Catholic school music teacher wins top gong

Zoë Barry with her ARIA Award (Supplied)

Melbourne Catholic school music teacher Zoë Barry has been named the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Teacher of the Year for 2021. Source: Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools.

Ms Barry was recognised with the prestigious award for her work leading the Harmony in Strings program at Sacred Heart School, Fitzroy, for the past 11 years, delivering multiple benefits for her students.

In acknowledging Ms Barry’s outstanding work, Sacred Heart principal Matthew Shawcross described her as “a treasure”.

“Sacred Heart is a multicultural school – 98 per cent of our students have English as a second language,” Mr Shawcross said.

“Some of our students haven’t had the easiest start in life and music brings them a sense of self-confidence and calm.

“Zoë is patient and kind and, on top of that, an amazing teacher and musician. What more could you ask for?”

Acting executive director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Dr Paul Sharkey also congratulated Ms Barry on her achievement.

“(Ms Barry) has demonstrated great talent, professionalism and real care for and dedication to her students – all qualities we deeply appreciate and value in our Catholic schools,” he said.

As part of the Harmony in Strings program, all students in years 3 to 6 receive two lessons of music each week and often come together after school and at lunchtimes, as well as perform in a range of community and artistic settings.

The ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award was introduced to recognise music teachers for their passion and hard work in providing Australian children with a better education, and the chance to play and enjoy music.


Sacred Heart School teacher wins ARIA Music Teacher Award (MACS)

Meet Zoë Barry, 2021 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominee, featuring Baker Boy (ARIA)

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