About the Program

The Music in Focus program is a school based program and is offered to students who live in the local intake area or are accepted into Gifted and Talented and/or a Specialist Programs (ie Aviation, Graphic Design Media or Netball). It offers students from Years 7 to 12 a diverse range of musical opportunities in both group ensembles and bands, and private lessons. Students accepted into the program receive between two to four hours of classroom music each week throughout their six years of schooling, in addition to receiving instrumental lessons with an IMSS (Instrumental Music School Services) teacher.

Music in Focus offers IMSS lessons for the following instruments: flute, classical guitar, electric and bass guitar, percussion, brass, clarinet and saxophone. The Music Department facilitates private lessons for instruments not offered by IMSS meaning there is no need to a child to start a new instrument in High School if it is not offered by IMSS. Instrumental lessons are timetabled to rotate each week in order to minimise lost class time from any one subject.

In Year 10, students begin their preparation to transition over to upper school Music. The students are allocated more time to follow their musical passions and more opportunities to play as part of a group. Students also begin to prepare for bigger roles in the Variety Nights offered throughout the year, and participate in the Senior School Soloist night. A highlight of the Performing Arts Calendar. In Year 11 and 12 students choose to continue in either the examined or non-examined WACE Music course. Students enrolled in non-ATAR Music also complete the nationally recognised Certificate III in Music opening themselves up for many opportunities after leaving school.

Aside from their classroom and instrumental lesson components, students are also required to join the Intermediate Concert Band, Senior Concert Band, Classical Guitar Ensemble or Melville Vox Vocal Ensemble. All music students in Year 7 are required to join the Junior Vocal Ensemble. Being musician in the highly renowned Swing Band is by audition or invitation only. The band has an excellent reputation and is a highlight of the Melville Music Program. The band is very well known within the community and is frequently invited to perform at local primary schools, tertiary institutions, local businesses and other places who simply want to add a bit of toe tapping fun to their venue.

Bands and ensembles rehearse once a week before or after school depending on the group. They are engaged in many performances throughout the year. Opportunities specific to music students include the Music Brunch, Performing Arts Variety Shows, Concert by Night events and Soloist Night for Senior School Students. Students are afforded the opportunity to attend workshops, camps and interstate or overseas tours. The bands also participate in the WA Schools’ Concert Band Festival, WA Classical Guitar Ensemble Festival, WA Schools’ Jazz Festival and WA Government Secondary Schools’ Choral Festival.

The Music Program is extremely lucky to be one of the primary groups to benefit from the new five million dollar performing arts centre, giving performances much more of a professional atmosphere. Students are able to learn about the inner workings of a technical stage set up including lighting and sound engineering.

Entertainment Book Fundraising – New Digital Book Format!

Please help us raise money for the Melville Senior High School Music in Focus program by purchasing a new digital entertainment booklet filled with many discount opportunities.

Auditions and Enrolment

Enrolment for the Music in Focus Program and the opportunity to have school IMSS lessons involves a testing process when students are in Year 5 and/or 6. There is an academic test as well as an audition. Students in other year groups are welcome to apply to join the program as vacancies arise. This involves an academic test, and depending on the results of the test, an audition by invitation in Semester 1. If you are interested in applying for the Music in Focus program, please fill in an application here HERE, and read more about the program in the Specialist and Focus Program Prospectus is HERE.

Auditions are 15 minutes in duration and students can audition on more than one instrument. The program Teacher in Charge will be notified if your child has only commenced learning their IMSS instrument recently and that they are at a beginner level. It is highly encouraged for students who fall into this category to apply for the Music in Focus Program and book an audition to further their skills. The audition process comprises of a number of things including:

  • Playing an instrument or singing (whole piece or part of a piece as chosen by your child)
  • Aural skills (practical activities based on rhythm, intonation and singing)
  • Basic theory knowledge
  • Prior music experience

Students can only apply for Music in Focus if they live within the Melville SHS intake area or are in a Gifted and Talented or Specialist Program (Aviation, Graphic Design Media or Netball).