A new approach to piano technique
Welcome to the home site of Canadian pianist, pedagogue, author and Feldenkrais practitioner Alan Fraser – best known for his landmark work, The Craft of Piano Playing, which examines the innate structure and function of the human hand to help pianists replace tension and over-relaxation with effective hand activation. Fraser has drawn on his early studies with pioneer pianist and psychologist Phil Cohen, creator of the Leonardo Project of Montreal, side trips into Tai Chi and Feldenkrais Method, and a 20-year collaboration with the Croatian virtuoso Kemal Gekic to develop his innovative approach now known as Craft of Piano Method.
The Craft of Piano Playing
His book and DVD, The Craft of Piano Playing, presents this new approach in detail, with an extensive series of exercises to align one’s skeleton, enrich one’s sound, increase virtuosity, and eliminate the danger of injury before it ever arises. Initially designed to help top-flight pianists add a further dimension of virtuosity and expressivity to their technique, The Craft of Piano Playing has proved popular with pianists of all ages and abilities – its principles hearken back to movement patterns common to us all. Read more. A Revised 2nd Edition of The Craft of Piano Playing will soon be published by Scarecrow Press.
Honing the Pianistic Self-Image
In 2010 he published a second volume, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image: Skeletal-Based Piano Technique, which leads the hand to a new, sophisticated state – unstable equilibrium – to gain an even finer control over the piano’s colours and emotions, and also shows how a similar state in the whole body offers crucial support to the empowered hand on the keyboard.
The Alan Fraser Piano Institute
2011 saw the inauguration of the Alan Fraser Summer Piano Institute at Smith College, in beautiful Northampton Massachusetts. 11 active participants plus numerous observers gathered for a week of intensive lessons, lectures and group sessions in Feldenkrais Method all personally led by Alan Fraser himself. The event was so successful that a Western division was immediately created in Salt Lake City; the inaugural session taking place over Labor Day weekend. Both these Institutes will be expanded next year – visit the site for more information. The first European Institute will take place in Stuttgart, Germany January 18-22 2012.
Alan Fraser maintains an active concert and teaching schedule, finds time to write the occasional Blog entry and address questions raised on his Forum, and is currently writing Kiddie Craft, a series of exercises for young pianists based on The Craft of Piano Playing, Community Craft, a collection of pertinent posts and replies from his Forum, and a third volume in the Craft – Honing series, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique.
We hope you find time to browse the site, take a look at Alan’s compositions, family photo album, and to read sample lessons and lecture outlines…