Julia Rennick NMTMP Teacher of the Year 2019

Gunnedah music teacher Julia Rennick has been recognised for her inspiring work in the early childhood music sector with a nomination for an ARIA Award. 

Julia is involved in AYO’s National Music Teacher Mentoring Program, established by the late Richard Gill AO in 2015. The program is aimed at improving the quality of music education in classrooms around Australia by pairing experienced music educators with generalist classroom teachers in order to build their skills and confidence in teaching music. The research findings into the effectiveness of the program demonstrate it has significantly boosted the skills and confidence of classroom teachers in the teaching of music.

Over the last three years Julia has mentored six generalist teachers, ensuring teachers already invested in the community have the best skills and resources at their disposal.

“Through hard work and experience I’ve become very proud of my program.”

In north-eastern NSW, the sporty town of Gunnedah previously put little focus on music opportunities for young musicians. With Julia’s passion for music education and over 20 years of hard work, the Gunnedah Conservatorium has vastly improved with a successful childhood music program. Julia has a passion for making a difference to people’s lives through music, and runs classes for up to 80 children per week.

“Research shows that [music] plays a vital role in a young child’s language, social and emotional development. It also develops physical co-ordination, timing and in my humble opinion, joy – lots of it! My focus is to promote happy, healthy children.”

Julia strives to remain at the cutting edge of this exciting field and is constantly challenging herself and broadening her own skill base, which is why Telstra’s 2019 ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Awards committee have recognised her commitment.

In this video, Julia was given the exciting news of her nomination by Emma Wiggle, who visited her in the classroom.

Emma says after spending the day with Julia and her students she could clearly see her enjoyment and enthusiasm for music teaching.

“From the moment I walked in the classroom I could tell that the children were fixated on Julia. They just loved her energy and her passion.”

“Everything I’ve seen today and everyone that I’ve met suggests that Julia is truly deserving of this award. It’s so wonderful to see and we should be truly thankful for people like Julia.”

Julia believes the influence of music is important for every person, from children to adults.

“I truly believe with all my heart that music is important for every human, from a baby right up to 80 years old.”

“I think musical language can be learned alongside literacy but it’s the joy of it and it’s building the whole human. There’s research about the benefits of music for young children but I actually don’t need the research, I witness the results every single day.”

It’s thanks to the work of passionate people like Julia that we are able to change the face of music education. Vote now at www.ariamusicteacheraward.com.au.