Nominations open for ARIA Music Teacher of The Year
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Nominations Open for ARIA Music Teacher of The Year

June 6, 2017

Rewarding the accomplishment and contribution of Australia's most inspiring music teachers.

ARIA (the Australian Recording Industry Association) and The Song Room, a national music and arts education organisation are partnering to present the first-ever ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award at the 2017 ARIA Awards in November.

This new ARIA Award has been introduced to celebrate our music teachers for their passion and hard work in educating Australian children to play and love music.

The Award is open to any teacher working in a school, kindergarten, early childhood centre, youth centre or private tuition music school running a music program. Anyone from around Australia  - from students, school administrators, to friends, neighbours and family - can nominate a worthy music teacher for consideration.

The benefits of music education have been consistently proven by decades of research, and they are experienced every day by Australian teachers and students who actively engage and participate in music making. Research into The Song Room’s programs in particular, proves that children involved in music at school achieve better grades, attend school more often and improve their self-esteem and confidence, and experience less stress, depression, loneliness and anger.

“This inaugural ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award highlights our commitment to music education,” said Dan Rosen, Chief Executive of ARIA.

“For every performer who makes it to the ARIA stage, there was a teacher or mentor who played a critical role in getting them there. Starting this year, we are celebrating our music teachers on the ARIA national stage and to bring attention to the inspiring and impactful work being done by thousands of music teachers across Australia.”

Celebrated Australian recording artists, Jay Laga'aia, Jessica Mauboy, Katie Noonan and Missy Higgins will act as Ambassadors for the new Award and will help raise awareness on the importance of music education.

Jay Laga’aia said "Music Teachers are the building blocks to a happier and healthier society. They teach us how to listen and how to communicate. Music lessons start when you're in the womb. Music Teachers give us the tools to appreciate language and sound; how to explore our emotions and hone our hand-eye coordination. Most importantly, Music Teachers show us that music is the universal language that can be appreciated by everyone at every age."

Jessica Mauboy said “Music is what feelings SOUND like and a great music teacher helps you to turn your feelings into music…”

Katie Noonan said “Music has been my best friend and love my whole life- it has helped me, educated me, challenged me and soothed me.

Music teachers instill this love, help reveal the joy and give you the confidence to find your voice and follow your path.

I am so excited that ARIA are acknowledging the importance of this role and giving thanks to the amazing music educators in our country.”

Missy Higgins said “Teachers can change the course of your life. I had several that played a huge part in helping me decide who I wanted to be when I grew up. Most importantly they gave me the confidence to feel that I could pursue a creative career; that I might have something to offer the world that didn’t involve numbers or spreadsheets! ”

ARIA Hall of Famer Jimmy Barnes is also a supporter of the new Award, he said “Just recently my son and daughter, Jackie and Mahalia got to go out to a school in Cairns and talk about music and singing with some kids. I think it’s incredible that in a country like ours, only one in four schools have music teachers. I think that’s something we’ve really got to work on… Music can change people and I think it’s important that it gets started at a really early age. The sooner the better.”

Entries are now open and a shortlist of four nominees will be announced at the ARIA Nominations Event in October. Each shortlisted ARIA nominated teacher will be partnered with one of the Artist Ambassadors who will visit the school, help celebrate their success and tell their story. A public voting process will then be conducted culminating in the presentation of the winner at The 2017 ARIA Awards in November.

The winner will secure a music package for their school, thanks to the Australian Music Association, who helped to source prizes from Fender, Kawai, Roland and Tamaha, the details of which will be released in the coming months.

To view guidelines and/or to nominate your favourite music educator, visit www.ariamusicteacheraward.com.au.