The artforms of visual arts, music, drama and dance can be thought about in a variety of ways. They play a significant role in how meaning is made in peoples’ lives. Visual arts, music, drama and dance offer students and people of all ages opportunities for personal expression, enjoyment, creative action, imagination, emotional response, aesthetic pleasure and the creation of shared meanings. The artforms also provide students and other people 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 within each of the artforms.
Various people contribute to how meaning is made 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 how people are involved in making, performing and appreciating, and to think about these roles in their own creative activity in visual arts, music, drama and dance.
Works in visual arts, music, drama and dance are produced that relate to the histories and traditions of these artforms and students can investigate the kinds of works that can be made in each of the artforms. For example, in Music, Drama and Dance, works are often presented in ‘real time’, that is, performed, composed or developed for an event and performed 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.