Dr Millie Locke

PhD (Waikato), MEd (Auckland), BA (Auckland)


Prior to my appointment to my current position in the School of Music, I have been a primary teacher, a specialist primary school music teacher, coordinator of a children's music school based at the former Auckland Teachers College, and a music teacher educator at both the University of Auckland and the University of Waikato. Over time, my interest in and commitment to music education in both formal and community settings has broadened and deepened. My research trajectory thus far has embraced such topics as teaching as artistry, inclusive music education in both primary and early childhood settings (with a particular focus on an adaptation of the Orff approach to the Aotearoa New Zealand context), bicultural music education and sense of place as a concept. Since 2004, I have been involved in Orff New Zealand Aotearoa in a range of roles, including its inaugural president. This involvement has reinforced my commitment to the ideals of equitable access for all to music education, embracing diversity (including the recognition of diverse music practices), and the central role the arts in human development and well-being.

Research | Current

  • Critical theory and music education
  • Bicultural and multicultural perspectives in music education
  • Musician and music teacher identity
  • Contextualising and adapting the Orff approach
  • Music education and the sense of place
  • Arts education
  • Early childhood and primary music education
  • Children as composers and improvisers

Teaching | Current

MUS 162 Introduction to music teaching and learning

MUS 362 Pedagogical approaches for the school and studio

MUS 760 Themes in music education

MUS 762 Approaches to music education 1

MUS 762 Approaches to music education 2

MUS 767 Music education research and practice

MUS 768 Community music research project

MUS 790 Dissertation

Postgraduate supervision

Current Supervisions

Liu Yang,  PhD: School music education in China: Is there a conflict of traditional music and popular music? [co-supervision with David Lines] 

Irena Angelouska, PhD: Music education and cultural diversity in primary schools in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A critical perspective [co-supervision with David Lines] 

Tu Xiaorong,MMus: The Chinese music education curriculum  [co-supervision with Nancy November]

Sarah McNabb, MMus: Choral metaphor case study [co-supervision with Karen Grylls] 

Past Supervisions

Sarah Dunn MMus: Mātauranga Māori, inquiry, and music-making in the primary music classroom: A Pākehā teacher's journey,  [co-supervision with David Lines] (2021) 

Le Ren, MMus: Early exploration of piano with coordinated movement .[co-supervision with Rae de Lisle] (2021) 

Yuran Zou, BMus Hons, Capstone Project: Reflecting on my practice using the Orff approach in early childhood music classes. (2020)

Vicky Zhu, BMus Hons, Capstone Project: Fostering positive social change through music education (2020)

Joshua Kirk, BMus Hons dissertation: Strategies for effective amateur and youth ensemble direction, (2019) 







2020 CLeaR Fellowship in Teaching and Learning

2011 50th Anniversary of Teacher Education award from the University of Waikato

2011 Doctoral Scholarship awarded by the University of Waikato

1996 & 1997 Eastman School of Music Excellence in Teaching Summer School Fellowship 

1994 University of Auckland: Senior Prize in Education 


Kaikōtuitui: School of Music Music Studies Committee

Manutaki: School of Music Academic Teaching and Learning Committee




Areas of expertise

  • Music education in the early childhood and primary setting
  • Critical issues in music education
  • Bicultural and multicultural music education
  • Composition and improvisation with young musicians
  • Issues of musician and music teacher identity
  • Culturally responsive adaptations of the Orff approach
  • Music education and the sense of place
  • Arts education advocacy

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2020 (ongoing) School of Music Online Working Party

2019 (ongoing)  Creative Arts and Industries Academic Teaching and Learning Committee

2008 (ongoing) Orff New Zealand Aotearoa (ONZA): Professional Development Coordinator

2019 - 2021 Networks  of expertise (MoE contract) PD Coordinator Mentoring Programme


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Locke, M., & Locke, T. (2012). Introducing a mentor into a children's composition project: Reflections on a process. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 7 (1), 8-20. 10.1016/j.tsc.2011.12.001

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 606
New Zealand