Introduction to Piano Somatics: A 6-month Study Group

Alan Fraser

Alan Fraser Bonn 2013

December 19th: From Standing to Walking: From “Stiff-Legged” to Supple Fingers

The finger is a complex set of levers. Pianists generally learn to curl the fingers, well, that is, activating the finger’s “ankle” and “knee,” but sometimes at the expense of the “hip joint.” When the metacarpal-phalangeal (MCP) joint, the top knuckle, fails to activate fully, the hand is weakened and at greater risk of injury – the fallen keystone of the arch creates instant tension in the forearm tendons.

This seminar explores legato, the pianist’s basic touch that establishes the fingers’ secure, moving relationship to the key, allowing them to stand up into their arch structure and to walk with potency and fluidity. We revert to a “one-boned finger,” a flattened digit that goes against much of piano orthodoxy, to establish the all-important “hip joint” as the hand’s fundamental source of physical as well as sonic power. When the hand arches are healthy, the voice of the piano is rich and sultry, penetratingly expressive and touching.

Seminar Structure:

  • 75-minute ATPM lesson: Floating, Stilting, Teetering, Sinking & Clapping: Multiple Activities to Establish the Supremacy of the MCP Joint, the Hand’s Hip Joint
  • Two 40-minute individual lessons on repertoire, applying the seminar themes in performance.
  • 25-minute discussion and close: question & answer round table

Monthly dates 2021

  • June 20 (Free Introductory Session available to view HERE)
  • July 18
  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 21
  • December 19
  • January 16

Please follow the link to view the entire six month course content.

Introduction to Piano Somatics A 6 month Study Group Lesson plan


Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. This event has multiple classes. Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.

All times are displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

All sessions: €100.00 Individual sessions: €20.00

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Alan Fraser