MMO MAY GRI
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PRSC Music team Excursion to Elisabeth Murdoch College and Berwick Secondary
Our Focus Areas
Our focus areas covered the following:
Use of ICT
Operation and running of VET in schools
Student retention rates instrumental/VCE
The timetable at EMC consists of 4 sessions per day, each session length is 72 MINUTES.
Commencing in 2012, students who elect to join the Performing Arts Collective in junior levels (7 and 8 combined) will receive 8 SESSIONS PER WEEK of subjects from the performing arts including Music, Human Movement (instead of P.E) and Drama
Under the Performing Arts Collective - a typical timetable for junior music students will look like the following:
HUMANITIES 5 sessions MATHS 4 sessions
SCIENCE 2 sessions DRAMA 3 sessions
HUMAN MOVEMENT 2 sessions
MUSIC 3 sessions HEALTH 1 session
TOTAL 20 sessions
Our host commented on the high level of support they received from administration in order to finance, staff and timetable this new initiative.
Music at EMC ran through to VCE
The curriculum at Berwick more closely resembled a traditional approach with 6 periods a day running at approximately 50 minutes each.
Performing arts was taught as a core unit at year 7 for one semester (including Dance, drama, music and media). At year 8, music and all performing arts subjects became elective based through to year 10.
Music staff at Berwick were currently in negotiations to change the elective nature of their program particularly at year 8 as they felt it was not working.
Another issue they were grappling with was the lack of support from school administration regarding staffing. At present the subjects of dance, drama and music media were all taught by the one teacher. They did not have a specialist dance teacher as the school did not feel compelled to hire one.
They are currently running VET music Certificate 3 in performance, this is made possible due to a dedicated space being available where equipment can be left setup.
VCE was running in 2012 with acceptable numbers.
Amidst their desire to restructure the program, Berwick is also competing with the selective entry school Nossal High, which is impacting greatly on Berwicks academic standard. Opened in 2010 critics have been concerned about the poaching of high achieving students from other surrounding schools.
To support their highly ambiguous program, EMC is able to make good use of their Performing arts precinct containing shared facilities between dance, drama and music, including:
Practice rooms and a main band rehearsal room
Two dedicated music classrooms
Combined performing arts offices
The building has ready access to a dedicated performing arts center with retractable seating and lighting rigs hired out to the community during evenings.
School is located in open suburban surroundings similar to PRSC
The Music facilities at Berwick were significantly older than EMC, apart from their
shared Dance and Band room space which (much to their dismay) was hastily built in
recent years and is barely able to accommodate the existing program.
The school had one dedicated music classroom.
3 rehearsal rooms with exterior access no soundproofing and degraded equipment.
Dedicated performing arts centre which was significantly aged with tiered seating and
permanent lighting rigs/ audio equipment.
Shared band room dance room.
Computer pod with a dozen apple macs
School located in rural/outer suburban surroundings.
Each student in the school had their own PC laptop which they can take home with them.
Music facilities contained a dedicated computer pod room with access to Apple Mac computers and music software.
Installed smart boards.
Access to Apple Mac computers classroom set locked away in cupboard loaded with music software.
Small computer pod room attached to band room with a dozen Mac computers.
Installed projectors with audio.
A young growing program which is currently sustaining high levels of support from not only from the school administration but also from teachers
and parents alike. This translates into an enthusiastic program, staffed by those who are committed to growing the performing arts within the school.
Having dedicated performance areas was a major plus to their program, which enabled more performances for their bands this includes not requiring
the setup or hiring of equipment. This also allowed performances to be spontaneous and free of charge for others to attend.
No support from other areas of the school.
Small cost - ideas
Properly installing AV equipment to immediately improve classroom learning environments projector and speakers mounted into music classrooms
Beginning to permanently set up an area/areas of the hall for performances this may include leaving some seating out.
Combined effort across all performing arts domains to share/negotiate the use of space for
Specialist VET room would enable PRSC to teach certificate 1-3 Audio/Visual/Lighting equipment can be left setup in operating condition (set up times can be
incredibly long sometimes longer than the session itself).
Transformation of hall into a performing arts centre which can also be left in operating condition including seats, sound, lighting etc.
Hiring out of the hall to the surrounding community