News 1 May 2023

Is your music teacher top of the class?

The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award returns for 2023

Is your music teacher top of the class?

Telstra and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) today announced nominations have opened for the seventh annual Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

In partnership with Telstra and The Song Room, the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award celebrates music education and the essential role that music teachers play in inspiring and championing the next generation of young creators, their schools, and communities.  

Nominations are now open. It’s time for Australia to show its support by nominating a music teacher who deserves recognition for their dedication to music education, their passion, and their commitment to their students. Nominate your favourite music teacher here.

A shortlist of nominees will be announced with the other ARIA Award nominations in September. Each shortlisted nominee will be partnered with an artist ambassador who will connect with the school and tell each music teacher’s story. Past ambassadors have included Jessica Mauboy, Tones and I, Ben Gillies, Baker Boy, Guy Sebastian, The Wiggles and Amy Shark. 

Previous winners of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award include; Matt Orchard (2022, Apollo Bay P-12 College, Apollo Bay, Gaduband Territory, Victoria), Zoe Barry (2021, Fitzroy Sacred Heart School, Fitzroy, Victoria), Sarah Donnelley (2020, Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia, NSW), Antonio Chiappetta (2019, St Andrews College, Sydney, NSW), Scott Maxwell (2018, Grant High School, Mount Gambier, South Australia) and Renee McCarthy (2017, Woodcroft College, Adelaide South Australia). 

2022 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award winner Matt Orchard said: “As I began my ARIA journey, I had no idea just how much joy it would bring to so many people, many of whom I did not even know. Throughout the experience, there was an unspoken embracing from all that music and music education plays a crucial role in improving the mental health and wellbeing of kids right across the country in schools, and always has done.  

If we as music teachers can achieve anything, then this is probably the finest outcome possible. Oh yeah, by the way it was also pretty fun hanging out with rock legends, TV stars and big politicians, not to mention The Wiggles. Music ROCKS!” 

ARIA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said: “We are so proud to celebrate music education in this special way, seven years after launching our partnership with Telstra and The Song Room. Music teachers play a critical role in the growth of so many young people and the music room has long been a place of inspiration, comfort, creativity and self-expression for so many Australians, including most of our top artists. ARIA wants to celebrate the wonderful music teachers that create that space and have such an important impact on our community.  

Telstra Media, Sponsorships & Awards Principal, Genelle Sharples, said: “Telstra is proud to provide continued support for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award in 2023. We look forward to the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate exceptional music teachers who have inspired children around Australia.” 

The Song Room CEO, Alice Gerlach, said: “For many young people a great music teacher and the opportunity to participate in music at school has the power to change their lives - to experience joy, to succeed at school, and to feel connected to their community. Celebrating the unique and brilliant talents of Australian music educators at the ARIAs is a highlight on The Song Room’s calendar. Teachers, parents, students get on board and nominate your teacher. They deserve their ARIA moment.” 

Once nominees are announced, a public and music industry voting process will be conducted, with the announcement of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award winner taking place at the 2023 ARIA Awards

Nominate your favourite music teacher for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.