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Learning in the Arts – Term 3

The Arts play an important and valued role in the curriculum at Ambrose Treacy College. Our Drama, Music and Visual Art courses contribute towards a broad and balanced education. An ATC arts and cultural education explores what it means to be a young man, and helps them make sense of their lives and the world they live in. Statistics are evidence that more Australians make art or culture than play organised sport. In this week’s learning article, we look at what’s happening in Arts classrooms this term.

Middle School Drama – Shereen Lister

In Drama at the moment Year 7 students are sharing for the class their scenes from the play Lockie Leonard which they have been practising and memorising for many weeks. They have encapsulated the roles of a 12-year-old boy who likes surfing. Year 8 Drama students have been having lots of fun honing their improvisation and story making ideas in Theatresports games. They have learned a range of games in which they are given a set topic and 30 seconds preparation before performing a group scene for the class. This culminated this week in a competition between the teams.

Junior School Music – Kate Thompson

Tying in with their studies across English and Humanities, Years 4, 5 and 6 have been studying a range of Australian repertoire including songs from our early English settlement and repertoire of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Learning and analysing songs like Maranoa Lullaby, Bound for Botany Bay, Click Go the Shears, Solid Rock and My Island Home, boys are continuing to develop their aural skills as they read, write and perform this music. Year 6 boys are delving deeper into their analysis of music this semester and are looking at the way that the elements of music can be used to communicate meaning in the music they listen to, compose and perform. Commencing with a study of Clare McFadden’s book The Flying Orchestra, Year 6 boys have been transforming the known song Chickalileeo to suit the text, illustrations and theme of each page of McFadden’s story. Boys are also studying Bob Dylan’s anthemic Blowin’ in the Wind with the goal of writing new lyrics and performing their new verses as a part of a music video, building on their work in Semester 1.

Middle School Music – Jason Goopy

Students in Years 7 and 8 are building on past experiences and continuing to develop foundational skills to perform, read, write and create music. A focus for this term is developing skills to think in different music parts simultaneously. Boys are being challenged by performing simple songs with individual part work including the use of canon. Later in the term, students will compose their own music ideas and collaborate on instruments with 2 different parts. The boys have enjoyed exploring the expressive devices used in the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Greig which is well known to them through its extensive use in television and films. They will later write an analytical response to a full orchestral listening.

Year 9 students are currently completing a series of small weekly tasks intensely strengthening and extending their personal and group musicianship. This includes singing, playing harmonic instruments (piano and guitar), arranging and composing by hand and using music technology, and responding to a variety of recordings. This term’s study explores repertoire from the past, focussing on the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. The boys are examining the relevance of music from the past in their lives today and the implications for creating new music. At the end of the term, they will also perform music of their own choice and will record this in the College’s new recording studio.

During our learning celebrations on Ambrose Treacy Day, boys were invited to experience the College’s new recording studio. Both Junior and Middle School boys gained an insight into the recording process. Boys learned about collaborating, rehearsing, recording and reflecting on their individual and group music ideas using the ATC school song as inspiration. Stay tuned for opportunities in the future for boys to build on this great experience.

Junior School Visual Art – Julie Hawkins

Chinese American Artist Cai Guo Chang spoke at the GOMA APT of the Brisbane River as a representation of both the Indigenous story of the Rainbow Serpent and the mythical Chinese Dragon and how important it is to the lives of people connected to it, including artists. Artists have always looked to the river for inspiration and on Celebrate Learning Day our Year 6 students created a huge diptych of the river using collage and painting, focusing on the meandering river which we see each day from the art room. Boys worked collaboratively with great enthusiasm and the completed artwork can be seen in the student office area. In the classroom Year 5 are looking to Picasso’s work ‘The Three Musicians’ and the cubist style to create their instrument paintings. And in Year 6 boys are focussed on recreating an appropriated painting of the Mona Lisa in their own style. The pressure in on now to complete all work in the lead up to the art show aspect of The Jazz by the River evening in Term 4.

Middle School Visual Art – Monica Willoughby

Year 7 art students spent the first week of this term generating ideas for their clay mask inspired by American contemporary artist Kimmy Cantrell. Students have used their knowledge of composition to create masks that appropriate the shapes and techniques used by Cantrell. Clay can be a challenging medium to work with and students have taken their designs to the next stage and started to apply clay building techniques to bring their two dimensional designs to life.

After looking at the work of Mulga the Artist, year 8 students were excited to create their own quirky characters and apply unique and bold patterns using black paint pen. Students are enjoying the experiences of learning about colour mixing and challenging conventional colour schemes to create something different. As a teacher, there is nothing more inspiring than listening to students discuss colours and then test their colour choices to make an informed decision about their final work. All students are currently in painting mode and enjoying the interactions with other students as their final artworks come together.

Year 9 students were set the challenge to create an artwork to feature on their own skateboard deck. Some students have been inspired by their own cultural background, 1950’s vintage art, giant squids, dragons and some unique character designs to name a few. Students have had to prepare their own skateboards for painting and learning that painting is challenging and requires deep concentration and skill.

Celebrate Learning Day saw year seven and nine students work on a collaborative artwork featuring the Brisbane River across three large canvases. This work will for finalised in the next few weeks and put on display in the Middle School stairwell leading up to the Middle School Art Room.

Mr Jason Goopy, Head of The Arts