News 6 October 2021

2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominees Announced

Voting is now open.

2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominees Announced

In partnership with Telstra and supported by The Song Room, ARIA is excited to announce the nominees for the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award. 

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. 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).

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. 

Vote for the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here

The four nominees for this year’s Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award are:

Ashley Baxter – Pimlico State High School, Townsville QLD

Watch the video

Zoë Barry – Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC

Watch the video 

Aaron Silver – Wodonga Primary School, Regional VIC

Watch the video 

Daniel Wilson – Star Struck, Newcastle NSW

Watch the video 

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 Morgan Evans, as well as Aaron Silver who spoke with Tones and I

You can watch all the videos with the teachers and ARIA Awards ambassadors on ARIA's YouTube Channel

The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award has quickly become one of the award's most cherished categories as we recognise the importance of music education and our teachers, in forming the industry and nurturing the next generation of musicians. 

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. 

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. 

The nominees for this category are the first to be announced for the 2021 ARIA awards in Partnership with YouTube Music, with the remaining nominees to be announced later in the month. 

Annabelle Herd, CEO of ARIA, said: “In such a difficult time, it’s incredible to see music’s ability to bring light into the lives of so many children. I’m thrilled at the volume of passionate, dedicated and inspiring music teachers who have been nominated for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award. The gift of music education is something to celebrate and protect, and I thank Telstra for their ongoing support in recognising the people helping Aussie kids connect with new passions and become their best selves. I can’t wait to award one special teacher the top prize in November, but I also want to thank all the nominees from the bottom of my heart for doing the amazing work they do.” 

Genelle Sharples, Media Sponsorships & Awards Principal at Telstra, said: “Our continued partnership with ARIA and the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award is important to Telstra as music brings people together and helps to build connections. We look forward to recognising more teachers from across the country who use their talents to inspire the next generation of Australian musicians.” 

Alice Gerlach, CEO of The Song Room, said: “Witnessing the enormous effect that music education had on students during 2020 affirmed how life-changing music can be. Many vulnerable children stayed connected to their learning during this turbulent year because of music at their school. We are thrilled to a partner with ARIA for the fifth year to acknowledge the impact that music teachers have on children and their communities”. 

Voting is now open and closes at 11.59 PM  Wednesday 17th November.