High note for Flinders teaching graduate

Music classes build confidence and self-esteem, and Flinders graduate Renée McCarthy is living proof.

Her positive and energetic approach to teaching and her students’ wellbeing and enjoyment of music has seen her nominated by enthusiastic students at Woodcroft College as ARIA Music Teacher of the Year.

She is thrilled to be in the running.

“Music keeps students involved in positive activities, establishes connections with others and develops confidence,” she says.

“Performing at local nursing homes, the Adelaide Town Hall and our music tours in America has raised the profile of our music program and our college in the community.”

Ms McCarthy, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Flinders University in 1998 (née Nicholls), says the three student teaching placements while studying at Flinders prepared her well for the world of teaching.

She feels fortunate to have been offered a job at Woodcroft College just two years after a final year placement at the Morphett Vale school, where she is now Director of Music.

Ms McCarthy with the six music captains who nominated her for the award.

Since 2012 Ms McCarthy has organised and led 37 Woodcroft students on biennial music tours in the US, performing in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

One of four national finalists for the inaugural award, Ms McCarthy was the only South Australian teacher chosen from 1,400 teachers around Australia.

Votes for People’s Choice in the awards can be made online by 21 November.

The other finalists for the Music Teacher of the Year Award are Alex Manton from Asquith Girls High School in NSW, Julie Layt from Crescent Lagoon State School in Queensland and Stephen McEwan from Bellarine Secondary College in Victoria.

The music teacher with the most public votes will be presented with an ARIA at the 2017 ARIA Awards in Sydney on 28 November.

The music teacher award has been launched by The Song Room with sponsorship from Telstra.

Along with art and music programs for disadvantaged children, the Song Room also provides innovative, curriculum-aligned online arts education to Australian schools through the digital arts education hub, called ARTS:LIVE.

ARIA is a national industry association representing major and independent record producers, manufacturers and distributors.


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