A passion for teaching kids about music has landed Gunnedah's Julia Rennick on the ARIA Awards shortlist.
The local is one of four nominees for the ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award and spent a day with Emma Watkins from The Wiggles in September to shoot a video for the awards.
The film crew captured the pair in action, interacting with students at Gunnedah Conservatorium and Gunnedah Public School.
For once, Ms Rennick's popularity with kids took a backseat and mild hysteria set in as students realised there was a celebrity in their midst.
When the NVI sat down with the pair, Ms Rennick said she was in absolute disbelief when the ARIA team contacted her about the nomination.
"I thought it was a joke," she said.
The Scottish teacher was nominated by Gunnedah Conservatorium director Rebecca Ryan who said she was "worthy" of the award.
"I think she generates that spark for kids in music," Ms Ryan said.
"The reason why early childhood program is so successful is because of Julia and her drive and determination to share the joy of music and to ensure her practice is of the highest standards."
Ms Ryan said for many kids, Ms Rennick had been their first music teacher.
"We sometimes joke that Julia is a bit of a rockstar because the kids know her," Ms Ryan said.
Ms Rennick can sum up her job in two words - "it's joy".
"I just love it," she said.
"I love working with little kids."
The teacher shares her love of music with Ms Watkins who said "we feel like we're sisters".
"Children are drawn to music and that's what engages them straight away so the beauty of music is that they're able to access whatever information you're trying to tell them but through a musical journey," Ms Watkins said.
But it's not without its challenges.
"They are the most honest audience ... If they're not interested, they'll walk away," Ms Watkins said.
"You know if you're on the right track and engaging them."
Ms Rennick echoed her words, saying "it's a hard gig".
"You've got to have them immersed in the music class the whole time or ... you'll lose them," she said.
"Young people are really smart with musical technology and don't traditionally use musical instruments."
I think [Julia] generates that spark for kids in music.Rebecca Ryan, Gunnedah Conservatorium
Ms Watkins said technology had changed the way kids accessed music and praised Ms Rennick's use of instruments.
"In Julia's class they're able to physically play a musical instrument themselves, something that they can follow along," she said.
"It's connecting ... It's being able to experience what that instrument is and how it makes a sound."
Ms Rennick said it was "lovely" to spend a day with Ms Watkins who is "beautiful inside and out".
"It's just so special," she said.
- The Aria Music Teacher of the Year Award will be awarded to the finalist with the most public votes. To vote for Julia Rennick, visit www.ariamusicteacheraward.com.au
- Voting closes at 11:59pm on November 20.