Developing a Healthful Playing Technique

Christopher Jennings

Monday, June 20, 10 AM

Developing a healthful playing technique is essential to our livelihood as professional musicians; however, there still remains a high rate of injuries amongst musicians. Previously something many were afraid to discuss, this has become a “hot-topic” in conservatories. The National Association of Schools of Music now requires some type of injury-prevention coursework be available for students in order to be re-accredited.

I will present a workshop about the basics of good coordination at the keyboard. The core of my study and research is from my own retraining with the world-renowned pianist Barbara Lister-Sink. My certificate in Well-Coordinated Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique has given me a great deal of insight into becoming injury-free in my own playing.

The Lister-Sink Technique is based on sound science and both by the Old Russian School of piano playing, and sports pedagogy. My focus is not merely on having good technique, but using that technique for injury-free playing that ultimately leads to beautiful, expressive music-making.

I will discuss how to apply the Lister-Sink technique at the organ, using efficient muscle movements that eliminate tension and encourage optimal alignment of the cervical spine, core engagement etc.I will also discuss methods for developing healthful practicing habits, including mental practicing, impulse practicing, and cool-down exercises after playing or performing.

CHRISTOPHER JENNINGS is the newly appointed Director of Music at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, NY, having previously served as Associate Organist-Choirmaster St. James’ Church, Madison Ave., NYC. He holds a Master of Music from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. He recently completed a Performance Certificate in Injury Preventive Well-Coordinated Keyboard Technique at Salem College, studying with Barbara Lister-Sink. His other teachers have included Marilyn Keiser, Martin Jean, and William Porter. Christopher has performed in solo recitals throughout the United States and has been featured on Pipedreams, With Heart and Voice, and as a video clue on Jeopardy! More info available at

The handout for this workshop can be found here.