ARIA Music Teacher Judging Criteria

ARIA Music Teacher Judging Criteria

We are looking to identify and highlight the teachers who can illustrate their:

  1. Positive influence on the lives of students and their community, and
  2. Expertise as a music teacher

The strongest entries will provide specific examples about how the music program fulfils the criteria.

Nominees will be evaluated based on demonstrated evidence that they:

1. Have made a measurable difference in the lives of their students, school or community group.

(maximum of 30 points)

Criteria used to assess performance in this area will include:

Has the teacher had a positive impact on the students?

Indicators may include:

  • Students show improvements in learning outcomes and a commitment to their learning.
  • Increased concentration/focus. 
  • Impact on enjoyment of school or community life. (e.g. Has the program meant that kids are more involved in school or community activities?).

Has the teacher had a positive impact on well-being and building stronger communities?

Indicators may include:

  • Improvement in confidence and self-esteem of students.
  • The broader school community is engaged in the music program.
  • The music program instils a sense of pride in the community.
  • The teacher has contributed to a position of tolerance and harmony within their community through music.

Has the teacher shown a commitment to the broader cause of promoting and maintaining music education?

Indicators may include:

  • Changed perceptions of the value of music education in their community.
  • A life-long love of music and creativity has been fostered in students and the community.
  • Does the teacher mentor students and other teachers?

Has the teacher increased access to music for marginalised groups that may not otherwise have the chance to experience it, and provided an inclusive approach to music education?

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

(maximum of 20 points)

Criteria used to assess performance in this area will include:

Inspired learning

  • Instils a can-do attitude - encourages students to have a go at something new, and to persevere when it gets tough.
  • Puts students in situations where they can thrive.
  • Believes that everyone can reach their full potential.
  • Applies engaging activities and techniques to broaden musical experiences and increased reach.


  • Demonstrated growth in the students’ music skills.The Teacher knows their stuff.
  • Uses a variety of techniques. Has a strong commitment to the fundamentals. Successfully identifies and addresses musical issues and concepts in practice or performance environments, even in younger or more inexperienced groups.
  • Creates opportunities to perform.
  • Extends the learning into other curriculum areas.

Personal characteristics

  • Well respected.
  • Great communicator. Engaging, entertaining, makes music fun. Connects with students.
  • Loves music. Loves what they teach – yearns to see the students not only improve their music but discover something musically. Loves to learn themselves.

(Videos/images of classes and references may help to illustrate indicators in this section but are optional.)