Dr Katie Zhukov

Music Research Fellow

School of Music
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 57314


I am an experienced performer, researcher and tertiary lecturer with extensive industry experience. My 30-year professional music career to date has combined extended periods working in both the freelance and tertiary sectors in WA, ACT, NSW and Queensland, which has provided me with valuable perspectives on the relationship between academic knowledge, artistic expertise, and skills required by the music industry.

My professional life in music is a successful example of a portfolio career. Having commenced as a performer and instrumental teacher, I developed into a tertiary academic, researcher and research manager. I bring a multicultural perspective to music education, having begun my studies at the Special Music School for Gifted Children in Kharkov, Ukraine. After migrating to Australia as a teenager, I completed 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 2005 focused on one-to-one instrumental pedagogy at the tertiary level, while my academic lecturing is informed by professional development through completion of a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) at the University of Sydney. I have recently completed a four-year postdoctoral research project at the University of Queensland, where I concurrently lectured in various subject areas.

In Australia my reputation as a fine performing musician is firmly established. I have performed numerous concertos with professional and student orchestras, and presented many solo and chamber music recitals, partnering with some of Australia’s finest string players in Sydney and Canberra. Since moving to Brisbane in 2009 I have appeared in several chamber concerts with the Brisbane Winds. My specialist interest in Australian music is evidenced by my three solo CDs and my editions of Wirripang Australian Piano Anthology (2011) and Australian Women Composers’ Piano Anthology (2015).

My publications on gender issues in instrumental music teaching, sight-reading, application of theories of teaching and learning to the studio setting, and performance as creative practice appear in 12 journal articles in high impact international journals such as Psychology of Music, Musicae Scientiae, International Journal of Music Education (Research and Practice issues), British Journal of Music Education, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, Australian Journal of Music Education and also in three book chapters. I have presented 29 papers at the ISME, ICMPC, Reflective Conservatoire, Performer’s Voice, RIME, ASME, and APPC Conferences. I am currently serving on the Editorial Boards of International Journal of Music Education: Research and Frontiers in Psychology.

Prior to being appointed as a Research Fellow in Performance at the University of Queensland, which included a 25% teaching workload, I have taught a wide range of subjects at the Sydney, Queensland and Western Australian Conservatoriums. The excellence of my teaching was recognised by the Sydney Conservatorium Teaching Award in 2003. In the past seven years I have taught large music theory classes, music literature and research, receiving three nominations as an Outstanding Academic teacher at the University of Queensland, where I 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 naturally led me to my recent focus on the critical skill of sight-reading. Evidence of the standing of my research into pre-professional training of musicians includes nearly $100,000 in grant funding to date. My current research interests lie in the area of skills for classical music careers and musicians’ wellness.

Research Interests

  • Instrumental music teaching and learning
    My research intersects the fields of psychology of music and music education. I have contributed to and enhanced the current understanding of studio music teaching within higher education, including gender issues, and application of teaching and learning theories to the instrumental music teaching studio setting. Specific research topics: • Assessment of instrumental learning; • Creative practice research; • Effective practising; • Gender issues in instrumental teaching; • Instrumental lesson content; • New piano sight-reading curriculum for higher education; • Performance anxiety; • Reflective practice in studio teaching; • Role of collaborative playing in careers of classical pianists; • Role of technology in instrumental learning; • Sight-reading training of advanced pianists; • Skills for classical music careers; • Teaching and learning styles in higher education studio; • Teaching strategies in studio teaching; • Use of approvals/disapprovals in instrumental teaching; • Verbal and non-verbal behaviours in instrumental teaching.
  • Sight-reading
    I have developed new pedagogies for improving sight-reading skills in advanced pianists: single-focus experimental strategies were combined into a hybrid curriculum that has been developed collaboratively and trialled in four institutions, resulting in significant improvement in students' sight-reading skills. Academic papers documenting the research and a commercial textbook for higher education have been published.
  • Australian piano music
    My interest in musical performance as creative practice research has resulted in three solo CDs of Australian piano music (Ragtime, Dreams and Visions, 2008; Six Profiles of Australian Women Composers, 2010; Australian Piano Anthology for the 21st century, 2011), three books of newly commissioned repertoire for beginner, intermediate and advanced students (Wirripang Australian Piano Anthology, 2011), an Australian Women Composers’ Piano Anthology (2015) and a book chapter on collaboration between performers and composers through a recording project (2014).


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales
  • Master of Music, The Juilliard School
  • Bachelor of Music, The University of Adelaide


View all Publications



Book Chapter

  • Zhukov, Katie (2015). Challenging approaches to assessment of instrumental learning. In Don Lebler, Gemma Carey and Scott D. Harrison (Ed.), Assessment in music: from policy to practice (pp. 55-70) New York , NY United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-10274-0_5

  • Zhukov, Katie (2014). Collaborative re-creation: a case study of a pianist recording Australian women composers. In Margaret S. Barrett (Ed.), Collaborative creative thought and practice in music (pp. 189-203) Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate.

  • Zhukov, Katie (2011). Critical notes. In Katie Zhukov (Ed.), Wirripang Australian piano anthology: Book three, grade 8–diploma (pp. ii-v) Woollongong, NSW, Australia: Wirripang Publications.

  • Zhukov, Katie (2011). Critical notes. In K. Zhukov (Ed.), Wirripang Australian piano anthology: Book two, grades 5–7 (pp. ii-v) Woolongong, Australia: Wirripang Publications.

  • Zhukov, Katie (2011). Critical notes. In Katie Zhukov (Ed.), Wirripang Australian piano anthology: Book one, grades 1–4 (pp. ii-vi) Wollongong, Australia: Wirripang Publications.

  • Zhukov, Katie (2010). From instrumental teacher to researcher: A journey of discovery. In D. Forrest (Ed.), Journeying: Reflections on doctoral studies
 by Australian music educators (pp. 256-281) North Melbourne, Australia: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)