Teacher’s a star

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - John Farn­ham, Lewis Hobba.

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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