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Learn more about Salem's Master of Music and Graduate Certificate programs

Master of Music and Graduate Certificate in Injury-Preventive Keyboard

Music book open on a piano
Barbara Lister-Sink

Meet One of the Outstanding Faculty

Barabara Lister-Sink is acknowledged as a global leader in injury-preventive keyboard technique. She is a frequent presenter on keyboardists’ health and injuries at national and international conferences, including the Music Teachers National Association, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and International Society of Music Educators in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 2020 Virtual ISME Conference from Helsinki, Finland. Through her research-validated Lister-Sink Method©, 2016 TED X talk, hundreds of workshops at universities, conservatories, summer institutes, professional conferences and frequent articles in music journals, she has helped thousands of keyboardists from around the world remove technical obstacles to their musical development. In 2023, as a leader in best practices in neuroscience and music, she was invited to present at the Music & Mind Symposium, hosted by Atrium Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She was also chosen by Musical America Global as one of America’s “Top Professionals of 2018” who have contributed to the music profession as innovators, independent thinkers and visionary leaders.

The Master of Music Program

Making the choice to pursue a graduate education is an opportunity to open new doors within your life. Here are some things to know about the program and how to apply so that you can get started on following your dream.

Master of Music and Graduate Certificate in Injury-Preventive Keyboard

Salem College’s Master of Music is unique in the United States. Not only does the Salem program enhance students’ performance artistry and increase their pedagogical skills but also helps them to regain or lengthen their careers through an emphasis on injury-preventive keyboard technique. This emphasis was created in response to a high rate of playing-related injuries among pianists and organists worldwide, which often jeopardized their futures in music. Graduate students may also study injury-preventive keyboard technique as a stand-alone certificate that is offered in-person and online. The Master of Music program is open to qualified pianists and organists who would like to further their professional development.

Student Experience

During this program, students focus on enhancing their musical artistry and increasing pedagogical skills while completing a concentration in injury-preventive keyboard technique. The Master’s degree has enrolled students from across the globe that have playing-related injuries or that wish to teach injury-preventive technique.  The most important result is recovery from their injury and a return to their performing and teaching careers. This occurs only after rigorous, science-based neuromuscular retraining in principles of good biomechanics through a neuropedagogical, interdisciplinary approach.

Graduates frequently use the word ”transformative” to describe the program and its outcome. As one professor of piano at Charles Darwin University, Australia stated, participating in the Certificate Program “was a turning point in my career.”

Health Leadership Highlights

  • Salem’s Graduate Music Students continue to excel as health leaders worldwide, giving presentations on musicians’ wellness, injury-preventive technique and pedagogy, and neuropedagogy in state, national and international conferences and festivals.
  • For example, students have given presentations in piano conferences focused exclusively on health and wellness, won association specific awards affording the ability to give master classes, and served as an interpreter and instructor in international injury-preventive piano technique for an international music center.

Jobs and Outcomes

Upon completing the program and concentration, graduates are able to perform and teach, demonstrating injury-preventive technique.  Previously injured keyboardists are usually able to resume their academic studies or performing careers.

Application Submission Materials

  • Completed application, including:
    • Two recommendation forms
    • Artistic statement
    • Completed background check
    • Authorization for Release of Information form
    • Sealed official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • Pre-screening video recording
  • Live or virtual audition (for more information see the graduate catalog)
  • Background check

Get Started On Your Journey

Helpful Links

You can read more about our program within our information below. Once you decide to apply to Salem College’s graduate school, you can find the link to apply below as well as information about the classes you would take in the Music program.

Program Leadership

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