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Music in Focus

The Music in Focus Program at Melville Senior High School offers students from Years 7 to 12 a diverse range of musical opportunities. Successful students receive 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. The Music in Focus course is a school based program and is offered to students who live in the local intake area or are accepted into Gifted and Talented or specialist programs (ie Aviation, Graphic Design Media or Netball).

NOTE: Melville SHS has opened up Specialist testing to Year 5 students. Unsuccessful Year 5 applicants will have the opportunity to sit the test again in Year 6.

Melville SHS 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. Instrumental lessons are timetabled to rotate each week in order to minimise students missing class time from any one subject.

In order to receive IMSS lessons (free instrumental lessons), your child has to be enrolled in a music class and they have to sit an audition in Year 6.

In Year 10, students begin their preparation for upper school Music, whilst in Year 11 and 12 they 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.

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.

Membership of the Swing Band is by audition or invitation only. The band has an excellent reputation in the local 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. Each band/ensemble is engaged in many performances throughout the year, both in school and within the wider community. Opportunities include Music Brunch, Performing Arts Variety Shows and Concert by Night events. 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.

Enrolment Details
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. This involves an academic test as well as an audition. Students in other year groups are welcome to apply to join the program as vacancies arise. Please contact the Music Department for more information.

Students applying for Music in Focus can also apply for other specialist programs including Gifted and Talented, Aviation and Netball. Graphic Design Media and Music in Focus theory may clash on the grid in Years 9 and 10. If students wish to study both courses, they should discuss options with the Teachers in Charge.

Students applying for the Music in Focus Program are expected to be involved until at least Year 10. If a student chooses to withdraw from the program before then or is not achieving adequate standards, an interview may be requested with the Deputy Principal and students outside of the local intake area may lose their enrolment at the school.

Students in other year groups are welcome to apply to join the program as vacancies arise.

The school encourages all students to undertake intellectual, physical, creative and social activities. Melville SHS is a consistent Top Public School Award winner and many sporting and co-curricular activities are available for students to participate in to broaden their horizons. Music in Focus can be a part of your child’s pathway to success.

Entry for 2019
Applications have closed for all programs. Students can apply to be added to a wait list.

Auditions for successful applicants: 21 or 22 May 2018 (Auditions are in Year 6, so Year 5s wait a year)

Entry for 2020
Applications are now open for students in Year 5 and 6 in 2018.

  • The application for Specialist enrolment is HERE
  • The Specialist and Focus Program Prospectus is HERE

  Students sit one test for entry to all Specialist and Focus courses (no academic test for Netball). The test consists of writing, general abilities and Maths. The test requires no prior study however parents may purchase scholarship books on selective entrance tests that are available in education stores. If successful in the test you and your child will be sent a letter of confirmation.


Auditions are 15 minutes in duration and students can audition on more than one instrument. Audition after May will take place on a needs basis only. We are aware that your child may have only commenced learning their IMSS instrument recently and that they are at a beginner level. We encourage them to apply for the Music in Focus Program and book an audition anyway.
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

For further information please contact the school on 6274 1300.

Music Support Group

Parents have an opportunity to become involved in the program, help at music events and fundraise by joining the Music Support Group (MSG). MSG meets once or twice a term and more information about the Music Department becomes available through the Music Matters newsletter, which is emailed to families of all Music students (back copies are located on the school website).


  • Melville SHS Soloist Night Concert YouTube HERE
  • 33 students and 4 staff members attended the Rhapsody Rotorua Music Festival in New Zealand HERE
  • Music and Dance students at Health Week click here.

    See what Music students are doing in their newsletters:

    Music Matters April 

    Music Matters Newsletters 2016

    Music Matter December HERE

    Music Matters June HERE

    Music Matters April HERE

    Music Matters Newsletters 2015

    Music Matters December HERE

    Music Matters April HERE

    Music Matters Newsletters 2014

    Music Matters December HERE

    Music Matters September HERE

    Music Matters July HERE

    Music Matters April HERE

    Music Matters Newsletters 2013

    Music Matters December HERE

    Music Matters September HERE

    Music Matters July HERE

    Music Matters April HERE




Contact Details

Reception: (08) 6274 1300
Absentee hotline (recorded message): (08) 6274 1322
Student Services Office: (08) 6274 1321
Absentee text line: 0419 915 097
Address: Melville Senior High School
Potts Street
Melville Western Australia 6156