Visual arts, music, drama and dance can be considered in a variety of ways.
They play a significant role in the perception of meaning to peoples’ lives. Visual arts, music, drama and dance offer students opportunities for personal expression, enjoyment, creative action, imagination, emotional response, aesthetic pleasure and the creation of shared meanings.
The artforms also provide students with opportunities to explore social and cultural values about spiritual and worldly beliefs in Australia and in other regions and cultures, and to celebrate, share and negotiate these values and beliefs. Through the arts, the diverse and pluralistic values of Australian cultures, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, reflect the interests and aspirations of groups, and their identities.
Each of the artforms employs a kind of symbol system or language. Students and others can develop knowledge of and learn to “read” the conventions of the symbol systems used in the artforms to communicate and exchange ideas about the world. Makers, performers and audiences benefit from a literacy of the signs, codes and conventions used.
Various people contribute to the perception of meaning in each of the artforms, including artists, performers, composers, designers, dancers, architects, actors, directors, choreographers, and writers. Others are involved as audience members, viewers and consumers of the arts. This syllabus provides opportunities for students to explore the creation, performance and appreciation of visual arts, music, drama and dance and to think about these roles in their own creative activity.
For example, in Music, Drama and Dance, works are often presented in “real time”, that is, performed, composed or developed for an event at a certain time and for a particular audience. Students can also investigate how they and others can use a wide range of technologies suited to their artistic intentions, including traditional and newer electronic and digital applications. New technologies also offer unprecedented ways for students and other audiences and viewers to interact with works.
Students can interpret certain aspects of the world in their works, in novel, innovative and creative ways. They can explore how they and others can do this in their own work. They can consider some of the reasons why works are made, for example, to provoke a response, to capture a mood or feeling, or to extend ideas and techniques, for a special event or to offer a critical insight or express a point of view. Over time, students can think about how works might generate different interpretations and how they may mean different things to the makers and the audiences or viewers who view them and/or listen to them.
These ways of thinking about the arts and the nature of the artforms provide the orientation to this syllabus. They underpin the foundation statements, outcomes and indicators, staged content and approaches to assessment. The approach also considers students’ cognitive development and the critical role of the teacher in providing learning experiences that are suited to the students’ abilities and developmental needs and interests. Students from Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 are increasingly able to develop and maintain concentration in activities in the artforms that occur in time and are developed over time. They are, over time, able to understand some of the conventions in the artforms and use these, to some extent, in their making, composing, listening, performing and appreciating. By the time they have reached Stage 3, students are generally able to reflect on their own activity, choose among alternatives in the ways they make and/or perform in Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance and are beginning to understand that different interpretations and meanings about the arts are possible.
Each of the artforms is acknowledged in the syllabus for its unique contribution to the Creative Arts and students’ learning.
In the longer term, learning in the Creative Arts assists students in their lifelong learning in the visual arts, music, drama and dance. It also assists students to participate in and contribute to cultural life, to become informed consumers of the arts and culture, to empathise with others, and to consider a range of career paths. The Creative Arts also provide opportunities for students to respect the views of various social and cultural groups, people with different religions and belief systems and people with disabilities. The Creative Arts also offers opportunities for students to value the different perspectives of females and males.
Creative Arts in K–6 is designed to enable students to gain increasing understanding and accomplishment in the visual arts, music, drama and dance and for students to appreciate the meanings and values that each of the artforms offer personally, culturally and as forms of communication.