A hand that lies down, stands up, walks, runs and jumps well on key plays better!

The easiest way yet to transform the pianist's hand

To help your students, first help yourself

Pianimals boils down over 250 of Alan Fraser's Awareness Through Piano Movement lessons into just 28 lessons that are succinct, easy-to-do and powerful in their effect. Thus Pianimals' first benefit is to transform your own playing. No matter how well one plays, no matter how comfortable one is in their technique, these exercises offer the chance to hone one's skills even further, using cutting edge insights that have only recently been developed.

Pianimals is for you even if you are not a studio teacher or university professor. The hand developing a more organic, sensorial awareness of itself, by necessity will serve your musical goals with greater ability, power, and finesse. If you do teach, once you yourself have benefitted from this 'Pianimals Pianistic Makeover', then the possibility opens up of also empowering pianists of all ages in your studio.

A complementary approach

Pianimals is not designed to replace other piano methods but to be used in complement with the methods you already use with your pupils. Don't abandon the tried and true teaching techniques which have worked well for you - simply add five or ten minutes of Pianimals per lesson to fast track your pupils' learning curve.

Pianimals: your ticket to new ability at the piano

A developmental approach

Pianimals offers the pianist's hand the same developmental experiences we all had in childhood when we first learned to stand, walk, run and jump. The Feldenkrais-style exercises empower any pianist's connection to the keyboard, and especially the beginner's first steps at the piano. The illustrations draw children into a fantasy world where the hand really becomes a bear or a bird, and the evocative compositions develop the child's musicianship along with their fantasy.

For grownups too

These exercises are a great remedial experience for more advanced pianists as well. Never has Piano Somatics been spelled out so clearly, so simply... the compositions are fun to play for teacher and pupil alike, and sometimes stretch the ability of both!


First and foremost, use the Pianimals Teachers Manual to explore and develop your own technical approach. No matter how advanced you are, Pianimals can shed light on hidden aspects of your practice, empowering your hand to move better and play better by improving its movement qualities from within.

When you are ready to bring this approach to your students, again the Teachers Manual is your essential resource. Here are gathered together almost all the pedagogical materials: the exercises, the compositions, and the illustrations that will so delightfully engage your pupils young and old. Go to the Teachers Manual, do the exercises, feel how they help your own hand develop, and begin to see how you might apply them with your pupils.

The Pianimals Teachers Manual: 28 Feldenkrais Lessons for the Beginning Pianist is divided into 8 sections that follow the development of the hand just as an infant follows a certain line of development in coming to stand and walk. At first we do the unusual, laying the hand down in the keys so it can discover its primordial movement beginnings - just as an infant lies down for a year's pre-standing apprenticeship before it finaly stands and walks.

We then give some special attention to the thumb, such a problematic issue for so many pianists (beginning or otherwise), before moving beyond preparation into actually standing the finger on key. Reviewing the underpinnings of healthy standing on key empowers our eventual "walking" on key (legato, section III), our "running" (passagework, section IV), "jumping" (navigating large leaps, section V), and even the involvement of the whole body in all these hand-arm activities (section VIII).

Each new development in movement is supported with simple musical compositions that use the hand and fingers in unusual configurations, imparting a new sense of self to the hand, and a sense of new possibilities not only for moving effectively on key, but also for making new types of music.

Eventual editions in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian


The rest of the pedagogical materials are found in Pianimals Pointers, first conceived as a small handbook to be kept by your side as you teach, with quick, simple, bullet-style reminders of the Pianimals essentials. When we decided to add photographs, we realized that only a full-sized pamphlet would do the wonderful pictures of the hand justice, so Pointers ended up being large format just like the Teachers Manual. Pointers has just twelve chapters, each only a page long, with richly detailed photographs that communicate the feel of the hand going through a developmental exercise.

Pianimals Pointers: Quick Solutions to Basic Problems in Beginning Piano Technique begins with the Basic Exercise: creation and development of the hand's arch gently, organically. Then follow twelve variations on that theme where the hand experiences:

  • Lying down in the key
  • Empowering the thumb
  • Standing on key
  • Sliding on key
  • "Poking" the key (!)
  • Lolling on the keys
  • Rolling on key
  • Hopping on key
  • Squatting, rising and taking a big step on key
  • Curling the fingertip
  • The "Cat Scratch"
  • Overholding many keys

Eventual editions in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian


A piano book for young pupils must have simple and immediate appeal, so the Pupils' Volumes have only the compositions and illustrations, no exercises. It is up to the teacher to take the pupil through the exercise during the lesson, and then study the composition associated with that exercise together. At home the pupil remembers the exercise and confirms it, integrates it, by playing the associated piece.

2nd Edition 2nd Edition
Pupils Books

The Pianimals Pupils' Book, Volumes 1 & 2 have over 50 compositions, most of which are extremely simple. The idea is not to present something musically challenging, but to provide a means for the pupil to experience their hand in a new way, by putting the exercise into practice. The accompaniments make for a more pleasurable musical experience, and can be played by the teacher, a slightly more advanced pupil, or in some cases, by the pupils themselves using the spare hand.

The illustrations always refer in ingenious ways to the exercise and composition in question, and the pupil is always encouraged to create variations and improvisations on the general idea. It's not so important to play the exact notes, but to really hear whatever notes are being played, to experience them both physically and aurally.

Eventual editions in English, German French and Italian


The Pianimals compositions are ideal for recitals. There are sonorous, simple pieces, dissonant pieces, and pieces that are technically and musically more challenging. The Playbook presents all the compositions with Primo on the right hand page and Secondo on the left, for easy reading and recital preparation in duo.

The Pianimals Playbook has all 52 Piaimals compositions, many of which have easy and intermediate versions for those not advanced enough to do the full version, set up in Secondo-Primo on the left and right hand pages for easy reading and performance. A thumbnail of the illustration indicates whether the pupil should play Primo or Secondo.

Eventual editions in English, German French and Italian


This lecture was given in Oxford, Ohio as a part of the Miami University Piano Pedagogy class activities. A succinct and clear summary of what Pianimals is all about.


Teachers Sample Lesson

Pianimals Pointers Thumb Variations

Pupils Book Sample Composition

The Pianimals Playbook

Teachers Manual Table of Contents

Teachers from the Introduction

Each piece has its own animal who plays the piano in its own unique way...

... and Lucky the Cat is always there keeping an eye on things...

Fraser Piano Institute

Author Alan Fraser appears as Elegant Alionus!

Studio teachers react to Pianimals:

Refining a weighted touch

"Pianimals is both stimulating and challenging. I have learned to refine my habitual weighted touch (of which I had been unaware) to open the piano's sound. I feel more agile and what's even more important, I have found my musical voice. It all comes from standing the hand well on key... and now my pupils are doing the same."

Cristina Ferrari, studio teacher and Pianimals translator, Italy

Kids find it fun

"I am having such fun using these pieces in my studio, and the kids just love turning their hand into animals like a hippo or an ape. The exercises are ingenious in their capacity to both empower and entertain the young pupil."

Christine Olson, studio teacher, Northampton, MA

Explanations that are simple & clear but not superficial

"I have studied Alan Fraser's method for many years and translated several of his longer books into French, but Pianimals is helping me even more to play Bach as I have always dreamed."

Yveline Ciazynski, retired psychoanalyst and Pianimals translator, France

Quick progress

"If you want to get your pupils on their pianistic feet quickly and easily, Pianimals is for you."

Mario de la Vega, studio teacher, Munich

A sense of freedom, contact, control

"Alan's teaching has brought my playing to a whole new level of virtuosity, one that I had never even dreamed of. It is so exciting to see this same approach distilled into a format that allows my pupils to progress more quickly and adroitly than ever before."

Remon Holsbergen, concert pianist, Amsterdam

Pianimals is available at our online store. Don't wait, order yours today, and in the meantime, join our fast-growing Pianimals Practitioners in our Pianimals Facebook Group.