Mrs Robyn Margaret Trinick

PGDipEd, BA, AdvDipTchg, LTCL, MEd


I am a senior  lecturer in music education in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education. My role is that of teacher-artist-researcher. This involves working with initial teacher education and post-grad students in both early childhood and primary courses. Prior to this, I have taught children working at all levels of the primary school, as a generalist teacher with a specialisation in music. I have also tutored music students in the areas of voice, piano and music  theory, alongside pre-school music classes. I am committed to maintaining links with the community through connections with schools, particularly in South Auckland. My work in the community involves considerable interaction with teachers, children and whānau.

As well as 'music for music's sake', I am interested in the contribution that music makes to a broad range of learning areas, particularly  from a socio-cultural perspective.  My masters work focused on music's role in supporting language development. My  work with the Sistema Aotearoa programme running in Otara, and involvement with the Woolf Fisher Research Centre has strengthened my community connections and offers an exciting national and international trajectory for further research.

Over recent years, I have worked extensively with international adult students from Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and USA. Although not Māori, I have strong family ties to Te Whanau-a-Apanui and have a basic knowledge of Te Reo Māori and Tīkanga Māori.


Research | Current

2017 was another busy year for research and teaching. I have three new publications last year,  two conference presentations, one in Melbourne, one in Auckland. The visit of Dr Mara Sapon-Shevin, from Washington, opened up a new window of research in the area of social justice. I am presenting a paper that has arisen from this contact at the World Congress on Education in Dublin, July 2018. A development of this paper will be another conference presentation in Brisbane, October 2018.

I am currently working on a paper that looks at children's songs as a conduit for imparting important messages through a non-confrontational mode of expression. After successfully publishing our first paper last year, I am continuing to work collaboratively with colleagues working in the field of mathematics education. Our second collaborative paper has just been published.

International connections are strengthening. My teaching with visiting groups, particularly those from Hong Kong, offers some exciting research potential. I am working with Dr Ben Dyson to look at a project relating to 'Hong Kong students' perception of the value of music and physical education to promote literacy".

2018 promises to be equally productive, and I am excited about exploring research possibilities.



Teaching | Current

  • EDCURRIC 101: Primary Arts Education
  • EDCURRIC 621: Arts, Languages and LIteracies Education, Part 1
  • EDCURRIC 622: Arts, Languages and LIteracies Education, Part 2
  • EDCURRIC 368: Initiating and Supporting Learning in Music
  • EDCURRIC 702: Arts Education: Creative Pedagogy
  • EDCURRIC114: Early Childhood Music Education
  • EDCURRIC 632: Early Childhood Arts
  • EDPROF755: Promoting Learning through Enquiry

Postgraduate supervision

Robyn welcomes enquiries about MEd thesis supervision.

Previous MEd supervisions:

2015:  Sacha Maughan: The affordances of using an ipad in writing: Capturing an oral draft

2015: Maria Beslic-Pejcic: The potential of colour in developing pitch recognition in music education

Current MEd supervisions:

2018: Sarah Woods Non-Western Cocurricular Activities – Affordances in Multicultural Schools


Robyn Trinick is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education.

She is course director for the following courses:





Areas of expertise

  • Primary music education
  • Early childhood music education
  • Connections between music and language education
  • Sistema Aotearoa
  • Music and te reo Māori
  • Music and Mathematics
  • Creative Arts Pedagogies
  • Waiata and te reo Māori
  • Valuing song for voicing social justice issues



Committees/Professional groups/Services

Faculty Committees

  • School of Curriculum and Pedagogy Hauora committee member
  • School of Curriculum and Pedagogy representative on the Faculty Equity committee

Membership of professional committees/groups

  • MENZA: Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa – committee member
  • Orff-Schulwerk Association
  • Member of Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
  • Member of ONZA (Orff-Schulwerk New Zealand Aotearoa)
  • Member of WFRC team

Workshop/Forum presentation/participation

  •  2012 - 2018: Workshops/sessions with international visitors from Hong Kong, Korea and Japan

Conference - Oral Presentation

  • Trinick, R. M. (2011). Sound and Sight: How does Music promote Literacy learning? Presented at ECCPA-15th early childhood conference of performing arts, Melbourne, Australia. August 2011.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2011). Te Puoro, Te Reo, Te Ako: Music, Language, learning. Presented at National Music Education Research Seminar, Auckland, N.Z. 17 April  - 17 April 2011.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2011). Sounds and Symbols: Using music to promote numeracy and literacy skills. Presented at Hook, Line and Singalong, MENZA, Parnell, Auckland. 17 April  - 19 April 2011.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2012). Te puoro, te reo, te ako: Music, language, learning. Presented at 2012 Biennial Kodaly National Conference, Adelaide, Australia. 225-225.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Making a difference: Reflections on Sistema Aotearoa. Presented at XIX National ASME Conference, Canberra, Australia. 1 October  - 4 October 2013, XIX National ASME Conference Proceedings.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Sistema Aotearoa: Findings to date. Presented at Tui Tuia: Twards a world of light in Music, University of Waikato. 7 January  - 10 January 2013, ONZA/MENZA conference proceedings.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Making Musical Play Meaningful. Presented at Early Childhood Conference of the Performing Arts, Melbourne. Australia:
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Adding strings to the bow: Sistema Aotearoa in Otara. CURPED seminar.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2014) Window with a view: Sistema Aotearoa, ANZARME conference, Queenstown
  • Trinick, R. M. (2015). Sistema Aotearoa and the Key Competencies, ANZARME conference, Melbourne
  • Menza Conference, Melbourne (2017): The educational value of Sāsā with Luama Sauni
  • WAAE Conference, Auckland (2017) Building singing communities across the Tasman with AP Dawn Joseph
  • WCE Conference, Dublin (2018): Big Voice, little Voice: Reconceptualising the value of waiata in primary classrooms in New Zealand-Aotearoa
  • MENZA Conference, Gold Coast (2018): From where will the bellbird sing?
  • Report - Commissioned
  • Reading Together” evaluation – Woolf-Fisher Project (2010 -2011)
  • Evaluation of The Music Learning Outcomes of Sistema Aotearoa (2013)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Trinick, R. M. (2014). Window with a view: Reflections on Sistema Aotearoa. e-journal of studies in music education, 10 (1), 13-22. Related URL.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Cultivating language through song. Tune Me In, 8 (1), 18-19. Related URL.
  • Trinick, R. M., & McNaughton, S. (2013). Independent Evaluation of the Music Learning Outcomes in the Sistema Aotearoa Programme. APO. Related URL.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2013). Making a difference: Reflections on Sistema Aotearoa. Paper presented at XIX National ASME Conference, Canberra, Australia. 29 September - 1 October 2013. XIX National ASME Conference Proceedings. Related URL.
  • Trinick, R. M., & Dale, H. (2013). Te waiata hei manawapou o te reo Māori: The transformative potential of song for Māori language enhancement. Paper presented at Eurpopean Conference on Education, Brighton, Auckland. 11 July - 14 July 2013. The European Conference on Education 2013: Official conference proceedings. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Hemi Dale
  • Trinick, R. M. (2011). Sound and Sight: The Use of Song to Promote Language Learning. General Music Today, 25 (2), 5-10. 10.1177/1048371311402066
  • Trinick, R. M., Sauni, L., & Allen, E. (2010). Waiata, Pese, Song: A Synthesis of Cultural Perspectives on the Value of Song for Language Learning. In C. A. Shonerigun, G. A. Akmayeva (Eds.) LICE-2010 Proceedings, 129-133. London: Infonomics Society.
  • Trinick, R. M. (2009). Continuity in music education: A study of two approaches to music in the first year of school. He Kupu, 2 (2), 42-48.

Contact details

Alternative contact


Primary office location

New Zealand