Fraser Coast’s top teacher hits the high notes - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Fraser Coast’s top teacher hits the high notes

12 Sep 2019

An inspirational high school music teacher whose former students include a Grammy-nominated artist is the USC Fraser Coast Educator of the Year.

Aldridge State High School music teacher Adam Hodgkinson received the award at the Fraser Coast Education Alliance Annual Awards for Excellence ceremony, presented by USC in Hervey Bay tonight.

A total of six key prizes were awarded to outstanding educators in the region by the Education Alliance to encourage teachers and lecturers at Fraser Coast schools, TAFEs and registered training organisations to develop innovative and engaging learning opportunities.

Aldridge State High School Principal Ross Higgins praised Mr Hodgkinson for using a range of strategies – including performance opportunities and new technologies – to inspire and motivate students about music.

“Since becoming key teacher in the school’s music program, he has contributed to a 25 percent increase in students joining the school’s wind and brass bands, and 20 percent more students choosing to study music as a core subject in their senior year,” he said.

“His support and guidance has contributed to the success of several students who have graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium or have completed Music degrees, and earn their livelihoods through music,” he said.

“This includes Patrick Kenny, now a national Triple J Unearthed success story with two recording albums, jazz pianist and composer Meg Burstow, and Dana Lowrey who co-wrote ‘Fearless’, a Grammy award-nominated song featured on ‘The Voice’ in America.”

Other initiatives include inviting alumni to hold workshop and share their experiences with students and leaders, staging events to expand school and community participation in music and incorporating new technologies into the music curriculum.

“Mr Hodgkinson has contemporised what was previously a ‘classic’ subject, increasing engagement and results at the same time, while incorporating 21st century learning skills into music,” Mr Higgins said.

The other Fraser Coast Education Alliance Award recipients were:
• Fraser Coast Educator of the Year runner-up Iain Hodge (Maryborough Special School)
• Innovation in Education – Natasha Steinhardt (Hervey Bay High School)
• Community Partnerships – Lisa Stewart (St James Lutheran College)
• Education Future and Technology- Peita Bates (Maryborough State High School)
• Educational Support – Julie Comerford and Anne Bellert (St James Lutheran College)

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