Nominations are now open for the 2019 Music Teacher of the Year Tui, which will be presented to an outstanding Kiwi music teacher at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in November.

From today, people across New Zealand can put forward their local music teacher for the award – someone who provides children with the foundations of a career in music and the everyday skills that come with learning to read, write and play music.

In conjunction with the NZ Music Commission, Recorded Music New Zealand introduced the award in 2018 to highlight the exceptional music teachers across Aotearoa and the impact they have on our children every day.

The inaugural winner was Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust founder Elizabeth Sneyd, which provides free music education and programmes in the East Porirua community.

Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan said learning to play music as a child is often a key element of acceptance speeches by professional musicians at awards shows – both internationally and here in Aotearoa.

“The impact their teachers have on their development as musicians, as artists and as creatives is obvious. So it’s great to be able to give our music teachers the kudos they deserve.

“Learning to play an instrument, to read music, and to begin honing creative thinking skills is an important part of childhood development.”

Schools and communities across the country can nominate any music teacher or music mentor during NZ Music Month this May on the Official NZ Music Awards website.

Since 2001, the NZ Music Commission has recognised the valued efforts of music teachers and supported their in-classroom work through the Musicians Mentoring in Schools programme, a Ministry of Education funded initiative that connects young emerging talent with some of Aotearoa’s top musicians to learn from the best.

More than 200 artists have shared their expertise in songwriting, instrumental and vocal technique, recording technology, and music industry insight – including Jon Toogood, Maisey Rika, Chris Mac of Six60 and Julia Deans.

Recorded Music NZ will announce the winner of the Music Teacher of the Year Award at the Artisan Awards in early November and also acknowledge the winning teacher at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards ceremony in November at Spark Arena, Auckland.

Schools, communities or individuals looking to nominate their music teacher or music mentor can do so here:


Previous Music Teacher of the Year winners

  • 2018: Elizabeth Sneyd, Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust