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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.

Professional Certificate Program

Graduate and Undergraduate Levels

Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink created and now directs and is the primary instructor in America’s first Professional Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique at Salem College—13th oldest college in the United States, according to the American Council on Education in Washington, DC. In an artistically inspired, academically rigorous, and scientifically informed 7-course curriculum, the Certificate Program covers all aspects of understanding, acquiring, and teaching injury-preventive piano and organ technique, including an in-depth study of keyboardists’ injuries, causes and cures.


  • Helps minimize physical effort to maximize compelling musical artistry
  • Uses a rational, research-validated, scientifically informed, interdisciplinary approach
  • Incorporates performing arts medicine, biomechanics, anatomy, neuroscience and neuropedagogy, somatic education, and technology

Who Benefits?

Students enrolled in the Certificate Program come from throughout the United States, as well as abroad (including Japan, Canada, England, and South America) and include the following:

  • International program for men and women
  • Qualified BA and BM piano and organ majors
  • Graduate students between degrees
  • Professional teachers and performers
  • College professors (on sabbatical)
  • Pianists and organists with playing-related or non-playing-related disorders
  • Keyboardists who wish to maximize their artistry through healthful technique


  • High rate of worldwide playing-related neuromusculoskeletal disorders limits careers and impedes artistry
  • About one in two pianists develop playing-related neuromusculoskeletal disorders
  • Female pianists have twice the risk of playing-related injury
  • All pianists and organists deserve a solid, injury-preventive technical foundation
  • Teachers need to understand, embody, and teach injury-preventive technique


  • Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique
  • Keyboardists’ Injuries—Causes and Cures
  • Pedagogy of Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique
  • Alexander Technique
  • Applied Lessons (piano and organ) and Weekly Studio Class
  • Application of Injury-Preventive Technique to Compelling Music-Making
  • Fourteen Semester-Hours with Additional Optional Courses Over Two Semesters

Instructional Delivery Methods

Offered through seminars, small classes, and individualized instruction. Students who do not live within commuting distance may take a hybrid form of the Program.

Strengths of the Certificate Program

One of the strengths of the Program is the stimulating interaction among the various students and professionals. The courses are taught in the School of Music of Salem College, one of America’s oldest NASM-accredited colleges (since 1931). Students study and perform in wonderful performing arts facilities (which include state-of-the art biofeedback equipment, outstanding, newly restored piano and organ concert instruments, and 15/16 alternatively-sized pianos) on a uniquely beautiful and historic campus. All students receive intensive, hands-on, individualized training. To facilitate this high level of one-on-one training, the Certificate Program is limited to 15 participants per semester.

Health Care – A Team Effort

In addition, students in the Program have access, if needed, to a carefully built team of health-care professionals (including orthopedists, neurologists, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, Alexander Technique instructors, and complementary health practitioners) that is particularly sympathetic to the myriad injuries and challenges that many pianists and organists experience.


Need-based scholarships on a limited bases. For scholarship information, please visit the Lister-Sink Foundation or visit Salem College Financial Aid.

Additional Information

For details of courses and their content, costs, scheduling options, application process, instructional delivery options and contact information, please check out the following resources…


To discuss the Program or for questions about application, contact Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink, Director at or at (336) 749-5715.