Master of Music in Piano or Organ Performance & Pedagogy with an Emphasis in Injury-Preventive Technique


Daphne Nichols at PianoThis unique master’s degree program focuses on enhancing the performance artistry and increasing the pedagogical skills of each student. As part of the curriculum, students will complete a concentration in injury-preventive keyboard technique. This degree was created in response to a high rate of playing-related injuries among pianists and organists worldwide, often jeopardizing their futures in music. Students in the master’s program will have the opportunity:

  • to MAXIMIZE their artistic potential and professional opportunities through intensive study in performance
  • to GAIN scientifically informed, research-validated knowledge about injury-preventive technique, risk factors for injury, and the field of performing arts medicine
  • to LEARN to teach injury-preventive technique, as well as traditional pedagogical methods
  • to RECOVER (if necessary) from playing-related injuries in a supportive
environment while concurrently working on a master’s degree


Qualified pianists and organists with a BA in music or a BM who

  • would like to further their professional development
  • need assistance with a playing-related injury
  • wish to maximize their artistry through healthful technique


  • Salem College, founded in 1772, offers a residential undergraduate program for women, adult education for men and women, and coeducational graduate studies in education and music.
  • The college is located in beautiful Old Salem, a restored 18th century Moravian village in the heart of Winston-Salem, a thriving “City of Arts and Innovation” in the piedmont of North Carolina.

Financial Aid & Application

Master’s students who are enrolled at least half-time may be eligible for federal loans after filing a valid FAFSA online at In addition, graduate scholarships and assistantships may be available through the School of Music.

For information regarding financial aid and application materials, please contact:

Dr. Amy Zigler, Graduate Admissions Coordinator
School of Music, Salem College
(336) 721-2798

For further information regarding the degree program, please contact:
Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink, Director, Graduate Music Program
(336) 749-5715

Research Validated Method

An anonymous survey was administered to 103 pianists and organists aged 22 to 82, with 74 (N=74) pianists responding (71.8%), and 26 pianists and organists were interviewed in-depth. Survey and interview results established that participants perceived the [Lister-Sink] Method as significantly helpful in facilitating recovery from PRNDs. …Additionally, both the survey and interview participants reported improvement of technique and musicality with many also reporting enhancement of their extra-musical lives.”

(“A Study of Students’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Method for Teaching Injury-Preventive Piano Technique.”  Lister-Sink Dissertation, Columbia University 2015.)

Quote from Medical Field About Dr. Lister-Sink

…within the field of  body mechanics, Lister-Sink operates at the genius level, both as a thinker and as a teacher. I have known only a handful of others in my own professional world who could be thus described.  She has a deep understanding of the physical elements of playing the piano and how to release musical expression, but what makes her unique is that she knows how to transmit that understanding to others….”

(Retired Institute Director, National Institutes of Health)