Music Teacher Awards FAQ

Why have ARIA, in partnership with The Song Room, launched this award?

For most performers who make it to the ARIA stage, there was a teacher or mentor who played a critical role in getting them there. Maybe they introduced them to their first instrument. Or they showed them how to get over stage fright. Or maybe they inspired them to have the confidence to go for it when they were ready to give up.

We want to bring attention to the inspiring and impactful work being done by thousands of music teachers across Australia and bring attention to the fact that 3 out of 4 Australian children at schools miss out on specialist music education.

What are the ARIAs?

The ARIA Awards (‘ARIAs’) is the flagship event on the Australian music calendar – a celebration of all that is great in local music. The very first ARIA Awards were held in 1987 and hosted by Sir Elton John and winners included INXS, Crowded House and John Farnham.

Since that time the ARIA Awards have developed into Australia's pinnacle music Awards ceremony, forging careers and playing host to countless memorable moments and performances. 2021 promises to offer Australian music fans another truly unique and memorable experience.

What is The Song Room?

The Song Room brightens the futures of Australia’s most disadvantaged children with music and arts programs delivered in partnership with schools across the country. We believe that all children should have the opportunity to participate in music and the arts to enhance their education, personal development and community involvement.

To find out more visit

Who can propose a teacher?

Anyone can propose a teacher or music educator for the ARIA Music Teacher Award. Just fill out the proposal form.

How does the proposal process work?

Teachers can be proposed for consideration by completing the proposal form on this website. Anyone can propose a teacher they think is doing a great job to encourage kids to learn and participate in playing music – students, other teachers, parents, anyone.

We then ask the Teachers themselves to complete an entry form providing details of the music education program they run.

When is public voting for the Award winner open?

Public voting is anticipated to commence in October (date to be advised). 

What is the decision making process?

Initial entries are reviewed and short listed

Shortlisted entrants may be contacted for more information

From the top 20 entries a judging panel will select the ARIA nominees.

The nominee with the most public votes will be announced as the ARIA Award winner

What are the criteria for selection?

Entrants will be evaluated based on demonstrated evidence that they:

Have made a measurable difference in the lives of their students, school or community group through the music program they run

Are the best in their field, having made a significant and lasting contribution to music education within their community.

Before entering we recommend you take a look at the Eligibility Criteria and Award Terms and Conditions.

When will nominees be notified?

All ARIA Award nominees will be announced to the public in mid September/October. 

How do I vote for my favourite nominee?

Votes can be made online from this site once the voting period opens.

Who is eligible?

Australian specialist music teachers who teach music in public or private schools — Prep through to year 12

Early years teachers in kindergartens and childcare centres.

Teachers in after-school, private studios, and other educational settings are also eligible.

For more details take a look at the Eligibility Criteria.

Is there an entry fee I should know about?

No. It is free to enter a teacher for the ARIA Music Teacher Award. It is also free to vote for your favourite nominee.

Can I apply for this award every year?

Yes, unless you are a previous winner of the award.

What does the winner receive?

The winning teacher receives an ARIA award. Our ARIA nominees will meet an Australian music artist who will visit their school, learn about their program and help us tell the stories of the amazing work they do.

Will multiple nominations increase my teacher's chance of winning?

No. Only one submission per teacher will be reviewed for entry. For public voting, we will only accept one vote per IP address. If you vote from the same computer twice, the last vote will override any previous votes.