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.