Dr Peter McKenzie is the Head of Music at CQUniversity. Since 2009, Peter has taught woodwind, improvisation, music theory, history and music pedagogy units in the Bachelor of Music. Peter has over 10 years experience in designing undergraduate music units. In 2017, Peter was awarded the Student Voice Award for "Educator of the Year" and in 2021, received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Practice in Learning and Teaching. As a performer, Peter is an accomplished saxophonist and his experience ranges from classical, jazz and contemporary music. He has performed throughout Australia and the USA and has shared the stage with a number of major artists including Don Rader, James Morrison, Bob Franceschini, Wilbur Wilde, Vince Jones, Guy Sebastian, John Riley, James Sherlock, Mike Price, Katie Noonan and The Idea of North to name a few.
Peter completed his Masters in Learning and Teaching researching approaches to teaching beginner jazz improvisation. The research investigated the suitability of compositions for learning how to improvise and explored various teaching methods. Peter has travelled throughout regional Australia, delivering workshops to students and high school teachers on how to approach improvisation from a variety of musical backgrounds.
In 2020, Peter completed his PhD on the development of regional jazz communities in Northern Australia. This research investigated how two regional cities in North Queensland developed and sustained their jazz communities from diverse performance, sociological, educational and governmental factors. The research produced a series of practical recommendations for arts communities to adopt to further develop music in their region.