Performing Arts

The senior Performing Arts subjects at Kenmore State High are:

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Music Extension (Composition)
  • Music Extension (Musicology)
  • Music Extension (Performance)

Please click on the subject links above and refer to the Year 10 Subject Guide (PDF, 4MB) or Year 11 & 12 Subject Guide (PDF, 3.3MB) for further information on Performing Arts subjects and prerequisites.

Contact details for the Head of Department are listed under the "Our School" tab.



Do I need previous dance experience? 
This isn’t a requirement but it will be helpful to have studied Dance in year 7 – 10, taken outside classes or studied an Arts subject. 

Is it only practical work? 
No. The subject of Dance requires students to perform, choreograph and analyse dance works. Strong writing skills are required for analysing and providing a written statement alongside choreography tasks. 

Does the course count towards my ATAR? 
Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations. 

What will I be assessed on? 
  • Performance (20%) 
  • Choreography (20%) 
  • Project — dance work (35%) (theory component) 
  • Examination — extended response (25%) (theory component) 

What pathways are available for students who choose this subject? 
As people are asked to think innovatively and differently, unconventionally and from new perspectives, the role of ‘the creative’ across many workplaces is increasingly in demand. Diverse pathways may include fields such as psychology, social work, counselling, law, journalism and human relations. Or more conventional pathways may include arts administration and management, communication, education or public relations. 

For more information about Dance, please refer to the Year 10 Subject Guide (PDF, 4MB) or Year 11 & 12 Subject Guide (PDF, 3.3MB) or contact the Head of Department


What is this subject about?  

Drama interrogates the human experience by investigating, communicating and embodying stories, experiences, emotions and ideas that reflect the human experience. It allows students to look to the past with curiosity, and explore inherited traditions of artistry to inform their own artistic practice and shape their world as global citizens. Drama is created and performed in diverse spaces, including formal and informal theatre spaces, to achieve a wide range of purposes. Drama engages students in imaginative meaning-making processes and involves them using a range of artistic skills as they make and respond to dramatic works.  

Who is this subject best suited to? 
Students who like learning in a variety of ways. Students who want to build their confidence, creativity, critical thinking skills, communication skills, collaboration and team work skills that can benefit them in any career.   

What are some common career pathways that are associated with this subject? 
Drama is a General subject suited to students who are interested in pathways beyond school that lead to tertiary studies, vocational education or work.  

The demand for creativity in employees is rising in a world of rapid technological change. As more organisations value work-related creativity and diversity, the processes and practices of Drama develop transferable 21st century skills essential for many areas of employment.  

Tertiary studies, vocational education or work experience in the area of drama can lead to and benefit careers in diverse fields such as: 
  • arts administration and management, e.g. artist manager, arts administrator, booking agent, copyright/royalties manager, tour manager, venue manager, events and festivals manager/producer, arts and cultural advisor/administrator 
  • communication, e.g. writer, communication strategist, arts editor, blogger/vlogger 
  • creative industries, e.g. professional performer, actor, director, dramaturge, independent artist, artistic director, costume designer, producer, rehearsal director, theatre technician, stage manager, dialect coach, radio presenter 
  • education, e.g. educator in schools, corporate, private studios, community, universities and professional drama company education programs
  • public relations, e.g. campaign manager, publicist, creative director
  • research, e.g. researcher and academic, journalist/critic
  • science and technology, e.g. drama health professional with further specialised training in areas of medicine, health, therapy. 

What assumed knowledge or subject results is recommended from Year 10 to be successful in this subject?  
No prerequisites are needed for Senior Drama. However, prior engagement in the Junior Drama program is advantageous.  

What will help me to be successful in this course?  
Having a positive and flexible attitude to learning in groups and a growth mindset.  

Are there any compatible subjects that would be beneficial to also study with this subject? 

How will I be assessed? 
Drama has three dimensions that students are assessed in. Presenting (performing excerpts of plays), Forming (creating and pitching your ideas for performances) and responding (analysing professional shows in an exam format). 

The final external exam for Drama is an analytical essay in the responding dimension.  

Are there any excursions or any costs for this subject?  
There are no mandatory costs associated with Senior Drama. Students may choose to attend live theatre shows as optional excursions.  

For more information about Drama, please refer to the Year 10 Subject Guide (PDF, 4MB) or Year 11 & 12 Subject Guide (PDF, 3.3MB) or contact the Head of Department

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Do I need to have studied Music in in years 7 – 10? 
No, but it is very helpful and will be challenging for you if you haven’t. 

Do I need to be able to read music? 
No, but you will find the course very challenging without this ability. 

Do I need to play an instrument or sing? 
Yes – there is a performance component so you will need to be able to perform music of your choice. 

Do I need to be able to compose music? 
Yes – you can do this in any style for any instrument(s) and you can use music technology. 

Does the course count towards my ATAR? 
Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations. 

What are the Units that I will be required to study? 
  • Unit 1 – Designs – how musicians design music to communicate meaning. 
  • Unit 2 – Identities – how musicians communicate cultural, social, political and personal identities. 
  • Unit 3 – Innovations – how musicians incorporate innovative practices to communicate meaning. 
  • Unit 4 – Narratives – how musicians communicate narrative in music. 

What is Senior Music Extension in Year 12? 
This course is an extension of the Music senior syllabus. Students who have been successful in Music in Year 11 can elect this subject in Year 12 as an additional course of study or in place of another subject. It provides an opportunity for students with specific abilities in music to extend their expertise in either Composition, Performance or Musicology.  

For more information about Music, please refer to the Year 10 Subject Guide (PDF, 4MB) or Year 11 & 12 Subject Guide (PDF, 3.3MB) or contact the Head of Department

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Last reviewed 07 August 2020
Last updated 07 August 2020