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The ARIA Music Teacher of the Year: inspiring children through music


Posted on November 12, 2018

3 min read

Voting has opened in the ARIA Music Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Telstra. The four nominees use music to inspire children from different backgrounds and personal struggles.

Becky Hall, Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute – Victoria

Becky Hall teaches music to kids at the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute in Melbourne.

The children have serious and chronic health conditions.

“I absolutely love being a music teacher and to be able to share that with kids and help them learn to express themselves I think is really special,” Ms Hall said.

Becky started the integrated music program. If the patients are too unwell to make it to the dedicated music room, Becky goes bedside and takes the music to them.

She’s even developed and published ‘The Song Book’. It’s a book and CD together and is a compilation of songs the kids have helped to write as well as their page illustrations.

Deborah Skelton, Caladenia Primary School – Western Australia

The current face of Telstra’s advertising campaigns, Thelma Plum, travelled to Western Australia to meet nominee Deborah Skelton from Caladenia Primary School.

Mrs Skelton combines Auslan and Aboriginal languages into her music teaching.

“I get to spend my day making music with amazing young individuals,” Mrs Skelton said.

Since joining the school she has created a rock band, two choirs and an orchestra.

Scott Maxwell, Grant High School – South Australia

Scott Maxwell is the music teacher at Grant High School in Mt Gambier. Located five hours drive from Melbourne and five hours drive from Adelaide, the students at Grant High have embraced the musical enthusiasm brought by Mr Maxwell.

His nomination reflects the work he’s put in to bring the school’s music program back from the brink. The students are now cramming into his classes and desperate to be involved in the musicals that he writes.

He’s also implemented a song writing program.

“I think songwriting is really important for kids to engage on a different level. Where they’re not being told what to do, where they have the freedom to create,” Mr Maxwell said.

Dean Harawira, Nerang State High School – Queensland

Nerang State High School on the Gold Coast is where Dean Harawira brings his passion for music and education together to inspire the kids.

There’s a funk band that regularly performs outside the school and a school drum line. He’s taken them overseas to perform and have won national and international awards.

“The drum line and the funk band have benefited the school. I believe that when disengaged kids are mixing with high achieving kids it actually gives them a goal to strive for,” Mr Harawira said.

A positive and inspiring music teacher can mean so much to kids and can make a difference to their school experience.

Public voting for the ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award is live and concludes 21 November 2018 at 11:59pm.

Click here to vote on the ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award website.

Tags: ARIAs,

Meet the winner of the first ever ARIA Music Teacher of the Year award

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 29, 2017

2 min read

ARIA Award winner Josh Pyke last night announced the winner of the inaugural ARIA Music Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Telstra.

Renee McCarthy from Woodcroft College in South Australia was the proud recipient of this award. This new category has been introduced to recognise music teachers from across the country who use their talents to inspire the next generation of Aussie musicians.

At Telstra, we believe music is integral to connecting people in the digital world. Research shows that children who are involved in music at school are more likely to achieve better grades, attend school more often, improve their self-esteem and confidence and experience less depression and loneliness.  This speaks to our commitment to empower young Australians to thrive in a connected world and we’re very proud to be recognising Renee as a standout music teacher who is inspiring the next generation of Aussie musicians.

One of Renee’s students is quoted in her nomination video saying, “I don’t think that the music program would be as successful, and everyone would be as inspired as what they are without her, because we see her hard work and we think ‘wow’ – we just have to live our best!”

It’s easy to see the passion that Renee has for music, and passes onto her students. In Josh Pyke’s words, Renee’s energy is completely contagious.

Congratulations Renee, we can’t wait to see you go on and inspire many more generations to come to thrive, through the magic of music and the connection it creates.

Telstra is proud to be the Official Technology Partner for the 2017 ARIAs, with Apple Music, and the inaugural sponsor of the ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award.

ARIA Awards Masterclass: How technology is impacting the music industry

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 28, 2017

2 min read

Music is an integral part of connecting people in the digital world. That is why this year at the ARIA awards we are the technology partner. As part of our partnership, ARIA invited the leading voices in music technology in Australia to our Sydney Customer Insights Centre, to discuss how technology is disrupting the future of the music industry.

For the first time in a long time, the Australian Music Industry is in a growth period. Since the early 2000s and the rise of MP3s, the industry had struggled to control pirating and create a model which would both meet the appetite of listeners, and continue to support artists.

Telstra has been an advocate for legal digital music access, with the launch of the MOG music streaming service back in 2012, and has since partnered with Apple Music to provide extended Apple Music trials to our customers.

According to ARIA CEO Dan Rosen, 2017 has seen a 10% growth in the Australian Music Industry, the largest since the early 2000s. Fuelled by technology, Dan says modern measures of success including the amount of international royalties accrued by ARIA have risen by 13%, the third straight year of double-digit growth.

Another interesting fact raised during the ARIA Masterclass was that most of Australia’s most successful artists now make between 70 and 80% of their revenue outside of Australia, where streaming and globalisation has brought fans closer than ever before.

The on-demand generation has long demanded to be able to listen to music whenever they like, which has driven the rise of music streaming. At the forefront of this new wave, is Apple Music’s Creative Director and Head of Beats1 Radio, Zane Lowe.

A long-time host of BBC One in London, Zane’s transition from traditional radio to Apple music’s Beats 1 24/7 streaming service is a paradigm for the changing landscape of the music industry. At the heart of Zane’s keynote speech from the workshop was progress, summed up by his quote, “You can’t get in the way of change, you need to embrace it and the impact on the music industry.”

Here are four themes that inspired us from the masterclass: