Daphne Proietto OAM has been teaching the joy of music to neurodivergent children for decades – for free.
The Melbourne piano teacher started giving lessons to students with diverse learning needs and disabilities at her home in 2000. She didn’t charge for the sessions and produced amazing outcomes, especially for children with autism.
After she was featured on a 60 Minutes program in 2015, Daphne was inundated by requests to teach. A group of parents realised that one person couldn’t possibly answer the demand, so they started the Keys of Life Foundation.
Keys of Life trains music teachers in Daphne’s approach to teaching – now known as ‘Music Thera-play’ – so more children could have a quality music education. Besides running courses for teachers, the foundation puts on concerts and runs social music classes.
Daphne was awarded a Pride of Australia Medal in 2015 and in 2022 she won a Westfield Local Hero grant.