Margaret is a Professor and founding director of the Creative Collaboratorium at the Univeristy of Queensland. She served as the Head of the School of Music from 2008 - 2018. Prior to this, she held appointments at the University of Tasmania Faculty of Education (1988-2008) including Director of Research, Deputy Head of School, Director of Post-Graduate Studies, and convenor of Music Education.

Margaret currently holds positions as a Director of the Australian Music Centre, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Queensland Music Festival.

Margaret has served as President of the International Society for Music Education (2012-2014), Chair of the World Alliance for Arts Education (2013-2015), Chair of the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research (2009-2011), board member of the International Society for Music Education (2008-2010), and National President of the Australian Society for Music Education (1999-2001). Margaret has been an advisor for arts and educational bodies nationally and internationally, including the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority, and the United Kingdom Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Margaret's research encompasses the investigation of the role of Music and the Arts in human cognition and social and cultural development. Her research has addressed problems in the areas of aesthetic decision-making, the meaning and value of Arts engagement for young people, young children's musical thinking, young children's identity work in and through music, teaching and learning practices in the arts, and the pedagogy and practices of creativity. A key aspect of her work has been the development of innovative arts-based inquiry and expertise in music and music education.

Her work has been recognised through Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education (2011), Excellence Awards for Teaching (UTas 2003), Research Higher Degree Supervision (UQ 2016), and Research Engagement (UQ 2016). Most recently she has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to further her research into children’s singing and song-making (2017-2018) and is elected Beaufort Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, Univeristy of Cambridge (2019).

Researcher biography

Margaret S. Barrett is Professor and Founding Director of the Creative Collaboratorium in the School of Music at the University of Queensland where she served as Head of School from 2008 - 2018. Her research investigates issues in the pedagogies of creativity and expertise, early musical development, the meaning and value of engagement in music and arts activity, career pathways in and through music, and arts and music program evaluation. She has pioneered the use of cultural psychology in music education and of narrative methods as a research approach. Her research has been funded by grants from the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council for the Arts, the British Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a number of commissioning bodies. She has published in excess of 120 articles, book chapters, and conference papers. Recent publications include Collaborative creativity in musical thought and practice (Ashgate, 2014), Narrative soundings: An anthology of narrative inquiry in music education (with Sandra Stauffer, Springer Publications, 2012), and, A cultural psychology of music education (OUP, 2011). Forthcoming publications include the Oxford Handbook of Early Learning and Development in Music (with Graham F. Welch, UCL). Her work has been recognised through a number of awards including: Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education (2011); The University of Queensland Award for Excellence in HDR Supervision (2016); the HASS Faculty at UQ Award for Excellence in Research Engagement (2016); a Fulbirght Senior Researcher Fellowship (2018-2019); a Beaufort Visiting Scholar Award to St Johns College at The University of Cambridge (2019); and a Senior Research Fellow Award, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, IRCAM, Paris, (November, 2019).