Dr Katie Zhukov

Music Research Fellow

School of Music
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Music Research Fellow

School of Music
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


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 the tertiary sector across Australia, 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 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 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 (2019 & 2015).

My academic publications demonstrate a strong record of interdisciplinary approach across music education, psychology and science, and include topics such as teaching and learning in the studio setting, including gender issues, innovative approaches to teaching of music sight-reading, skills for classical music careers, performance anxiety and eye movement during music sight-reading. I have published 18 journal articles in high impact international journals such as Journal of Eye Movement Research, Music & 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, and also four book chapters. I have presented many 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: Performance Science.

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 ten years I have taught large music theory classes, music literature and research skills, 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 over $100,000 in grant funding to date. My current research interests lie in the area of eye-tracking during music and text reading, skills for classical music careers and musicians’ wellness.

Research Interests

  • Instrumental music teaching and learning
    My research intersects the fields of psychology of music, music education and science. 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; Eye movement during music reading; • 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. I am now investigating eye movement during music and text reading.
  • 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), two books of Australian Women Composers’ Piano Anthology (2019 & 2015) and a book chapter on collaboration between performers and composers through a recording project (2014).

Research Impacts

In addition to speaking at academic conferences, I strive to communicate my research findings to the music teaching community by presenting workshops for Music Teachers’ Associations across Australia and New Zealand, and at the bi-annual Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference. I believe it is important for academics to engage with the grass roots of the music profession to ensure that the new knowledge and best practice are disseminated. My community engagement is also demonstrated by volunteer service as a President of Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland since 2017, on the National Committee of the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Association since 2005, and as the Chair of 2019 Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in Brisbane. I have been a member of ASME since 1997 and ISME since 2008. My creative outputs include three solo CDs of Australian piano music and five books of Australian piano anthologies of newly commissioned pedagogical repertoire. Various tracks from these CDs have been disseminated via MP3 downloads from the publisher’s website and iTunes, and broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Radio Arts Indonesia. My steadfast support of Australian women composers over the past 20 years has been recognised by 2016 APRA nomination for Excellence by an Individual for my contribution to making Australian women’s music heard, providing another example of my socially engaged creative practice.


  • 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 (2019). Identifying skills for successful classical music careers. In Jennifer Rowley, Dawn Bennett and Patrick Schmidt (Ed.), Leadership of pedagogy and curriculum in higher music education (pp. 115-132) New York, NY USA: Routledge.

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