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Lister-Sink Institute

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About the Lister-Sink Institute

The Lister-Sink Institute is an educational organization dedicated to promoting a healthful, well-coordinated keyboard technique to maximize musical artistry and help prevent potential injury at any point in the career.


Medical Endorsements

“. . . she will be historically noted . . . for the important and necessary marriage between the medical/scientific and the musical/artistic worlds . . . Barbara Lister-Sink has this unbeatable combination of talents, knowledge and experience to finally build a bridge between the worlds of music and science.”

Jaiyoung Ryu, M.D.
Professor & Chief, Section of Hand Surgery Department of Orthopaedics, West Virginia University Morgantown, WV

Medical Endorsements

“. . . within the field of the body mechanics, she operates at the genius level, both as a thinker and as a teacher. . . . Barbara’s teaching on artistic matters is as impressive as it is on technical matters. She has the experience and skills of a top level performer and a deep knowledge of music. . . . The combination of these two extraordinary talents in a single person is a rare and special event.”

Enoch Gordis, M.D.
Rockville, MD

Professional Endorsements

“The hallmarks of superb teaching–mastery of the material and creativity in conveying it–are embodied in her approach and grounded in her own inspiring playing at the instrument.”

Virginia M. Houser, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Piano and Pedagogy — Kansas State University

Professional Endorsements

“...I could not possibly have anticipated how profoundly impressed I would be by this excellent and comprehensive method the influence and relevance of which extends far beyond its obvious application to piano study.”

Beverly Henkel
Independent Piano Teacher, Lynchburg, VA — Recipient, MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant 2006, 2007

Professional Endorsements

“She is one of the world’s great pedagogues and she has something extremely unique to offer, something that no one else anywhere is teaching. After many years of refinement, she has codified everything one needs for a solid technical and musical foundation into the Lister-Sink Method.”

Jack Mitchener, D.M.A.
Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music, Associate Professor of Organ — Townsend School of Music — Mercer University

Christopher Jennings, Director of Church Music, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn Heights, NY. MM in organ, Yale School of Music. My own playing and performing have been forever changed by the Certificate Program as I have been able to recover from several years of bad habits and injuries…I can now play full-length recitals without pain or medication, and I feel that this has freed me to be more musical and expressive artistically.

Scott Schwab, DMA candidate (piano), University of Colorado/Boulder. The Certificate Program stands alone in its comprehensiveness: students are educated about the body, the brain, their instrument, and the interaction of all three that lead to great piano-playing. With injury rates as high as they are in our industry, the Program is an invaluable resource for the scores of frustrated pianists at all levels.

Hui Chen Tan, Lecturer in Piano, Charles Darwin University, Australia. Participating in Lister-Sink’s Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique was a turning point in my career.

Kirk M. Rich, 2016 NYACOP/AGO 2nd Place. BM, Oberlin Conservatory; MM, University of Indiana/Bloomington; DMA in organ, University of Houston (In Progress). The Program offers something so totally innovative and desperately needed in the keyboard world. I am confident that it has prepared me for any challenge, ensuring a joyful life of music-making.

Dr. Lori Piitz, Associate Professor of Music (piano), James Madison University. The Certificate Program was a wonderful experience, and I learned more than I ever imagined I would. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in enhancing their musicality and the ease with which they convey that musicality through the piano.

Pat Crowe, MM in organ, Mercer University. The Certificate Program combines the best of respect for historic keyboard techniques with the best of pedagogical, musical, and scientific knowledge of the 21st century…It not only cured me from severe injury, but greatly improved my musicality and physical connection with the organ and piano. I had at last learned how to translate a musical concept from my head to my fingers, without physical hindrance.

Dr. Jamie Grigsby, Piano teacher, performer, doctor of physical therapy, Denver, CO, MM, University of Colorado/Boulder, DPT, University of Denver. I could never have imagined how…completing the Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Technique at Salem College could and would impact my life. Not only am I now capable of technically and musically playing literature with more ease and confidence, but as a private piano teacher, I am able to give my students a strong foundation to musically accomplish their goals and dreams.

Dr. Timothy Pyper, First Prize, 2008 Arthur Poister Memorial Competition. Recitalist. Williamstown, MA; New York City, MM Eastman School of Music, DMA, Cornell University …the lessons I learned in the Certificate Program allowed me to continue to flourish as a keyboardist.

James Navan, Jazz pianist, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Glenn Miller Orchestra New York, NY. I immediately noticed improvements in my injuries after beginning studies, and I can now say for the first time in many years that I can play without pain. Furthermore, through the informative courses of the Program, it is no longer a mystery why I developed pain, and why this new way of playing led to recovery.

Brent L. Neuenschwander, Music Director, First Presbyterian Church, Findlay, OH. After incurring an incapacitating performance injury, the Professional Certificate Program at Salem College provided the only option for my recovery and eventual return to the keyboard. This experience gave me hope and created the possibility for me to continue in life as an organist.

“Lister-Sink is a superb pianist (one who practices what she preaches) and a ‘real’ teacher, one absorbed, dedicated, totally committed to her craft, an evangelist for physical freedom in piano playing.”

“Through her superb musical insights, understanding of the functioning of the human body, and ability to communicate, she is able to inspire her students to achieve a level of pianism and musicianship which is quite remarkable.”

“…altogether I feel immensely satisfied. I know that I have grasped something inextricably essential to all pianists.”

“This was a revelation to me in so many, many ways…frankly beyond anything I could have presupposed or expected. I appreciate the direct application of concepts physically—NO ABSTRACTIONS!”

“For me everything this week has been helpful in expanding my awareness of my body and technique at the piano…Everything was taught so clearly and with such enthusiasm.”

“Her enthusiasm and love of teaching are not limited to a certain caliber of student. She has always, and continues to work with students on all levels, from the beginner to the world-class artist. I cannot imagine any student of Barbara’s not being transformed in some major way as a result of her teaching…In terms of effective teaching, I would rate Barbara among the most dynamic, influential and caring teachers of any subject, on any level.”

“One of Ms. Lister-Sink’s remarkable talents is her ability to work with and inspire the young beginning pianist as well as the most advanced students and artist. I have found her clear analysis of each student’s musical and technical problems to be stunningly focused, kindly, and always presented in an inspiring manner.”

“[Her] constant adherence to basic principles has given me more courage to do the same. The workshop…continues to work on me—forming, shaping, pushing me into newer ways of working and playing.”

“Her strongest suits as an instructor are her unique talents for clear communication and for caring for the total well-being of her students.”

“Barbara Lister-Sink is a true teacher. Her life is a lesson, not only to those who are formally her pupils, but to all who will learn—a lesson in honesty with herself and others, in pride and integrity, in the struggles and challenges of the artist of integrity.”

“Lister-Sink is a superb pianist (one who practices what she preaches) and a ‘real’ teacher, one absorbed, dedicated, totally committed to her craft, an evangelist for physical freedom in piano playing.”

“It helps you be free. When you play a note or chord over and over again, you can go on forever.”

—9-year old student

“I knew from the first conversation I had with Barbara Lister-Sink that she would make remarkable changes in my piano playing. Barbara systematically set about identifying and teaching the necessary skills in order of priority for me to reach my highest level of piano performance. I cannot speak highly enough about the integrity and talent of Barbara Lister-Sink, nor of the magic she creates.”

—Randy Shepherd, Private Piano Teacher – Chapel Hill, NC


De Tijd  – Amsterdam/Rotterdam (De Doelen Concert Series, Rotterdam)  “Barbara Lister-Sink is technically as well as musically an exceedingly gifted musician. She…played her program with absolute understanding, rich imagination, and elegant, well-balanced musicality. She was at her best when refinement and subtlety were called for… Schönberg’s Drei Klavierstücke were…. miracles of atmosphere and sound. She is…a pianist to which you listen captivated.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Treppenhaus Concert Series) “Time and again out of the crowded ranks of aspiring young pianists, a few will surface whose talents cause the careers of the rest to grow pale by comparison… Barbara Lister-Sink gave the impression of belonging to such an elite… With her subtle nuance of touch, Lister-Sink laid bare the rich colors and clarity of structure…and at the same time showed a remarkable ability to build tension—her energy driving but fully controlled…The artist’s constructive power and lively expression were captivating. special strengths in the gifts of this kind, charming artist—flowing technique and an eminent sense of sound.”

The Washington Post (Phillips Collection) “Lister-Sink…played with enormous energy and drama.”

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Eastman School of Music)  “Lister-Sink …is a warm, sensitive pianist, equally comfortable with Schumann’s ardent Fantasy, Debussy’s exquisite Estampes and Scriabin’s febrile F-sharp minor Sonata…ravishing washes of color…. minutely detailed dynamics, filled with sensuous atmosphere…the notes sang with poetry and brilliance…. impressive coherence and note-to-note continuity. She paid attention to inner voices, but never interrupted the music’s grandly passionate line.”

Winston-Salem Journal – Winston-Salem, NC “Now and then, an audience’s innate discernment causes it to listen to really superb playing with a special kind of breathless silence. That’s how this audience of 600 people listened to the Largo, and it was right to do so…Only excellent players can keep the texture of this work [Grieg Violin and Piano Sonata No. 1] from coming unglued. The performance…was not merely beautiful, but also cohesive. The players made the work sound like a masterpiece…” (Arnold Steinhardt/Lister-Sink).

The Grainger Society Journal “Lister-Sink performed magnificently.”

The Arts Journal  – North Carolina “Unlike some solo performances where an immaculately dressed artist wrestles at the mouth of the ebony cabinet and the spectacle is as interesting as the music, Lister-Sink’s command and personal expression are the only focus when she plays. There is no symbiosis or compromise with the instrument. There is only sound shaped by fire.”

De TijdAmsterdam (De Suite Concert Series) “She gave evidence of having great imagination and an alert intelligence. Her especially brilliant virtuosity truly commands the stage.”

The New York Times (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center) “Each received superior treatment from…her excellent partner at the piano.  Barbara Lister-Sink.”

The Inquirer and MirrorNantucket, MA “Ms. Lister-Sink gave a virtuosic performance, playing with that extra flair that makes a fine performance a memorable one. The end result was, in a word, stunning.”

Evening Citizen – Laconia, NH (New Hampshire Music Festival – Bertrand Rands, reviewer) “Ms. Lister-Sink has become a solid favorite through several appearances with the New Hampshire Festival orchestra and justifiably so. She has earned her niche as a top-flight artist.”

The Washington Post – Washington, DC “With a deceiving simplicity, she outlined the short, thematic line while weaving about it designs that were superbly phrased and exquisitely detailed.”

Winston-Salem Journal – Winston-Salem, NC “With pianist Barbara Lister-Sink collaborating with [Andres] Cardenes, last night’s was as fine a recital as one could hope for…Ms. Lister-Sink once again proved to be a fine chamber musician. Some of Lister-Sink’s most evocative playing came when approaching more delicate passages…The duo’s performance…was a heart-stopping dialogue between violin and piano. The interplay between the two musicians was as intimate and as moving as if they had been collaborating for years.”

Winston-Salem Journal – Winston-Salem, NC “Ms. Lister-Sink…was [Arnold] Steinhardt’s support. Her playing was not that of any mere accompanist, though; she drew nuances and subtleties from the music as intensely as if had she been the soloist.”

Het Parool – Amsterdam “…a first-rate partner at the piano who solved the difficult instrumental and musical problems excellently and who above all evinced all the qualities of an expert accompanist.”

Times-Union Rochester “…extraordinarily resourceful Lister-Sink…”

Maine Times (New Hampshire Music Festival) “Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (with the solo part realized beautifully by Barbara Lister-Sink)… exquisitely sensitive phrasing and dynamic control, and a great sense of overall shape…”

The Bristol Enterprise – Bristol, NH “Barbara Lister-Sink is both a sensitive and understanding accompanist and a virtuoso in her own right…To listen to her in the Schumann…and the Brahms…was thrilling…”

The Evening Times Globe – Saint John, New Brunswick “…warm-blooded romanticism and just the right emotional vitality.”

The Ithaca Journal – Ithaca, NY “…a dynamic and rhythmic expressiveness which fulfilled all expectations.”

The Robesonian – Lumberton, NC “Barbara Lister-Sink presented a demanding program with éclat and beauty…brought to the recital knowledge, skill, a sense of precision and a complete mastery of the keyboard.  She is not a giant in stature, but in performance, she is.”

Lake Placid News – Lake Placid, NY “She did an extraordinary job…a sensitive well-modulated performance complimenting in every instance the dimensions of the violinist’s performance…performing with style, competence, and discretion.”

The Journal – Winston-Salem, NC “…a precision that made the most of the work’s striking qualities as a showpiece and a sensitivity that brought forth the richness of its Romantic qualities.”

Het Parool – Amsterdam “…a first-rate partner at the piano who solved the difficult instrumental and musical problems excellently and who above all evinced all the qualities of an expert accompanist.”

The Sentinel – Winston-Salem, NC “Mrs. Lister-Sink was perfect; she seems to be a no-nonsense pianist with charm.”

Greensboro Daily News – Greensboro, NC “Her playing is vibrant and filled with strong contrasts.  It is energetic. She compelled attention partly because of her own conviction about the music and partly because of the wide array of tone colors she draws from the piano.”



The Chronicle – Duke University

‘Lister-Sink “a treasure”‘

“A small soprano with a large, rich voice…Barbara Lister-Sink displayed a maturity of vocal ability and artist interpretation which can become a treasure to a community of student and instructors…a clear, high register, supported by a resonant lower register…breadth of musical expression, from ribald heartiness to bereft solitude.  Lister-Sink demonstrated the artistic and vocal maturity by allowing the linguistic characteristics of each language to be fully displayed while maintaining tonal beauty…wealth of talent…one should look forward eagerly to seeing her name associated with other musical events.”