Due to the current unpredictable pandemic situation, we are not scheduling institutes at the moment. The U Mass Institute generally takes place once a year in June. Please register for our newsletter to receive updates on scheduling as they arise.

The Massachusetts Institute celebrates its tenth year in 2020. It was in 2011 that the first Institute was inaugurated at Smith College. This is our fourth year in Bezanson Recital Hall of the U. Mass Department of Music & Dance. Bezanson's 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.

If you cannot attend the entire institute, please contact Christine Olson to arrange a reduced attendance plan.

Many pianists wonder whether they are good enough to attend, but Alan Fraser insists on welcoming pianists of all ages and abilities to the institute. "Elitist we're not!" says he. If your program is not in such great shape, it is all to the good: you will develop valuable preparation techniques which will assure a greater mastery of the composition in the end. Thus,


Many relatively inexperienced pianists hesitate to attend an institute, feeling they are not good enough or not well-enough prepared. However, Alan Fraser insists that we are all here to learn and this approach can help all of us, no matter whether our program is well-prepared or in a shambles. Thus the Institute really is open to all interested pianists:

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

There is no limit to improvement!


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. Register early to get the 10% early bird discount even if you're under 65!

Instrumentalists and singers are also welcome to attend: Fraser's application of Feldenkrais ideas to musical performance works equally well for them.

Bezanson Hall
   Bezanson Hall

Amherst, Massachusetts with its interesting eateries and numerous New England wood frame houses offers congenial surroundings for the creative atmosphere of the institute - and 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 the vibes with you in Amherst.



If social distancing measures are still in force for this institute, the following measures will be observed.
  • Masks will be worn whenever the 2-metre distancing rule cannot be followed.
  • There will be no touching in the lessons.
  • Hands must be washed frequently and hand sanitizer will be provided.
Alan Fraser contracted the Corona virus in November 2020 and has fully recovered, but these measures will still be followed strictly for the protection of all participants.


This year sees the publication of Pianimals, Fraser's new method for young children. Teachers in the Amherst area who might find it difficult to get away from their studio obligations for the entire week can have individual lessons on a pay-as-you-go basis, where the special focus will be using Pianimals to empower the technique of their young pupils, allowing them to improve their sound and agility, advance more quickly and avoid the risk of injury. We also encourage them to bring select students for a session or two. Please contact Christine Olson to arrange these lessons.


Your registration packets will be distributed at the opening gathering. Coffee and donuts at 9 Monday morning, the opening session at 10.

8:00-8:45 Private lesson
8:45-10:15 2 lessons
10:15-11:15 Group ATM (Please bring your own yoga mat or blanket for this class.)
11:15-12:45 2 lessons
12:45-2:00 Lunch
2:00-3:30 2 lessons
3:30-4:15 Coffee & seminar
4:15-6:30 3 lessons
6:30-7:30 Evening meal
7:30-9:45 Any remaining lessons (optional private)
Basic 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



Click here for travelling directions to the U. Mass Music Department.

Note: Parking passes are available at $5 a day - contact Christine Olson if you need a pass.


The nearest airport is Bradley International in Hartford, CT.
There are several airport shuttles to Amherst.

Directions from Bradley International Airport

View Larger Map


Boston-Logan Airport is 2 1/2 hours from Amherst by bus, and 2 hours by car.



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 by June 1 if you would like to be billeted in one of these homes. We are doing everything possible to make your attendance at this Institute financially viable.

See the U. Mass website for a list of hotels and hostels in the area. and offer other accommodation possibilities. HILLEL HOUSE in Amherst offers inexpensive, comfortable accomodations: dorm housing with shared bath, kitchen and laundry. Call or email Robert Kaufman to make your reservation:
Cell 413 218 4557
Office 413 549 1710 ex 205

A Harp Lesson
   A Harp Lesson



The active participation fee covers FIVE individual lessons, daily group ATM lesson, daily seminar lecture, and observation of all other lessons. Auditors participate fully but receive no individual lessons.

REGISTER ONLINE: Make a Deposit, Pay the Full Fee, or Pay a Discounted Fee

  • 10% discount: all registrations before April 15; seniors above 65 any time
  • 25% discount to any student enrolled in music studies anywhere.
  • 35% discount to U Mass staff & students.

Click on your preferred option in the table below to pay by credit card or PayPal at, our retail partner. For partial institute registrations, repeat the one-day registration as many times as you need.

Please note that the credit card charge will appear on your statement as "2CO.COM," not as "The Alan Fraser Piano Institute."

Full Active
U Mass Staff
& Students
U Mass 2020 Deposit $100 $100 $100 $100
U Mass 2020 Full Active $775 $581.25 $697.50 $503.75
U Mass 2020 1-Day Active $157 $117.75 $141.30 $102.05
U Mass 2020 Full Audit $185 $138.75 $166.50 FREE
U Mass 2020 1-Day Audit $45 $40.50 $33.75 FREE
REGISTER OFFLINE: Contact us for further registration options

For other options such as registering 'in person' and paying by cheque, please email Christine Olson or call her at 1-413-586-4012 to reserve your place. Christine will answer all your questions and arrange your preferred payment option and/or partial scholarship.

Smith College
   The 2016 Class, Smith College



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

After the institute, please return again to fill out the INSTITUTE FOLLOWUP QUESTIONNAIRE. This helps evaluate your experience, plan your ongoing practice, and fine-tune the structure of future institute to better meet your needs.




Canadian pianist Alan Fraser gives master classes and recitals worldwide and conducts ongoing research and refinement on the ideas put forth in his three books, The Craft of Piano Playing (also in DVD), Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, and All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique. 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.

   Alan Fraser & Christine Olson, 2016


Christine Olson is a pianist, piano teacher and Alexander Technique teacher based in Northampton. As Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Method are like two peas in a pod, it was natural for her curiosity to be stimulated by Alan's approach 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

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel your registration, reimbursement will be as follows:
Cancellations before April 1: 100% reimbursement.
Cancellations before April 15: 75% reimbursement.
Cancellations before May 1: 50% reimbursement.
Cancellations before May 20: 25% reimbursement.
Cancellations after May 20: no reimbursement unless 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 eventuality all resgistration fees will be fully refunded.