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Personal profile

Biography

My professional life in music is an example of a successful portfolio career. Having commenced as a performer and piano teacher, I developed into a tertiary academic, researcher and research manager.
I began my music studies at the Special Music School for Gifted Children in Kharkov, Ukraine. After migrating to Australia I completed my undergraduate studies at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide (BMusHon, 1st class), followed by a Masters degree in Performance at the renowned Juilliard School of Music, New York, as a recipient of an ITT International Fellowship. My PhD from the University of New South Wales in the area of music psychology was focused on instrumental teaching. My doctoral research identified patterns of behaviour exhibited by teachers and students during one-to-one instrumental music lessons in Australian higher education, and the resulting unique teaching and learning styles. During my Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Queensland I extended my expertise in music psychology and performance science by developing evidence-based pedagogical approaches to sight-reading training of university-level pianists. In addition to these research programs, I completed a Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education) at the University of Sydney, which informs my research-based approaches to tertiary teaching.
I have extensive experience in writing and administering ARC grant applications, organising data collection and analysing research data. I am currently an Investigator on an ARC Discovery Application – Reading better through music: Links between music and language literacy – for 2021–2024 with Professor Gary McPherson (University of Melbourne), Professor Rauno Parrila (Macquarie University) and Associate Professor Sieu Khuu (University of New South Wales). This project will investigate the impact of music training on acquisition of fluent text reading by adults and children, by examining differences in eye movement between musicians and non-musicians during text and music reading, in order to generate a theoretical framework regarding visual processing during reading in both domains. This research will enhance our understanding of cognitive processes involved in music and text reading, by evaluating the impact of music training on fluency of text reading and providing innovative solutions to teaching music literacy. The team’s application has received unanimous positive feedback from assessors. Having obtained ethical clearances for this research, I have already commenced conducting pilot studies.
I have worked as a Research Manager on Professor Margaret Barrett’s ARC-funded project – Pedagogies of expertise in musical thought and practice ($355,500, 2017–2019). This project investigated choral teaching in four choirs, three in Australia and one in the UK, with data collection consisting of surveys, observations and interviews with choral directors, choristers, and parents. Previously I have worked on the University of Queensland’s evaluation of the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program, which is an example of industry-sponsored research (Australian Youth Orchestra, $70,000, 2015–2017). This project involved data collection in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and included analysis of interviews with school principals, mentors and mentees, pre-to-post testing of student singing, student surveys and focus groups.
Additionally, I have considerable experience in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research as demonstrated by my publications studying various psychological aspects of musical ability. For example, I am currently working with a statistician on a paper that reports on the development of a new survey of child and adolescent engagement with choral singing. I am also the lead author on a recently published paper in the Journal of Eye Movement Research, which reported on eye movement efficiency and sight-reading expertise in woodwind players. In 2018 I was also a joint author on a paper in Psychology of Music, which examined change in singing accuracy of children from pre- to post-tests, and evaluated gender differences between boys and girls, and the impact of schools’ socio-economic standing. In respect of qualitative research, my extensive skills are evidenced by published papers in Music Education Research (2019) and Teaching and Teacher Education (2017), which report on emerging themes from semi-structured participant interviews.
Prior to being appointed as a Research Fellow in Music at the University of Queensland, which included a 25% teaching workload, I taught a wide range of subjects at the Sydney, Queensland and Western Australian Conservatoriums. Throughout my teaching career I have taught large classes of music theory, music history, and research skills, and have also supervised Honours and RHD students. Additionally, I was invited to teach the intensive module of Piano Pedagogy for Master of Teaching degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 2017 and 2019. I have also received numerous accolades for my teaching. In 2003 I was awarded the Sydney Conservatorium Teaching Award for excellence in piano teaching. At the University of Queensland I received three nominations for Outstanding Academic, and was short-listed for a Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2015.
Drawing upon my extensive experience as a professional performer whose skills have been honed in a range of working contexts, my research has focused on the critical skill of sight-reading, resulting in the publication of a sight-reading curriculum for higher education. This project involved leading a small team of piano lecturers from four institutions in trialling and refining the prototype curriculum, and evaluating improvement in student sight-reading skills through pre-to-post tests. Evidence of the standing of my research into pre-professional training of musicians includes over $100,000 in internal and external grant funding to date.
My academic publications are reflective of an interdisciplinary approach, combining psychology, science, music education and practice-led research, in reporting on topics such as eye movement, performance anxiety, innovative approaches to teaching of sight-reading, industry skills for classical musicians, teaching and learning in the studio setting, and collaboration between performers and composers in recording projects. I have published 18 journal articles in high impact international journals such as Journal of Eye Movement Research, Music and Science, Musicae Scientiae, Psychology of Music, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, International Journal of Music Education, British Journal of Music Education, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Australian Journal of Music Education. I have also published five book chapters. Google Scholar presently lists 403 citations of my work. My high standing in the music research community is also evidenced by a recent request to submit an invited manuscript to the Psychology of Music.
I have also presented many papers at international and national music conferences, including ISPS, ICMPC, APSCOM, Musicians’ Health and Performance, Reflective Conservatoire, Performer’s Voice, ISME, RIME, ASME, and APPC. I have served on the Editorial Board of International Journal of Music Education: Research for six years and I am currently serving on the international Editorial Board of Frontiers in Psychology: Performance Science. As a guest reviewer I have served on Music Perception, Musicae Scientiae, Teaching and Teacher Education, Frontiers in Education: Educational Psychology, and Research Studies in Music Education. I have also examined Masters and PhD theses for several Australian universities.
In Australia my reputation as a fine performing musician is firmly established. I have performed numerous concertos with professional and amateur orchestras, and presented many solo and chamber music recitals, partnering with some of Australia’s finest string players in Sydney and Canberra, and the Brisbane Winds. My three solo piano CDs have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Radio Arts Indonesia, and demonstrate my specialist interest in Australian piano music. I have also commissioned and edited new Australian pedagogical repertoire – three volumes of Wirripang Australian Piano Anthology (2011) and two volumes of Australian Women Composers’ Piano Anthology (2015; 2019). My high standing as a pianist is also evidenced by invitations to adjudicate the Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship in 2017 and 2018, and to appear as a keynote speaker at the New Zealand Registered Music Teachers Conference in 2018.

Education/Academic qualification

Higher Education, Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies, University of Sydney

Award Date: 28 Nov 2008

Music, PhD, University of New South Wales

Award Date: 19 Apr 2005

Music Performance, Masters , Juilliard School of Music, New York

Award Date: 17 May 1985

Music, BMus, University of Adelaide

Award Date: 6 May 1982

External positions

Visiting Fellow, University of New South Wales

20 Jan 202031 Dec 2023

Research area keywords

  • sight-reading
  • higher education
  • pedagogy
  • performance anxiety
  • skills for careers

Network

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