John Curtin’s music program provides your child with high level opportunities to develop skills and a love for music through performances, composition/arrangement, aural perception and music literature analysis and investigation.

With dedication to the pursuit of excellence throughout Years 7 to 12, students will be equipped to apply for entrance into tertiary music courses at the University of Western Australia or the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Music program components are:

• musicianship – aural perception skills, music language and theory, keyboard skills

• music literature – genres, eras, composers and compositional styles

• concert practice – techniques of public performance.

In Year 7 and 8 students study world, rock, classical and jazz music. Year 9 students examine music and its role in advertising, film, art and theatre. Year 10 students study Western Art Music and Contemporary Music as preparation for Year 11 subject selection.

Students in Year 11 and 12 are offered a course leading to tertiary entrance rank (TER) requirements through the WACE music courses in Western Art Music or Contemporary Music.

Music Enrichment (Class Music)

Students participate in four class lessons per week in the development of practical skills and music literacy. Activities include aural analysis, score analysis, investigations, composition, arrangement, keyboard skill development and performance practice.


Students have one individual instrumental lesson for 30 minutes per week on one of the following:

Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Classical guitar, Double bass, Electric guitar, Euphonium, Flute, Horn, Oboe, Percussion, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin and Voice.

Voice students participate in a small group vocal lesson to begin, then individual lessons.

Students in Years 7 to 10 have their lesson timetabled on a rotational basis during the school day and Year 11 and 12 students have their lesson during recess or out of school hours.


Participation in ensembles is compulsory and music students are placed in the ensemble appropriate to their instrument and skill level. There are two rehearsals per week. Lower school Gifted and Talented music students are members of a compulsory choir in addition to their designated ensemble.

The college offers two string ensembles, a symphony orchestra, three wind orchestras, jazz band, five choirs, two classical guitar ensembles, two contemporary guitar ensembles, a percussion ensemble and a flute choir. In addition there are chamber group opportunities for selected students to provide additional skill development and extension.

Selection process

Selection of students is through music audition, interviews and school reports. All Gifted and Talented applicants are required to sit the Selective Entrance Test coordinated by the Department of Education.

Selection criteria:

Music aptitude demonstrated through:

  • achievement in the standardised test ‘Advanced Measures of Music Audiation’ by Edwin E. Gordon
  • achievement in music performance (instrumental or vocal)
  • achievement in aural perception/vocalisation test
  • Academic and other achievement as indicated through school reports and interview.

Apply for entry into the Gifted and Talented Music Program here.