Yarra Hills Secondary College has a strong Performing Arts program, offering a variety of performance subjects and performance opportunities for students to be involved in.
The Performing Arts is an integral part of the curriculum. Drama and Music are introduced as semester based subjects in Year 7 & 8. In Year 9 & 10 they are offered as elective subjects, as well as offering Dance and Theatre Studies. In the VCE program, Yarra Hills offers VCE Drama and VCE Music Performance. Students also have an option to undertake Certificates in Technical Production Music and Acting through the VET (Vocational Education and Training) program. This works well as an option particularly combined with studies with the College’s VCE Music Performance and VCE Drama.
Opportunities exist in music for students to learn a wide variety of instruments and to participate in the College’s Junior, Intermediate and Senior Concert bands, saxophone and brass ensembles and vocal choral groups. In 2014, the Senior Concert Band travelled to New Zealand for a week long music tour. These tours occur every four years, with the next one planned for 2018.
With a wide range of performances each year in drama, music and an annual College concert, there is a great opportunity for students across the College to participate in school musical and cabaret productions. Yarra Hills stages a musical production every second year and on the alternate year the production is a cabaret format. Students from all campuses combine to present a theatrical extravaganza.
The school cabaret production in 2015 is a series of sketches, dances and songs based on the ‘superheroes’ theme. The show will be held over three nights on 13th, 14th, 15th August at the Mt Evelyn Campus Performing Arts Centre.
Drama Years 7-8
Students participate in a variety of forms of Drama such as mime, voice and sound, puppetry, story-telling, comedy, characterisation, improvisation, movement, performances, process drama, theatre history, stagecraft and script work.
Students will also review live or filmed performances. They will reflect on and evaluate their own performances, and also reflect on and evaluate performances and the work of other students in the group.
The skills students learn though the activities in Drama are lifelong skills such as developing confidence, interpersonal and intrapersonal development, leadership, working as a team, using initiative, problem solving, creativity and imagination.
Drama Elective Years 9-10
Drama is an elective at years 9 and 10. The emphasis in this elective is on performing, developing and building on acting skills gained in previous years such as voice, movement, role play, improvisation, play building, performance styles, scriptwriting, and production. The main study is on non-naturalistic acting and students will develop, practice and analyse the skills that are required for this type of performance, which is the focus of VCE Drama. This gives Year 10 students wishing to continue the subject in VCE an introduction to the performance style. Students will take part in an ensemble performance, including all preparation such as rehearsing, writing, directing, acting and stagecraft elements. Students undertake research into theatre practitioners and their importance to the development of theatre. Students will view a professional theatrical performance and analyse and evaluate the performance as well as analysing their own work.
Students will have the opportunity to perform their work for various audiences.
The study of Drama focuses on the creation and performance of characters, narratives and stories in naturalistic and non-naturalistic ways. Students draw on a range of stimulus material and play-making techniques to develop and present their work. Students analyse the development of their own work and performances by other theatre practitioners. The study of drama provides students with pathways to further studies in fields such as acting, direction, playwriting, production design, production management and studies in drama criticism.
Unit 1 (Terms 1 & 2): Dramatic Storytelling
This unit focuses on creating, presenting and analysing a devised performance that includes real or imagined characters, based on stimulus material that reflects personal, cultural and/or community experiences and stories. This unit also involves analysis of student’s own performance work and a professional performance.
Unit 2 (Terms 3 & 4): Creating Australian Drama
This unit focuses on devising and presenting a solo or ensemble performance using non-naturalistic performance styles. The performance will be based on a person, an event, an issue, an artwork a text or an icon from a contemporary or historical Australian context. This unit also involves analysis of student’s and professional performance of an Australian work.
Unit 3 (Terms 1 & 2): Devised Non-naturalistic Ensemble Performance
This unit focuses on non-naturalistic devised drama. Non-naturalistic performance styles and associated conventions from a diverse range of contemporary and cultural traditions are
explored. Students work collaboratively to devise, develop and present an ensemble
performance to an audience. They document and evaluate stages involved in the creation, development and presentation of the ensemble performance. A professional non-naturalistic performance work will be analysed.
Unit 4 (Terms 3 & 4): Non-Naturalistic Solo Performance
This unit focuses on the development and presentation of non-naturalistic devised solo
performances. A short solo performance is created from stimulus material and presented with the use of dramatic elements, conventions, performance styles and performance and
expressive skills. These skills are further developed creating and presenting a devised solo performance in response to a prescribed structure. The processes involved in the development of the solo performances are also analysed and evaluated.
Theatre Studies Elective Years 9-10
Theatre Studies is an elective offered at year 9 and 10. The emphasis on this elective is on the interpretation of play scripts and the production of plays from a variety of theatre styles and production through the ages. Students investigate how plays are used and portrayed on the world stage; and also how plays are studied and performed in order to understand and convey changes in society, people, environment and other issues. This elective gives students the opportunity to study, understand and present different styles of theatre practice. Students work with play scripts both in their written form and in performance, and then learn and apply stagecraft (costume, make-up, sound, lighting, set, props, directing and acting) to their interpretation of these play scripts. Students will undertake workshops on the different stagecraft areas and then choose a specific stagecraft for the planning for a performance such as undertaking research, design, creation and application. Students will attend a professional theatrical performance and analyse and evaluate the performance as well as their own productions.
Dance Electives Year 9-10
So You Think You Can Dance
Dance is introduced as an elective offered at years 9 and 10. So You Think You Can Dance aims at giving students the opportunity to develop their dance technique, flexibility, fitness and co-ordination. The students will experience this through a broad range of dance styles chosen for study. Students will learn how to warm up, cool down, stretch correctly and have an understanding of the body through the study of anatomy. Students will reflect on and appreciate their own work progress and the work of others using dance terminology. Students will see one live dance performance. Students will look at various dance techniques used by various choreographers. They will demonstrate their technique through performance and perform in at least one group dance and/or a solo piece to an audience.
Dance Your Way
Dance Your Way is another dance elective offered at years 9 and 10. This course aims at giving students the opportunity to choreograph for a variety of people and situations. Students will develop and apply their choreography skills, to create new dance works. Students will experience a broad range of dance styles chosen for study to create their own work, in groups and individually. They will also learn dances from various sources and choreographers. Students will focus on dance making techniques to develop their own style of movement. They will reflect on and appreciate their own work and the work of others using dance terminology. Students will see one live dance performance and will study the role of dance in another culture. They will choreograph and perform in at least one group dance as well as choreographing and performing a solo piece.
Music – Classroom Years 7-8
Students will participate in practical work including drums, keyboard, singing, guitar and classroom percussion. Students learn to read and write basic music notation and listen to music from a variety of styles. The semester’s work culminates in a classroom concert, where each student takes part in a performance with their home group.
Music Appreciation & Performance (MAP) Elective Years 9-10
Music Appreciation and Performance (MAP) is a two year elective program designed for those students wishing to enhance their knowledge of music and/or continue their instrumental music studies into Year 10 and beyond to VCE. Students taking the elective in Unit One will study different styles of music through written, aural and performance based activities.
Students will be encouraged to develop their performance and aural skills through regular individual and/or group ensemble performance. As soloists and/or members of small ensembles, students will develop skills in preparing suitable performance programs and learn about and apply musicianship as they create and interpret music. Students will also undertake Music Theory to AMEB Grade 1 level as a part of Unit One.
It is strongly recommended that students enrolling in the Music Appreciation and Performance elective have had at least one year of tuition on their chosen musical instrument with an instrumental music teacher, so that they gain the maximum enjoyment and experience from all aspects of the course.
Music performance develops intellectual, aesthetic and cultural understanding of the value and importance of music in solo and group settings. As soloists and members of groups, students develop skills in preparing programs of music works. They learn about and apply musicianship as they create music and interpret and analyse solo and ensemble works in a range of styles.
There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1 & 2. However to undertake Units 3 & 4 Solo Performance, students should have at least three years’ experience prior to Year 11 on a musical instrument or in voice. Students may elect to do all six units of study.
Unit 1 (Terms 1 & 2):
Unit 1 focuses on performance in solo and group contexts, studying performance and performing, and studying approaches to performance and performing, and developing skills in aural comprehension. Students present a solo and group performance, demonstrate prepared technical work and perform previously unseen music.
Unit 2 (Terms 3 & 4):
Unit 2 further develops skills in practical music and performance in solo and group contexts. Students present a prepared program(s) of solo and group works, demonstrate prepared technical work, perform previously unseen music and develop skills in aural comprehension.
Selected works are analysed to enhance performance interpretation and to understand their context, influences, characteristics and styles. This unit also focuses on music theory relevant to performance and used in the analysis of music.
Unit 3 (Terms 1 & 2):
This unit focuses on the preparation and presentation of solo works. Students use performance techniques to develop understanding of the interpretation of a range of styles. Ensemble performance, solo, technical work and unprepared performance broaden music performance skills. Aural comprehension skills and understanding of the structure and characteristics of a group work are also developed.
Unit 4 (Terms 3 & 4):
This unit focuses on developing performance skills in interpreting styles and applying a range of technical and artistic techniques to present a program of works in an ensemble context. It involves analysis of strategies and techniques for preparing and presenting ensemble performances. This unit further develops aural comprehension and critical listening skills used by ensemble performers to prepare and present performances of music in a range of styles.