Teacher’s a star
or A DEDICATED Bellarine Secondary College schoolteacher has been nominated for an ARIA award in the inaugural Music Teacher of the Year category.
Stephen McEwan has been teaching music at the school for six years. It followed four years as a gardener at the school while he worked towards his qualification.
Singer-songwriter Lior made a surprise visit to the class recently to announce the 51-year-old as one of four national finalists, the only one from Victoria.
Nominated by a number of current and former students, Mr McEwan’s school music program, which includes a residency at a local venue every Wednesday night, has been identified as one of the most successful in Australia.
“It’s taken over my life in a good way ... it is very rewarding,” he said. “We focus on creativity and getting the kids to own their own music and write songs that are personal.”
In a video for the Australian Recording Industry Association, many students expressed how music helped keep them engaged at school, and helped them express themselves freely, build confidence and improve self-esteem. Ambrose Kenny-Smith of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, a former student of Mr McEwan’s, is also nominated for Best Group and Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album.
Other local nominees include Flying Microtonal Banana for Best Group and Murder Of The Universe for Best Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal Album.
The ARIA awards will be held in Sydney on November 28.
The winner of the teachers award will be voted by the public at ariamusicteacheraward.com.au
AWARDS BUZZ: Music teacher Stephen McEwan is up for an ARIA award. So is one of his former students Ambrose Kenny-Smith (inset), of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Regurgitator Superjesus McLeod
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