session.


COVID-19 ADVISORY





COVID-19 ADVISORY

If and only if Covid-19 restrictions are still in place, we will ask that all participants be vaccinated against Covid-19, or that you have proof of a negative Covid-19 test done less than 48 hours before your arrival at the Institute. If restrictions are still in place when you register, please let us know your vaccination status.

Alan Fraser contracted the Corona virus for the first time in November 2020. He had only mild symptoms and quickly recovered, and received the Astra-Zeneca vaccine in March and June 2021 plust the booster shot in November 2021. In January 2022 he contracted the omicron variant and again survived with only mild symptoms. If, by chance, national Covid-19 restrictions are still in force during the institute, the following measures will be followed for the protection and comfort of all participants:

  • Masks will be worn whenever the 2-metre social distancing rule cannot be followed.
  • Hands must be washed frequently and hand sanitizer will be provided.


Cancellation Policy

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.