Antonio Chiappetta: Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year

When you’re chatting with Antonio Chiappetta, you can’t help but be drawn in by his positivity, thoughtfulness, and most of all, his passion for music. Casually peering out from behind his dark rimmed glasses and sport coat, you’d never guess he’s worked with some of the biggest artists on the planet. Antonio doesn’t just love music, he loves sharing it with others and inspiring their creativity. All of these characteristics make Antonio the music teacher we wished we all had, and this past year, Telstra ARIA took notice.

Antonio was awarded as the 2019 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year, and rightfully so. He has been at this a long time, successfully developing his own musical career and pouring his heart and soul into helping others advance theirs. A drummer by nature, Antonio has toured Australia with his band King Farook and has supported some of greatest artists of all time, including Van Halen, Billy Joel and Aerosmith. But answering the call to become a music teacher at St. Andrews College in Western Sydney, where he was a former student, gave Antonio renewed purpose, one he was perhaps always meant to follow.

The thing about Antonio is that he doesn’t just teach music, he inspires it. At St. Andrews, he does so much more for his students beyond theory and notation and scales. He encourages them to experiment, to push their creativity across instruments and genres, and to develop confidence in the performance space. Early on he developed Creative Arts Night, a live showcase giving students the opportunity to perform for others and demonstrate their talents. What started as a small, innovative program on school grounds has since grown into an annual festival attracting over 2,000 attendees and taking place on a local football pitch with a full-size stage, LED video boards, and to cap it off, a fireworks display.

Best of all, the growth of Creative Arts Night has enabled students outside of the music program to get involved too. Students pursuing interests in areas such as production, visual arts and hospitality are provided with hands-on learning experiences through behind-the-scenes production, management and marketing of the festival. It’s these types of results that highlight exactly why Antonio is ideal for the Music Teacher of the Year Award — his natural ability to inspire greatness in others.

Antonio has been a part of the SongDivision family for quite a while, having shared his talents for some of our biggest client events to date. When asked what he loves best about performing with SongDivision, he answered in the way only a teacher could… 

“I love being able to show corporate, often non-musical people the power of music and how it can be used to enhance any given moment or situation. SongDivision enables meaningful team building through music, and what better way to bond than with songs that are custom designed to unite the workplace.”

When it comes to Antonio’s most memorable SongDivision experience, nothing has yet to top the Custom Song we performed for Virgin and Sir Richard Branson.

“Jamming with Sir Richard Branson on stage was a special moment. Richard was noticeably moved by the whole experience as he indulged in a little crowd surfing, which really set the scene for the event, and sealed the experience for me!”

We couldn’t be more proud of Antonio and his achievements. His patience and personality are true representations of SongDivision’s core values, and he happens to be a pretty good drummer as well.

 

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