News 9 May 2022

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award returns for 2022

Nominations now open

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award returns for 2022

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

Established in 2017 in partnership with Telstra and The Song Room, the ARIA Award celebrates the integral role that music teachers play in shaping the aspirations of young musicians and their communities.

Music education inspires the next generation of creators and supports communication, connection, collaboration and creativity. The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award invites members of the public to nominate an Australian music teacher who they believe is committed to enriching the lives of students and delivers meaningful opportunities for genuine engagement with music education.

Previous winners of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award include: Zoë Barry (2021, Fitzroy Sacred Heart School, Fitzroy, VIC); Sarah Donnelley (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).

2021 Telstra ARIA Music Award winner, Zoë Barry, said: “Winning the Telstra ARIA Music Award was a wonderful experience to celebrate the unique opportunities music education offers students to express themselves, make meaning, and make connections with ideas and each other. Teaching music at Sacred Heart School in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, I get to witness how powerfully music can calm, inspire and unite my students.”

Entries are now open, with a shortlist of nominees to be announced ahead of the ARIA nominations later this year. Each shortlisted teacher will be partnered with an artist mentor, who will connect with the school to help celebrate its success with the students and tell each music teacher’s story. Previous Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award ambassadors have included Tones and I, Emma Watkins, Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Morgan Evans, Jimmy Barnes, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy.

CEO of ARIA, Annabelle Herd, said: “Our partnership with Telstra and The Song Room is so important and something we are all deeply proud to take into a sixth year. A world-renowned community of musicians and professionals starts in the classroom. The knowledge and passion our music teachers bring to their students can last a lifetime and has certainly changed the lives of countless performing artists across the country.”

Media, Sponsorships & Awards Principal at Telstra, Genelle Sharples, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the ARIA Awards again in 2022 with the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award. It is so rewarding to recognise and acknowledge all the wonderful music teachers who inspire Aussie kids every day and see another deserving recipient, Zoë Barry, receive the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award in 2021.”

“Our continued partnership with ARIA and the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award is important to Telstra as music creates shared joy and opens up opportunities to help everyone thrive. We look forward to recognising more teachers from across the country who use their talents to inspire the next generation of Australian musicians.”

CEO of The Song Room, Alice Gerlach, said: “Acknowledging the impact that music teachers have had to help students stay connected to their learning and to boost their wellbeing is so important. For many children, having music at their school can be the difference between coming to school or not. We are so proud to partner with ARIA to celebrate music teachers and the important work they do for their students and school communities”

Following our finalist announce, a public and music industry voting process will be conducted, with the announcement of the winner of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award at the 2022 ARIA Awards in November.

To view guidelines and/or to nominate your favourite music educator, visit: