Teachers from Wodonga Primary School and Melbourne’s Sacred Heart School are among the nominees for the 2021 ARIA Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award.

Now in its fifth year, applications for the publicly-voted ARIA Music Teacher Award were at a record high.

Research shows that children who participate in music studies have higher grades, better school attendance, and improved self-esteem and confidence. This year, ARIA teamed up with Telstra and The Song Room to recognise the importance of the work music teachers do in nurturing the next generation of musicians.

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

Ashley Baxter – Pimlico State High School, Townsville QLD
Zoë Barry – Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC
Aaron Silver – Wodonga Primary School, Regional VIC
Daniel Wilson – Star Struck, Newcastle NSW

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.

Meet the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Awards Nominees:

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“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,” said Annabelle Herd. “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”.

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

Vote for the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.