PA Curriculum

 

PERFORMING ARTS CURRICULUM

The APGS performing arts program is rigorous, challenging and provides an environment for extended learning in Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts

Students have many opportunities to be involved in performance and APGS will continue to support and encourage each student throughout their individual journey.

The program is timetabled over two days, where students of Year 7-10 can explore four key streams, Dance, Visual Arts, Drama and Music.

DANCE

CONTEMPORARY DANCE  

Intermediate/Advanced
This class focuses on performance in contemporary technique. Students will be challenged technically, physically and mentally as they work with choreographers to develop their technical and expressive skills. Students will work towards creating a dance work that expresses a specific intent for performance.

CONTEMPORARY BALLET
Intermediate/Advanced

The class will have a performance focus on creating choreography with an edge by incorporating other genres. This is geared towards producing triple threat dancers. Strengthening classical ballet technique supports all dance styles and helps to build artistry in movement. Students will build on the dynamics and musicality of movement while pushing the boundaries of classical steps and developing a strong foundation to execute turns, extensions and elevations.

Conditioning typically includes: cardiovascular exercises, flexibility exercises, strength exercises, core/abdominal work.

The class will have a performance focus on creating choreography with an edge by incorporating other genres. This is geared towards producing triple threat dancers. Strengthening classical ballet technique supports all dance styles and helps to build artistry in movement. Students will build on the dynamics and musicality of movement while pushing the boundaries of classical steps and developing a strong foundation to execute turns, extensions and elevations.

JAZZ
Intermediate/Advanced

This class focuses on preparing performance quality routines with an emphasis on the speed of learning choreography while concentrating on the detail and accuracy of the jazz style. Routines will be physically challenging and students will engage with the unique musicality and expressiveness of jazz choreography.

HIP HOP
Intermediate/Advanced

This class begins with a warm up and conditioning session before moving into a variety of choreographed routines with the aim of learning and retaining the routine.

The students will learn to perform the routines in a variety of ways with an emphasis on clean and precise movements. They will understand why particular movements work with different music and the need to listen closely to the music and not just dance over the top of it.

Students will be encouraged to move out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves by learning more difficult moves. They will also explore and develop their creative style through choreographed routines.

CHOREOGRAPHY/SELF DEVISED COMPOSITION/PARTNER WORK

The aim of this course is to develop students understanding of choreographic processes and the ability to work with peers for general dance partnering: a vital skill set for today’s dance industry.

Students will learn partnering techniques such as weight transference, counterbalance, leading and being led, turns, lifts, and creating spatial and rhythmic patterns. Students will have the opportunity to experience working closely with a partner as opposed to being an individual within a group, as they create partnered contemporary pieces. 

MUSICAL THEATER COMPANY

This semester, Musical Theatre Company will focus on preparation for the APGS Musical Showcase. The weekly classes will consist of a program designed to build skills in every aspect of musical theatre, giving students the best possible chance of success as a versatile performer, incorporating music/dance/drama skills required by “triple threat” musical theatre performers.

The focus will be on developing material of the highest standard for presentation at the Musical Theatre showcase.

MUSICAL THEATRE TECHNIQUE

This semester this class will focus solo and small ensemble skills in musical theatre repertoire, particularly related to dance, song and dance technique, as well as movement and acting through song and dance. The repertoire in class will be tailored to work on challenging and extending students’ skills in this genre.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT FOR ALL DANCE COURSES

Students will be expected to participate to the best of their ability, and to maintain a positive focus in class. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback.

MUSIC

INTRODUCTION TO MUSICIANSHIP

This subject is an introduction to music theory. It will focus on reading musical notation and understanding principles of music theory, such as key signatures, rhythms and basic chords. It will be valuable for all singers and musicians, and will support their performance work. It can be taken by anyone interested and requires no previous experience.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

This class has no pre-requisite, however students need an interest in improving their skills in reading and writing traditional music notation, and to gain confidence in this area.

Students will be assessed on their participation in class activities, their improvement in written musical skills, and completion of specifically designed set tasks.

SONGWRITING AND PRACTICAL MUSICIANSHIP

This subject is for those who have already taken Introduction to Musicianship, or had prior experience/training in music theory.

The work will focus on developing an understanding of chords, and arrangement and transcription techniques, with a principal focus on developing the skills required for students to write their own chord charts and arrangements, for practical application in live performance. The skills developed in this class will allow students to write original songs, or create their own arrangements of songs. The class covers a range of other related topics such as music technology and the use of recording and notation software.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

It is expected that students in this class can read and write traditional musical notation and have at least a basic understanding of chords. It is a written class, not performance. However the materials developed in this class can be used in the Song writing and Arrangement Performance Lab.

Students will be assessed on their participation in class activities, their improvement in written musical skills, and their completion of specifically designed tasks.

SONGWRITING AND ARRANGEMENT PERFORMANCE LAB

This is an ensemble-based class that aims to workshop in a practical performance environment, those skills developed in Creative Music Materials and Practical Musicianship.

Students will work individually or in small ensembles, using their own charts and arrangements to develop performances, workshopping their ideas in a practical band context. The ensembles will work towards specified performance outcomes, and continue to connect their skills from practical Musicianship to their performances.

This course aims to develop the contemporary musician as a whole, equipping musicians with industry-valued skills. It is also well suited to singer/songwriters.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT111

Students will be expected to take on individual roles within a small ensemble, workshopping their own songs or arrangements, or other student’s arrangements. While a range of skill levels can be managed in this class, students need to be competent with the instrument they would like to perform on, or prepared to sing solo in an ensemble such as a rock band.

They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback. A specific performance outcome will be set by the tutor, which may be tailored to each student’s goals Student performances from this class may be selected for Music showcase

MUSIC ENSEMBLE SKILLS

This class is heavily practical, and based on learning within an ensemble experience which may be flexible, and will vary according to the needs and strengths of current students.

Students will be placed into small groups of instrumentalists to rehearse, and perform pieces. A range of musical styles will be explored and students will be assigned songs by the tutor on the basis of suitability to student skill level and musical interests. Students will be expected to explore a range of genres to expand their stylistic understanding and develop skills, in preparation for professional work within the contemporary music industry.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Students will be expected to take on individual roles within a small or large ensemble, so while a range of skill levels can be managed in this class, students need to be competent with the instrument they would like to perform on. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback.

Students will be expected to actively participate in performances in a range of genres. Student performances from this class may be selected for Music showcase.

PERCUSSION COMPANY

The Percussion Company is a percussion ensemble for both drummers and non-drummers. If you can count to 4 and know your left hand from your right hand then you have all the tools we need. The class covers basic drumming technique, rhythm reading, to more advanced technique and rhythm for the drummers. The class culminates in an end of year showcase performance that never fails to disappoint. Previous years performances have included buckets, Japanese inspired taiko and tribal grooves.

 

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

There is no prerequisite for this class. Students should be willing to perform in a large ensemble. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback. This class will be working towards performances in APGS Showcases.

CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL COMPANY

This is an advanced performance class, with a focus on performance preparation for APGS Showcases and other performance opportunities. Students will work towards specific performances, as either soloists or within small ensembles, under the guidance of the tutor. The classes will concentrate on polishing performances to the highest standards, rather than workshopping ideas, with the aim to have students displaying technically assured, stylistically convincing performances of the highest level ready to present to the broader community. At times, some student collaborations with Vocal Company may be arranged at the discretion of the tutors.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Students will be assigned performance projects, and will be expected to practice their assignments between classes, to come to class prepared to perform. The repertoire will be determined by the tutor in consultation with students to allow for student input. Students will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback. Specific performance outcomes will be set by the tutor, and participation in Music Showcase will be expected.

VOCAL TECHNIQUES AND STYLES

This class involves master class style workshops on vocal techniques where students actively study anatomy and advanced vocal pedagogy. Students will focus on vocal control, developing vocal range, and other technical demands, related to different styles of singing. Students do not need to perform as a soloist for this class, as most exercises will be done as a whole class.

Students will explore vocal techniques associated with the unique demands of different vocal styles such as Classical and legit musical theatre singing, jazz vocals, and pop genres such as R’n’B, soul and Country. They will explore from a vocalists perspective, the vocal styling and nuances of these styles and how these styles are technically approached.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

There is no prerequisite for this class. Students should be willing to perform in an ensemble, and also individually – in a masterclass setting. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance participation and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback.

VOCAL COMPANY

Students will be expected to actively participate in performances in a range of genres. Student performances from this class may be selected for Music showcase.

 

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

This class is performance based, with a focus on solo, duo or small ensemble performance. This class will be focused on performances in APGS Showcases and other performance opportunities. It is a master class style workshop on performance skills - both technical and artistic, along with performance etiquette. Students will be required to perform as a soloist, or in a duo, and have the desire to perform at APGS Showcases. They do not need to have private singing tuition to participate, although they would benefit from participating in the Vocal Techniques class. At times, some student collaborations with Vocal Company may be arranged at the discretion of the tutors.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

While this class will cater for a range of abilities and levels of experience, students need to be willing to perform solo or duo in a masterclass setting, and in performances to the broader school community. Students will be assigned performance projects, and will be expected to practice their assignments between classes, to come to class prepared to perform. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback. Specific performance outcomes will be set by the tutor, and participation in the Music showcase will be expected.

VOCAL ENSEMBLE

Students will be expected to actively participate in performances in a range of genres. Student performances from this class may be selected for Music showcase.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Vocal Ensemble is a purely performance based session. It will involve working with different combinations of voices in a large ensemble, focusing on different styles, including: gospel, folk, Australian Art music and classical works. There is a strong focus on blending voices, choral and ensemble techniques. Although this is a performance class, students will also be working on improving their aural skills and music reading skills.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

There is no prerequisite for this performance class. The class is very well suited to anyone (musician or non-musician) who would like to work on their singing in an ensemble rather than solo experience.

Students will be expected to participate to the best of their ability, and to maintain a positive focus in class. They will be assessed in areas such as: performance skills and progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback.

DRAMA

SENIOR AND JUNIOR COMPANIES

The Senior and Junior Drama Companies will work as professional performance ensembles. Students in these companies will be involved in part of the process of material selection, and then will be cast in a stage piece (be it a stage play, or a concept for an ensemble-devised piece) in preparation for the Drama Showcase. Students will become immersed in the rigour of the rehearsal process, from script work and line learning, to movement and blocking, physical and vocal preparation, and the ever-challenging bump-in/technical/dress rehearsal process. This process will leave students well-equipped with professional skills for auditioning, performing, and working creatively and effectively as an ensemble.

As part of this experience students, may also develop an understanding and gain experience in set, lighting and sound design

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

This is a performance company, and the expectation is that all students participate to the best of their ability, in the Drama Showcase. Student will be expected to take responsibility for work assigned to them, to learn lines and come to rehearsal well prepared.. 

SCENE WORK AND INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE

This class works towards equipping students with the tools and confidence to take the stage on their own. They learn to build characters through movement and voice work, and developing a character’s gestural life. Students are encouraged to construct individual performances from their skill set and experiences.

Students will be challenged with Classical and modern texts – from theatre to film, and will be individually guided in their progress. Work may be done on monologue preparation for auditions.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

The junior drama companies focus on improvisation, physical theatre, approaches to acting, play building and script analysis.

Students will:

Individual Performance

As this class aims to build confidence as an actor, and increase presentation skills, each student will be required to perform individually for the class or an audience as part of their assessment.

CLOWNING

This class is run as intensive workshop sessions designed to unlock the source of a student’s comic nature, helping each one to connect to their playful spirit and uncover their most creative self via the red nose.  Students will learn to access, flaunt and free their imagination using warm ups, improvisation and playing games.

What separates this class from many others is the large portion of on stage time students are given. They put the skills into practice immediately in front of an audience and receive individual feedback.

Clown benefits and skills:

  • Better control and awareness of physical presence
  • Heightened quick thinking and creativity
  • Understanding beats, rhythm and pacing
  • Exploring truthful impulses – Live and Play in the moment
  • Art of listening and connecting to an audience
  • Learning to laugh at failure and celebrate success

MOVEMENT FOR ACTORS

This class will introduce students to Jacques Lecoq’s® insight that tout bouge – ‘everything moves’ and guide them through a comprehensive journey of his renowned technique.

Each class is geared towards unlocking the fundamental principles of theatre of movement through interactive improvisation, unmasking unique performance styles and discovering innovative and theatrical approaches to storytelling. Every class starts with a warm-up and every week the student will learn via the neutral mask, improvisation and movement analysis how to achieve physical presence and physically approach text and performance.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

The semester will conclude with a group devised performance assessment based on the new tools and physical vocabulary learnt in class.

VISUAL ARTS

SET DESIGN

Students will learn about the design and construction of sets for theatre. In particular, students will work with the use of stage flats, and work on designs such as scenery or sets for APGS Drama Showcases. 

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Students will work together on a specific large project, and will also have weekly individual tasks set by the tutor.

BODY OF WORK, ART HISTORY & ART CRITICISM

This course will focus on assisting students in developing a Body of Work (BOW). Each term, students will be given a theme & associated strategies which can be applied in the development & refinement of their own artistic practice.

This course will feature dedicated units of Art History aimed at complementing our senior’s preliminary and HSC Visual Arts art history/art criticism classes.

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Students will be expected to participate to the best of their ability, and to maintain a positive focus in class. They will be assessed in areas such as: individual progress, effort and application, and ability to respond to constructive feedback. 

FILM PRODUCTION

Do you see the world through a camera lens? This course is geared towards students who are interested in the production of films through all of its phases. We will be covering the three P’s (Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production). Due to the multi-faceted nature of film production, students will get a chance to explore many roles from directing to editing. 

STUDENT EXPECTATION AND ASSESMENT

Students will be expected to participate to the best of their ability, to maintain a positive focus in class and to work in teams. They will be assessed in areas such as: effort and application, weekly progress in their project and ability to respond to constructive feedback. 

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