About the Program

The Music in Focus program is a school-based specialist program and is offered to students who live in the local intake area or who are accepted into Gifted and Talented and/or other specialist programs (i.e. Aviation, Graphic Design Media or Netball). It offers students from Years 7 to 12 a diverse range of musical opportunities through sequential learning in solo, group and ensemble performances and instrumental 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.

In Year 10, students begin their preparation to transition into senior school music courses. Students also start to prepare for larger roles in the Arts Showcase events offered throughout the year and participate in the Senior School Soloist night. 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 complete the nationally recognised Certificate III in Music, opening themselves up for many opportunities after leaving school.

Instrumental Music School Service (IMSS) at Melville SHS

Melville SHS offers IMSS lessons for the following: flute, classical guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, percussion, brass, clarinet, saxophone, and voice. Instrumental lessons are timetabled to rotate each week in order to minimise impact on any one subject. In addition to the lessons students receive, they will also be allocated to an ensemble for the duration of the program. The Music Department may facilitate private lessons for instruments not offered by IMSS. Please enquire with the Teacher in Charge of Music for further information. Music in Focus students must be enrolled through IMSS or private tuition (at the discretion of the Teacher in Charge Music Ms Pia Nidd at for the duration of the programs from Years 7-10.


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 are allocated an ensemble based on their year level, experience and instrument they play. All Music in Focus students in Year 7 are required to join the Junior Vocal Ensemble. Being a 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 Music in Focus program. The band is very well known within the community and is frequently invited to perform at local primary schools, tertiary institutions, and local businesses.

Bands and ensembles rehearse once a week before or after school, depending on the group. They are engaged in many performances throughout the year.

Enrolment and Testing

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 below, and read more about the program in the Specialist and Focus Program Prospectus is HERE.

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).

Music Parent Support Group

Parents have an opportunity to become involved in the program through the Music Parents Support Group. This community meets twice a term to discuss any issues arising in the Music Community, fundraising ideas, and any other areas of focus that benefit the program and the students.

Entertainment Book – New Electronic 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.