Certification

Piano Somatics Certifications


Embodied Piano Practice - the summation of Alan Fraser's approaches

    Piano Kinematics develops basic principles of hand structure and function.
    Piano Somatics further develops the science and art of movement at the piano.
    Embodied Piano Practice refines the interaction between our physical gesture and our musical intentions to the highest possible level.

The Institute offers several certification programs (scroll down for Performance Diplomas).

Piano Kinematics Certification

Even after a single Institute, participants report a marked improvement in their teaching skills. They have more fun, and help their students in new, effective ways to progress more quickly and play more musically. The Piano Kinematics Certification™ is awarded to studio teachers and others who possess a basic proficiency in the fundamental principles of Piano Somatics: healthy use of the hand's arch, unstable equilibrium, differentiation of the thumb through opposition, uses of rotation, hand skeletality and elasticity, etc., and who demonstrate that they can consistently empower their pupils using these principles.

Somatic Piano Practitioner Certification

The Somatic Piano Practitioner certification program requires a longer preparation. A Certified Teacher of Piano Somatics™ must be able to join with the pianist-student similar to the way a Feldenkrais Practitioner joins with a client. She or he must be able to evoke a specific quality of deep change in the student's piano technique, change that can take place only when his or her teaching acts on the very core of the student's pianistic self.

Embodied Piano Practitioner Certification

The Embodied Piano Practitioner certification program has the most extensive requirements of all. The Embodied Piano Practitioner™ must be able to play at a competition level of proficiency and demonstrate a complete freedom from weight technique. She or he must be adept at choreographing every aspect of musical inflection - articulation, rubato, melodic shaping, orchestration, rhythmic pulse hierarchichalization - to a level of high artistry, that is, beyond mere professionalism.

Kiddie Craft Certification

Alan Fraser has distilled the ideas of Piano Somatics into bite-sized exercises that studio teachers can use to empower their pupils' playing immediately in two publications: Kiddie Craft, or The Craft of Piano Playing Simplified, and Pianimals: Feldenkrais Exercises for the Beginning Pianist. The institute offers a Kiddie Craft Certification to those who can demonstrate their acquaintance with the core exercises from Kiddie Craft and Pianimals, and their competence in applying them in a studio situation with young pianists.


Practitioner Certification Requirements

PIANO KINEMATICS
CERTIFICATION
SOMATIC PIANO
CERTIFICATION
EMBODIED PIANO
PRACTICE CERTIFICATION
KIDDIE CRAFT
CERTIFICATION
• A minimum of 2 years' study during which the participant attends at least one full institute per year. • A minimum of 4 years' study during which the participant attends at least two full institutes per year. • A minimum of 6 years' study during which the participant attends at least two full institutes per year. • A minimum of 2 years' study during which the participant attends at least one full institute per year.
• A minimum of 2 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 12. • A minimum of 4 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 16. • A minimum of 6 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 20. • A minimum of 2 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 6.
• A comprehensive knowledge of Fraser's first two books on piano technique, The Craft of Piano Playing and Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, and Pianimals, his children's method. • A comprehensive knowledge of Fraser's first four books on piano technique, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique and Play the Piano with Your Whole Self. • A comprehensive knowledge of all Fraser's books on piano technique and Feldenkrais Method, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique, Play the Piano with Your Whole Self, Transform the Pianistic Self-Image, and Skeletal Wisdom: Body & Mind Reunited in the Feldenkrais Method. • A comprehensive knowledge of Pianimals and Kiddie Craft.
• A final exam with:
  1. A half hour piano recital
  2. Observed lessons: Professor Fraser will observe the candidate working with a minimum of 2 different piano students, preferably of contrasting levels of ability and with contrasting repertoire, in lessons of a half hour to an hour.
  3. A written description of the teacher's work with a minimum of 4 different students, describing the problems encountered and how the ideas and methods of Craft of Piano Method were used to cultivate improvement.
  4. A written exam in which the candidate demonstrates familiarity with the ideas and principles outlined in Fraser's first two books on piano technique.
  5. An oral exam interview with Professor Fraser.
• A final exam with:
  1. An 45-minute piano recital
  2. Observed lessons: Professor Fraser will observe the candidate working with a minimum of 4 different piano students, preferably of contrasting levels of ability and with contrasting repertoire, in lessons of a half hour to an hour.
  3. A written description of the teacher's work with a minimum of 6 different students, describing the problems encountered and how the ideas and methods of Piano Kinematics were used to cultivate improvement.
  4. A written exam in which the candidate demonstrates familiarity with the ideas and principles outlined in Fraser's first four books on piano technique.
  5. An oral exam interview with Professor Fraser.
• A final exam with:
  1. An hour-long piano recital
  2. Observed lessons: Professor Fraser will observe the candidate working with a minimum of 6 different piano students, preferably of contrasting levels of ability and with contrasting repertoire, in lessons of a half hour to an hour.
  3. A written description of the teacher's work with a minimum of 8 different students, describing the problems encountered and how the ideas and methods of Piano Kinematics were used to cultivate improvement.
  4. A written exam in which the candidate demonstrates familiarity with the ideas and principles outlined in Fraser's first six books on piano technique & the Feldenkrais Method.
  5. An oral exam interview with Professor Fraser.
• A final exam with:
  1. A 20-minute piano reciital
  2. Observed lessons: Professor Fraser will observe the candidate working with a minimum of 2 different piano pupils, preferably of contrasting levels of ability and with contrasting repertoire, in lessons of a half hour to an hour.
  3. A written description of the teacher's work with a minimum of 4 different students, describing the problems encountered and how the ideas and methods of Kiddie Craft and Pianimals were used to cultivate improvement.
  4. A written exam in which the candidate demonstrates familiarity with the ideas and principles outlined in Kiddie Craft and Pianimals.
  5. An oral exam interview with Professor Fraser.

If you are interested in being certified, please consult with Professor Fraser. Candidates are encouraged to 'try out' the various exam requirements with him beforehand.


Performance Diploma

Institute graduates who are more performance oriented in their careers may sit for the Institute Performance Diploma.


Performance Diploma Requirements

PIANO KINEMATICS PERFORMANCE PIANO SOMATICS PERFORMANCE EMBODIED PIANO
PERFORMANCE
• A minimum of 2 years' study during which the participant attends at least one full institute per year. • A minimum of 4 years' study during which the participant attends at least two full institutes per year. • A minimum of 6 years' study during which the participant attends at least two full institutes per year.
• A minimum of 2 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 12. • A minimum of 4 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 16. • A minimum of 6 lessons with Alan Fraser between each institute. Because of geographic constraints these lessons may be via Skype. The total number of lessons per annum, institute plus intervening, must be 20.
• Knowledge of Fraser's first two books on piano technique, The Craft of Piano Playing and Honing the Pianistic Self-Image. • Knowledge of Fraser's four books on piano technique, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique and Play the Piano with Your Whole Self. • Knowledge of all Fraser's books on piano technique and Feldenkrais Method, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique, Play the Piano with Your Whole Self, Transform the Pianistic Self-Image, and Skeletal Wisdom: Body & Mind Reunited in the Feldenkrais Method.
• A final exam consisting of:
  1. A 60-minute piano recital, free program.
• A final exam consisting of:
  1. A 60-minute piano recital, free program, preferably with at least two contrasting historical periods.
  2. A chamber music performance - lieder, instrumental sonata, piano trio, quartet or quintet, etc.
• A final exam consisting of:
  1. An 90-minute piano recital, free program, preferably with at least three contrasting historical periods.
  2. A chamber music performance - lieder, instrumental sonata, piano trio, quartet or quintet, etc.
  3. A performance of a concerto from the classical, romantic or modern era with orchestra (orchestra not provided by the institute - Fraser will, if possible, attend the performance, or if not possible, will evaluate the recording.)

All parts of the somatics and embodied piano performance exams need not be performed on the same day.