Margaret is Professor and Head of the School of Music. She joined the University of Queensland as Head of the School of Music in 2008: 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 board member of the Australian Music Centre, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian Music Examinations Board (Queensland). She is also an executive committee member of the National Council of Tertiary Music Schools.
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 practice of creativity. A key aspect of her work has been the development of innovative arts-based inquiry methods in music and music education.