Lesley Sisterhen McAllister is an associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she teaches courses in performer wellness, piano pedagogy, group piano, and directs the Piano Laboratory Program for precollege students. Dr. McAllister holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Houston and Florida State University as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma.
Her doctoral research investigated the use of imagery, mental rehearsal, and relaxation techniques in musical performance enhancement. A passion for yoga led her to receive teacher training from the Living Yoga Program, which fueled her interest in ways that yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques enhance one's performance ability. In her recently published book The Balanced Musician: Integrating Mind and Body for Peak Performance, McAllister builds on the principles from her doctoral research and yoga training to outline practical ways that musicians can attain peak performance while living a healthy, balanced life.
An active writer, her 2010 article in American Music Teacher, titled "Should Music Be Fun?", was given the Article of the Year award by the Music Teachers National Association. In addition to her several articles appearing in American Music Teacher, she has also written for many other journals including Clavier Companion, the MTNA E-Journal, and the Piano Pedagogy Forum. She served as the chair of the editorial board for the MTNA E-Journal from its inception in 2009 until 2013, and currently chairs the Pedagogy Student planning committee for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
In demand as a workshop clinician and adjudicator, Dr. McAllister recently presented a lecture on Yoga for Musicians at the International Society for Music Educators conference in Scotland in June 2016. Her upcoming presentation at the March 2017 Music Teachers National Association conference in Baltimore will explore the use of mobile apps to decrease performance anxiety. She has presented lectures at other national conferences including two previous presentations for MTNA (Austin, Texas, 2006 and Atlanta, Georgia, 2009) and the Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (2008). She has also presented at College Music Society regional conferences and given numerous presentations at university pedagogy programs and music teachers' organizations. See more detail on workshop topics by visiting the "Workshops and Publications" page. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association, she serves as the faculty advisor for the Baylor University MTNA Collegiate Chapter. She and her family reside in Waco, Texas.