Visual Art Students work on a series of projects to develop their knowledge and skills for making artworks that explore their ideas. Opportunities will be presented to explore and experiment with a range of media while enriching their understanding of the cultural and historical contexts of making and responding to Art. An emphasis on the development of their ideas through their Visual Arts Process Diary will assist the students to plan and implement their ideas.
Arts Specialist Rooms
Melrose High School has two fully equipped art studios. Facilities are available for many forms of two and three-dimensional art. Students have access to a kiln for ceramics as well as painting, drawing and print making facilities. Performing arts students use two dedicated spaces. The drama room has its own lighting rig, performance space and costume room.
The other is a specialist dance room which is also suitable as a classroom space for drama.
There are two music teaching rooms in the school as well as studios for individual tuition
and small ensemble work. Students have access to keyboards and guitars for general music
classes and a wide range of instruments for hire by students in the school’s band.
The Music course is open to all students. Students will develop practical and performance skills, manipulate the elements of Music in compositions, and learn about the written language of Music. Students can develop their skills on a range of instruments, including guitar, piano, ukulele, vocals, drums and wind instruments. There are also numerous opportunities for students to perform and share their talents with the school community and public audiences.
Students in the Year 7 Instrumental Music class and the Concert Band attend the annual
Music Camp, which is usually held in May. Students spend three days practising and
rehearsing in preparation for Entertainment Night, The National Eisteddfod and other
community or school performances. They also take part in small group instrumental workshops, which are run by visiting instrumental specialists.
The Concert Band
The Concert Band is open to all students in Years 7 to 10 who can play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. This group plays a wide variety of music suitable for this combination of instruments. Rehearsals are held at lunch time, once per week, and students perform at functions such as school assemblies, Graduation Night, Entertainment Night, the Melrose High School Arts Festival and a variety of other public performances and competitions throughout the school year.
Private Instrumental Tuition
Private lessons are available from highly qualified teachers on most instruments at the
school. Payment for lessons is a private arrangement between the teacher and the student. Students can participate in private instrumental lessons regardless of whether or not they
are enrolled in a music unit or are a member of the band. Instruments available to learn
include guitar, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone. Tuition on other
instruments may be available on request. Instruments can be hired from the school for $80 per semester.
Dance classes aim to increase students’ understanding of dance skills, the use of safe techniques and how to utilize choreographic devices and elements to create aesthetically pleasing movement. Each unit is independent and students can elect to join the course at the beginning of any semester in Years 9 or 10. For example, students may elect to do one unit throughout the two years or complete a two year course in dance.
Each unit has a specific focus and is designed to increase the understanding and practice of dance technique skills relevant to that unit. Performance, choreography and planning skills are developed through dance production and choreographic exercises and improvisation.
Students create group and individual dance works and perform dance pieces at a variety of school and community events. These include Entertainment Night at the end of semester one, the Melrose High School Arts Festival and the Ausdance Youth Dance Festival in semester two.
ACE Dance students also have the opportunity to create connections with our cluster primary schools to develop their leadership skills, participate in Kulture Break's Dance nation, work with specialised professionals from Fresh Funk and work intensely on refining their choreographic abilities and technical skills.
Drama aims to provide students with experiences that stimulate the intellect, the emotions, the imagination and the body. Drama skills are developed through expression, performance, observation and reflection.
The courses are designed to introduce students to the concepts of moving, concentrating and talking in a dramatic context. Units on script writing and analysis, characterisation, articulation and speech, abstraction, movement, comedy, tragedy, Shakespearean text, Commedia Dell Arte, Realism and mask work are all examples of work that takes place over two years.
Through these units students have the opportunity to build skills in teamwork, leadership, body language, communicating confidently to an audience, listening, social awareness, self-discipline and creative analysis.
All senior Drama courses culminate in showcase performances for the Melrose High School community at Entertainment Night in semester one and The Melrose High School Arts Festival in semester two.
ACE Performance Drama
ACE performance drama is a gifted and talented course for year 10 students to develop high
level performance skills and understanding of high quality performance texts. Entry to this
course is gained by audition only. Students in the ACE performance drama class have the
opportunity to take part in a major drama production. Previous ACE performance drama
productions have included Cosi , A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The
Crucible, Steel Magnolias and MacBeth.
Melrose High School has a very active Drama department and many performances
are staged throughout the year. These include at assemblies, Entertainment
Night, and the Melrose High School Arts Festival. These events enable students to showcase their work to parents and the local community.
Year 9 and 10 students also participate in community festivals like A.C.T Theatre Sports Championships, Come Alive and other events by invitation. Year 10 Performance Drama students present a major play at the end of term four.
Photography classes aim to increase students’ understanding of photographic skills, exploring the technical and artistic aspects of digital photography. Students will learn about camera functions, composition and editing software. Each unit is independent and students can elect to join the course at the beginning of any semester in Years 9 or 10.
Entertainment Night is held at the end of Semester One each year and gives Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Design and Technologies and, Digital Technologies students the opportunity to showcase various bodies of work they have created, rehearsed, composed, designed and choreographed. Students are involved in all aspects of organising, promoting and running the event. This provides them with real world cross-curricular learning opportunities in a variety of different profession settings. Family and friends come together to watch, listen and experience the skills students have learned and to celebrate their success.
Arts Camps and Enrichment Excursions
Year 9 and 10 students enrolled in Arts courses are given the opportunity to attend an
annual interstate Arts Camp, as well as many enrichment excursions. The camp and
excursions give students the opportunity to experience a range of events including
professional theatre productions, major gallery exhibitions, and dance workshops.
Backstage Production Class
A specialised elective class is offered to year 9 and 10 students in Backstage Production. This course covers all areas of live sound, lighting, audio-visual, stage management and stagehand work using industry standard equipment. This equipment includes a range of traditional theatre lights through to LED and intelligent moving lights, a professional lighting console for programming and running shows, a full PA system with a 24 channel mixer and a state of the art audio-visual control system.
This class also takes part in excursions to venues such as the Canberra Theatre Centre to enhance their learning, and has numerous opportunities to put their skills into practice by running all the backstage elements of our assemblies, drama productions and Arts Showcase events.