PERFORMING ARTS

Performing Arts offer a unique learning experience that pulls together imaginative and innovative thought and action. By exploring, creating and responding to the arts, students develop their ability to think ‘outside the box’ through scaffolded and sequential discipline development (the ‘hard’ skills). However, the Arts also explicitly teach the all important ‘soft’ skills such as communication, collaboration, problem-solving, leadership, empathy and perseverance. It is globally acknowledged that innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, empathy and problem-solving are core skills needed for our students to flourish in the 21st century.

Enrichment Opportunities:

Opera, theatre and concert performances; involvement in Project Prima Volta; Big Sing; chamber music competitions; festivals; youth ambassador programmes and internships; guest speakers and workshops; and student theatre competitions.

Juniors

All students entering Year 9 at HGHS will spend half a year exploring Music, Drama and Māori Performing Arts before choosing to specialise in one area. Year 9 is about engaging the mind, body and emotions to better understand individual and cultural voice, developing a lifelong passion for the Arts.

The junior Music curriculum in Year 9 and 10 has a practical focus. It is all about discovering what kind of ‘voice’ you have as a musician and artist. You will have the opportunity to develop basic to intermediate guitar skills so that you can play in a small group and accompany either yourself or another singer. You can develop basic to intermediate keyboard skills, learning chords, basic two-handed pieces and accompany a singer.

You will be given the skills to play solo and basic ensemble music using a range of instruments, including drums, individual and classroom instruments. You can develop vocal skills through dramatic technique and singing.

You can compose original songs and/or instrumental works, and use music technology to create and arrange original works. In addition to these skills, you will be given the knowledge to learn about different Music genres through listening, playing and analysis; learn to read and interpret basic music scores (notation and music theory); learn the fundamentals of instruments across cultural contexts; and interview and meet music industry professionals to learn how music skills are applied to creative industries.

Drama in Years 9 and 10 has a practical focus. It is all about discovering what kind of ‘voice’ you have as a performer and theatre participant off-stage and on-stage. You do not need to be a performer to be involved in Drama and there are many creative and interesting off-stage parts of the performance world in which you could participate. You will learn the key skills of collaboration and effective group work, creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, confidence and creative expression. 

Practically, you will be given the opportunity to use drama techniques to perform a character or role; perform in an excerpt from a script; devise and perform a drama piece; write scripts; and learn about production skills through practical workshops in makeup and design, costumes, lighting, sets, props and sound. 

You will also come to understand the features of different theatre genres and types and use these features in performance, gain an understanding of the importance of dramatic elements and conventions; learn about the different roles and jobs in the performance world, theatre and film; and interview and meet music industry professionals to learn how drama and production skills are applied to creative industries.

Seniors

Our senior Music curriculum is designed around the interests and needs of our girls. Whether you want to specialise in a particular discipline, be it performance or composition, or are interested in a particular genre, e.g. classical, contemporary popular, jazz, the Music course provides the skill and knowledge development to allow you to be the best musician you can be for NCEA and beyond. You will have the opportunity to perform solo or ensemble music, mentored by internationally-trained
musicians and specialists. You will learn to compose, arrange and record original songs or works for your solo instrument or ensemble, and develop conducting and rehearsal skills. You will analyse and discuss masterpieces of the musical canon, unpack and understand the evolution of cultural and popular genres of the 20th and 21st century, and read detailed and advanced scores using notation, chord charts and lead sheets. Through honing these skills you will develop the knowledge needed to learn about music genres and iconic performing artists through listening, playing, researching and analysing; refine your understanding of notation and music theory; develop your knowledge of instruments from all cultures, both acoustic and electronic; and interview and meet music industry professionals to learn how music skills are applied to creative industries.

Our senior Drama curriculum is tailored to the interests and needs of our girls. Whether you want to specialise in a particular area of drama or production, the Drama course provides the skill and knowledge development to allow you to be the best drama practitioner you can be, both to achieve at NCEA and to become involved in the world of theatre. There are many creative and interesting ways to participate in the creation of drama beyond performing on the stage. You will have the opportunity to perform solo or group drama performances, develop rehearsal and performance
skills and techniques. You can write scripts, devise your own drama pieces and learn to direct others. You will learn about different types of theatre forms, explore the different skills and roles that exist in performance, theatre and film; and gain in depth knowledge and experience of production skills such as stage makeup, lighting, sound, props and sets. You will also be exposed to professional performances and have the opportunity to interact with professionals working in their fields. 

PERFORMING ARTS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Hastings Girls’ High School is committed to giving our girls a platform on which to perform, as well as offering opportunities to experience professional performances, both on and off site. We provide a holistic, multidisciplinary Performing Arts programme to empower students to develop their talents, as well as enabling access to the arts for every girl, regardless of her ability. The range of performance areas we offer reflects the diversity of the school community. Our girls are encouraged to express themselves and explore their own culture as well as the culture of their peers through performance.

We strive to expose our girls to a wide range of relevant, artistic experiences, and to give them the tools to tell their stories through a variety of forms. We have forged links with external practitioners and providers to offer our girls diverse hands-on workshops and artistic encounters to support their education and development. Learning experiences outside the classroom, such as trips to theatre, concerts and marae, broaden our girls' horizons. Visiting professionals in their fields — musicians, actors, artists, poets, kaumātua — enrich and support what is provided by our teaching staff. Our school choirs, dancers, poets and Kapa Haka group, Te Rōpū Manu Huia, have been recognised as outstanding in their fields. School events and assemblies offer students an opportunity to perform in front of a warm and encouraging audience of their peers. Our students have gone on to perform in professional productions and festivals and have been inspired to pursue greatness on a bigger stage.

Our girls have a wealth of opportunities to develop their talents and get involved in various artistic and cultural groups including Kapa Haka, Improv Group, Spoken Word Poetry Society, Pacific Pride, Femmina Cappella, School Productions, Poly Group, Sabhyachar, Hip-Hop Dance and many different music groups. We also offer music and singing tuition and the chance to perform, compete and excel in a variety of different events and competitions.