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The Ottawa Institute generally takes place once a year in July. We hope against hope that by spring 2022, U of Ottawa will be conducting live classes again and we will be able to schedule this institute in Canada's capital, the only full institute held in Canada this year. Register for our newsletter to receive scheduling updates as they arise.

Just minutes from Canada's Parliament Buildings in downtown Ottawa, Perez Hall of the University of Ottawa is home to the Music School as well as to the state of the art Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory. The institute will be held in Freiman Recital Hall which features an excellent Yamaha concert grand and a Steinway B. There are ample practice facilities upstairs.


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:

  • students who wish to improve their sound and agility
  • adult 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.

He also welcomes instrumentalists and vocalists, who find that their sound, their agility and their sense of ease and freedom from tension improve dramatically with Alan's Feldenkrais for Performers (Performance Somatics) approach. There is no limit to improvement!


University of Ottawa students and staff are welcome to audit the institute at no charge and receive a generous discount for active participation. Students from other schools receive a 25% discount, and seniors above 65 a 10% discount.



We ask that all participants be vaccinated against Covid-19, or that you have proof of a negative Covid-19 test done less than 72 hours before your arrival at the Institute. Please let us know your vaccination status when you register.

Alan Fraser contracted the Corona virus in November 2020. He had only mild symptoms and quickly recovered, and received the Astra-Zeneca vaccine in March and June 2021, and a booster shot in November 2021. Nevertheless, if 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.


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 Ottawa. 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 Sophia Cholich to arrange these lessons.



Your registration packets will be distributed at the opening gathering. Coffee and donuts at 8:30 Monday morning, opening session at 9.

The full institute runs for 6 days. If you cannot attend the entire time, don't worry - partial attendance is completely acceptable. You are also free to attend the whole week but have fewer than six lessons. See the registration procedure for instructions on how to tailor-make your participation to your own needs.

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 offered to you free of charge for future reference.

Monday 8:30 - Informal meetup, registration confirmation, coffee; introductory session.
9:45 - 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.
20:00 - Participant Recital (Optional Participation)
Friday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Shaping phrases with the arm is our ultimate tool for higher musicianship.
Saturday 9:00 - Daily Schedule
15:30 - Seminar: Using the physical-musical relationship to solve specific technical trouble spots
                 and to develop the playing of younger pupils.

18:00 Closing session... and party!

The question period in each seminar is a chance to take the discussion in a whole new direction. For instance, the conversation could veer towards one of the topics below covered in a past institute. Which of these topics is of special concern to you? Make note of it, and make sure you bring it up with Alan in a seminar.

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?



Perez Hall is located at the north end of the campus, just south of Laurier Avenue.



Student housing is available on campus only a few minutes' walk from Perez Hall. To reserve your room please contact Student Housing directly. There are many restaurants in the area as well as high quality coffee joints.

For those who wish to experience more of the culture of Ottawa we recommend Airbnb which has a wide selection of affordable rooms in private homes near the university. Book early to be sure to have an optimal choice.

We also recommend the Ambassador Bed & Breakfast at 450 Laurier Ave, just a few blocks from campus. Very reasonable, very clean, very welcoming Russian hosts, and a really great breakfast included in the price.



  • 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,

U Ottawa Institute one day two days three days four days five days six days
Active Participation $148 $288 $428 $570 $714 $852 $984
Passive Participation $45 $90 $132 $172 $210 $247


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 her to fill out the PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE, indicating which institute you will be attending (Ottawa), and what days.


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.



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.




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.

If you have concerns or questions about your participation in the institute and would like to address them directly to Alan Fraser, contact him at Contact Alan Fraser

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.

Perez Hall is just to the right of this shot of the Rideau Canal - but there will be no skating on the canal while the Institute is in session!