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Vote for the finalists of the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

By Campbell Simpson October 26, 2021

As we reach the fifth year of the annual Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award, it’s a fitting time for us to celebrate all teachers who have persevered through such difficult times to share their love of music with their students.

2021 marks a momentous occasion for the award as it enters its fifth year, with a record number of applications from some of the country’s leading music educators.

Research shows that children who participate in music studies have higher grades, better school attendance, improved self-esteem and confidence, while the studies themselves help to manage stress, depression, loneliness and anger.

The impact of the COVID pandemic on the lives of students and their teachers alike has been stark. Perhaps, now more than ever, we recognise the importance that music plays in both students and each other’s lives in offering hope and bringing us all together.

Every year, four Telstra ARIA Music Award ambassadors are sent to the nominee’s schools to share the news of their nomination. This year Ashley Baxter was visited by Amy Shark, Zoë Barry by Baker Boy, Daniel Wilson received a very special call from Tones and I, as well as Aaron Silver who spoke with Morgan Evans.

We’re excited to introduce the four finalists for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award:

Ashley Baxter – Pimlico State High School, Townsville QLD

Zoë Barry – Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC

Daniel Wilson – Star Struck, Newcastle NSW

Aaron Silver – Wodonga Primary School, Regional VIC

And every year, the public help determine the winner of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award, with the winner to be announced as part of the ARIAs this November. If you want to vote for your favourite, you can do so here.

The winner of this year’s award will join the likes of Sarah Donnelly (2020, Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia NSW), Antonio Chiappetta (2019, St Andrews College, Sydney, NSW), Scott Maxwell (2018, Grant High School, Mount Gambier, SA) and Renee McCarthy (2017, Woodcroft College, Adelaide SA).

Voting closes at 11:59PM on Wednesday 17th November. The winners will be announced at the 2021 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music on Wednesday 24th November streamed live on YouTube.

Entertainment |

Meet four nominees for the 2020 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

By Genelle Sharples October 2, 2020

In the fourth year of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award, we’re reminded of the fundamental importance of teachers – their teaching and learning techniques keep their students working and keep them connected through complex and difficult times. Music education, too, is a crucial part of supporting students’ development and wellbeing.

From hundreds of applications, Telstra, ARIA and leading arts organisation The Song Room have selected these four incredible teachers as finalists. Each of the four have very different stories, but all are connected by their passion for music and dedication to education. Now it’s your job to vote for a winner before we present them with this prestigious award at the 2020 ARIA Awards this November.

The teachers are the first nominees to be announced for the 2020 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music. More nominees will be announced on 13 October 2020 at the ARIA Awards season launch, and the awards ceremony with no audience will be held on 25 November 2020 and broadcast on the Nine Network.

We’re excited to introduce the four nominees for the 2020 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award:

Sarah Donnelley – Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia, NSW

Thomas Fienberg – Evans High School, Blacktown, NSW

Kathryn McLennan – Virginia State School, Virginia, QLD

CJ Shaw – Palmerston District Primary School, ACT

This year’s nominees are truly world class, and the 2020 winner will join Antonio Chiappetta (2019, St Andrews College, Sydney, NSW), Scott Maxwell (2018, Grant High School, Mount Gambier, SA) and Renee McCarthy (2017, Woodcroft College, Adelaide SA) in celebrating a their well-deserved place in the ARIAs trophy cabinet. We’re delighted to be presenting the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award again this year. Music brings joy and has such power in bringing people together – something we’ve all come to appreciate even more during the challenges of this year so far.

The award itself is a highlight of the annual ARIA Awards ceremony and celebrates the vital and foundational role that music education plays in creating the next generation of award-winning artists and performers. Our music teachers nurture their students, and students who study music achieve better grades, better school attendance and increased mental health.

It’s now up to you to help determine the winner of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award. Voting is open at the ARIA website, closing on 18 November 2020. The winner will be announced as part of the ARIA Awards on 25 November.

Entertainment |

Nominate an inspirational music teacher for the 2020 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

By Genelle Sharples June 3, 2020

We’re now in our fourth year sponsoring the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award, and we’re thrilled to continue supporting Australia’s incredible music teachers as they lead, inspire and educate our nation’s kids. We need your help to find this year’s crop of awesome music teachers.

This year, perhaps more than any other, we’re reminded how fundamentally important our nation’s teachers are to us all. Throughout the year Australia’s music teachers infuse their passion for music with patience and genuine care for their students. And more recently they have had to adapt and embrace technology to continue their work.

This special ARIA Award, launched in partnership with The Song Room in 2017, rewards teachers for their hard work, creativity and dedication to their students and the wider community. By celebrating our amazing music teachers, it also helps to shine a light on the importance of music in building a growth mindset, self-esteem and student engagement.

ARIA Awards 2019 - Portrait Winners

Every year, ARIA asks the Australian public to nominate outstanding music teachers. They receive submissions from all parts of the country, and it is heartwarming to see the influence and positivity they bring to their communities under a variety of circumstances and constraints. What remains consistent amongst the teachers is their belief in the power of music education to enrich the lives of their students.

With this in mind, we want to recognise music teachers who have gone above and beyond to educate kids and help them develop in 2020.

The award has been won in previous years by Antonio Chiappetta (2019, St Andrews College, Sydney, NSW), Scott Maxwell (2018, Grant High School, Mount Gambier, SA) and Renee McCarthy (2017, Woodcroft College, Adelaide SA).

Entries are now open and a shortlist of four finalists will be announced at the ARIA Season Launch in October. Each shortlisted ARIA finalist will be partnered with a renowned Australian musician who will visit their school or music tuition program and help tell all of Australia about their work and the positive impact on their students.

Previous ambassadors for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award include Conrad Sewell, Emma Wiggle, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Josh Pyke, Justine Clarke, Katie Noonan, Lior, Missy Higgins, Montaigne, Sheppard, and Thelma Plum.

Antonio and Conrad Sewell

A public and music industry voting process will then be conducted culminating in the announcement of the winner at the 2020 ARIA Awards in November.

If you know an inspiring music teacher nominate them now and help celebrate the exceptional influence they have on our kids as they develop a lifelong appreciation for the joy of music.

Entries close June 8, 2020. For more information, visit ARIA Music Teacher Award.

Entertainment |

And the Telstra ARIA goes to…

By KL Lambert December 4, 2019

Antonio Chiappetta hit all the right notes when he took home the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award for 2019.

From St Andrews College in Western Sydney, Mr Chiappetta has created a music program that inspires students, and the school’s other teachers, to try new things with their musical education.

A former student at the school, Mr Chiappetta’s own musical journey shouldn’t be overlooked. He toured Australia as a drummer and lead vocalist with his rock and hip-hop-inspired band King Farook, and has also supported some of music’s biggest international names acts, including Van Halen, Billy Joel and Aerosmith.

But it was his love of teaching and wanting to share his passion that brought him back to his old school.

He initiated the inaugural Creative Arts Night for the school, which has now grown to involve a music festival hosting 2000 people inside the school grounds – featuring his students up on stage performing, and students from other parts of the school helping backstage, with catering, logo design and event organisation.

We’ve sponsored this award for four years and when he received the award from Guy Sebastian, Mr Chiappetta knew it was recognition for a lot of hard work and a love for music.

“It’s such an honour to have the acknowledgment and to be here at an industry-recognised awards show,” Mr Chiappetta said at the awards. “We do so much for our kids. This kind of thing is really special.”

Congratulations Mr Chiappetta. Keep the beat.

Entertainment |

Meet the nominees for the 2019 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award

By Genelle Sharples October 11, 2019

As a sponsor of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award, now in its third year, we’re proud to support Australia’s music teachers in their mission to provide children with a better education and the chance to play and enjoy music.

The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award has become a highlight of the ARIA Awards ceremony, because it holds such special meaning to musicians and music lovers across Australia. The award recognises music teachers for their passion and hard work in providing Australian children with a better education and the chance to play and enjoy music. There is growing recognition worldwide of the value of creativity and the arts to improve education standards, and build a better connection for students to their school life in general.

Here are the four nominees for this year’s Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award.

Julia Rennick – Gunnedah Public School, NSW

Julia is a long-serving music teacher working in the NSW community of Gunnedah. For many, Julia was their first ever music teacher: she brings the joy of musical education into her early childhood and learning programs for over 20 years. As a result of her many years of music teaching, her impact in the local community can only be described as generational. Julia also works with Parkinson’s patients to ensure that the benefits of music are brought to all ages in the local community.

Julia’s passion and contribution makes her a rock star in her community. She started 25 years ago developing the cutting-edge music education program she teaches today. Julia believes musical language can be learned alongside literacy for young children, and has spend decades seeing the benefits musical education has on young children. Watch the video where Emma Wiggle surprises Mrs Rennick’s young class and shares insights from the local community on why she’s been nominated for the Tesltra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award.

Antonio Chiappetta – St. Andrews College, Sydney, NSW

Antonio is recognised as the driving force behind stellar musical opportunities for students at Sydney’s St. Andrews College. Years ago, he pioneered the school’s Creative Arts Night (CAN) which has grown exponentially each year. It has now involved into a music festival inside the school grounds for over 2000 people each year. It brings in students from all over the school to contribute and get hands on in their education.

Antonio has inspired students from St. Andrews College to become music teachers themselves, and inspires others to try new things with their musical education.

Conrad Sewell travelled to Mr Chiappetta’s school to learn more about his work, why he was nominated, and even sing a song with the kids from the music class who already knew one of his songs.

Lee Strickland – Narbethong State Special School, Woolloongabba, Queensland

Narbethong State Special School provides specialised education for children with vision impairment and other disabilities. Lee goes above and beyond to make sure her kids get dedicated musical education. She customises her teaching and vernacular to each individual student to make sure that they get the best education to suit them.

Lee has developed programs via music that aim to develop translatable skills. There’s a piano program to help develop fine motor skills to aid in reading Braille; music communication to help students to learn how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ if they’re unable to say it verbally, and music movement session to help develop balance and coordination. She even customises instruments to make sure that students get access to help them learn.

Katie Noonan travelled to Brisbane to experience Ms Strickland’s incredible music room, and see the changes that music is making in the lives of kids.

Bel Skinner – Broome, NSW and Pilbara/Kimberley, WA

Based in Broome, Bel teaches music throughout the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. Driving tens of thousands of kilometres for her students in remote communities, Bel’s classroom is one of the biggest in the world.

Sometimes in small communities, Bel doesn’t even teach in a classroom at all. She works against the odds with a lack of resources in these communities to make sure that her students get the best education possible.

Musician Montaigne travelled to Broome to find out about Bel’s incredible work to bring music education to remote communities.

Voting for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award is now open.