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Congratulations Zoë Barry – 2021’s Telstra ARIA Music Teacher!

This morning, Zoë Barry was announced the winner of the 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award live on Channel Nine’s breakfast program Today.

“It’s been a real honour and it’s been a really great gift for the school community as well to be recognised in this way,”  Zoë told the Today show this morning from Melbourne where she was surrounded by some of her students.

For more than a decade, Zoë has used the power of string instruments, hip-hop, and her training in music and trauma-informed pedagogy to build self-confidence and self-esteem in her students from Sacred Heart School in Fitzroy, many of whom are from refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds.

“Zoë represents everything we admire in an outstanding music educator”, The Song Room’s CEO Alice Gerlach said today.

“She has used the shared language of music to connect and empower her students. We are really proud of Zoë and the entire team at Sacred Heart School for what they have been able to achieve with the Harmony in Strings program over the past decade. It demonstrates how music can positively influence school culture and learning outcomes,” she said.

The fifth year of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Awards has seen it grow from strength to strength, with thousands of votes pouring in from around the country from those showing their support for the four incredible music educators nominated.

It’s been remarkable to watch the public’s response to this award, which was introduced by The Song Room and ARIA to celebrate Australia’s music educators and to help shine a light on the importance of music education. This year’s nominees once again demonstrate how transformative a high-quality music education can be for young people to build confidence, create a sense of belonging, and to improve their wellbeing . The support for the award has strengthened our resolve to continue celebrating all music teachers, who are making a huge impact on the lives of students across the country.

The Song Room and ARIA would like to thank everyone who voted, entered and supported the award. Special thanks go to the other three ARIA nominated teachers Aaron Silver, Ashley Baxter and Daniel Wilson who all run exceptional music programs and inspire us every day. We are extremely proud to showcase the influence music teachers have on our children, setting them up for a bright future.

Tune in to the ARIA Awards tonight to celebrate music education with all of the nominees, and see Zoë accept her 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award. The awards will be streamed live from 7:30pm (AEDT) on YouTube

Creative kids are brighter kids, and the great work achieved by music teachers around the country is something we all agree is worth celebrating!

Congratulations Zoë!

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