artworks that exist on a flat surface, that have height and width, such as paintings and drawings


artworks that have depth as well as height and width, such as sculpture and installation


artworks that have depth, height, width and added temporal and spatial dimensions. For example, artworks that incorporate time, such as time-based installations, or artworks that incorporate performance on a moving image


specific artistic awareness, or a deep appreciation of the meaning of an artistic experience through intellectual, emotional and sensual response to a work of art

in Dance, standards of appropriateness and competency relevant to the genre/style/time/place

in Drama, involves subjective responses to non-verbal, affective and verbal devices which can be representative of genre/style/time/place

in Media Arts, involves engagement with and increasing understanding of how images, sounds and texts can be used to provoke responses

in Music, involves the subjective responses by which music is perceived and judged, which can be relevant to genre/style/time/place

in Visual Arts, the philosophical theory or set of principles governing the idea of beauty at a given time and place

art form

specific shape or quality an artistic expression takes, such as dance, drama, media arts, music and visual artworks


in Dance, the manner in which movement of the body is clearly coordinated and differentiated. For example, lifting the arm with the elbow initiating the movement

in Drama, voice: to form clear, distinct and accurate sounds for dramatic purpose; movement: to isolate and move specific parts of the body for dramatic purpose

in Music, the way a note is sung or played, such as short and detached (staccato), smooth (legato) or accented, which contributes to the overall style and interpretation


generic term for the maker of an artwork in each of the five Arts subjects


generic term for a performance or an artwork in each of the five Arts subjects. When referred to generically this curriculum uses the term ‘artwork’. Within each Arts subject, the subject-specific terms are used. Artworks are frequently described with reference to forms or styles


the established mood or feeling conveyed in an artwork or performance


individuals or groups of people who experience the arts in a range of settings and contexts (formal, informal, virtual or interactive) through intellectual, emotional and social engagement. The artist is audience to their own artwork.

aural skills

particular listening skills students develop to identify and discriminate between sounds in Music. Also referred to as ear training which involves focused listening activities through with students identify sounds such as rhythm, pitch and timbre

body awareness

focuses on the individual’s own body shapes, body bases, body parts, locomotor and non-locomotor movements

body bases

body parts that support the rest of the body. For example, when standing, the feet are the body base; when kneeling, the knees are the body base

body language

non-verbal communications through movement, gesture, facial expression, posture and proxemics (non-verbal communication)

body parts

using isolated parts or sections of the body. For example, arms, legs, head, torso, feet or hands

body zones

body areas of right side, left side, front, back, upper half and lower half


identification and portrayal of a person’s values, attitudes, intentions and actions as imagined relationships, situations and ideas in dramatic action

choreographic devices

the tools a choreographer selects and uses to communicate ideas, including: abstraction, sequence, repetition, transition, contrast, variation and canon

choreographic form

the arrangement of movement within the structure of a dance


in Media Arts, codes can be further broken down into technical codes (such as camera angles, brush strokes, body movement) and symbolic codes (such as the language, dress, actions of characters, visual symbols)

In Visual Arts, accepted ways of arranging materials into familiar forms, such as print, painting, moving image or sculpture


the placement or arrangement of elements or parts in artworks


traditional or culturally accepted ways of doing things based on audience expectations. Each art form has hundreds of conventions built up over time and widely accepted by audiences


an intellectual and physical activity where artists explore the materials and processes to produce unique objects for the purposes of: experimentation with form or function; exhibition; production; and personal or community need. Indigenous cultures draw no distinction between art and craft and, similarly, contemporary culture values the interplay between the art/craft, design/craft, the art/designer or the design/maker. The crafted and handmade sit alongside the manufactured design object as part of historical, national and cultural identities

design elements

include line, colour, shape, texture, space and form found in artworks, and incorporated in the design of performance spaces (including sets) for dance and drama

design principles

accepted conventions associated with organising design elements and can include unity, balance, hierarchy, scale, proportion, emphasis, similarity and contrast

dramatic action

the driving force and forward motion of drama to create dramatic meaning, tension, belief and audience engagement. The movement of the drama from the introduction, exposition of ideas and conflict to a resolution

dramatic meaning

a signified, intended purpose or effect interpreted from the communication of expressive dramatic action


in Dance, refers to how movement is performed, and includes the weight, force, and/or energy that are applied to movement over time. For example, heavy to light weight, strong to gentle force, or fast to slow release of energy

in Music, dynamics and expression refers to how the sound is performed, including sound qualities. For example, the relative volume and intensity of sound

elements of dance

space: where the body moves, including level, dimension, direction, shape, active space, positive space, negative space, planes, pathways, general space, personal space and performance space

time: when dance occurs (how long it takes), including metre, tempo, momentum, accent, duration, phrasing, rhythmic patterns, stillness and beat

dynamics: how dance is performed, including weight, force, energy and movement qualities

relationships: associations or connections occurring when the body dances: between body parts (for example, right arm to left arm, hand to face); the body and the floor (for example, close to, away from); the body and objects (for example, a chair, fan, stick, scarf); the body and space (for example, an expansive or limited relationship); and the body and others (for example, dance to one or more dancers)

elements of drama

role, character and relationships:

role and character : identification and portrayal of a person’s values, attitudes, intentions and actions as imagined relationships, situations and ideas in dramatic action; role focus on type and stereotype; characters are detailed and specific

relationships: the connections and interactions between people that affect the dramatic action

situation: the setting and circumstances of the dramatic action – the who, what, where, when and what is at stake of the roles/characters

voice and movement:

voice: using voice expressively to create roles, situations, relationships, atmosphere and symbols

movement: using facial expression, posture and action expressively in space and time to create roles, situations, relationships, atmosphere and symbols

focus: directing and intensifying attention and framing moments of dramatic action

tension: sense of anticipation or conflict within characters or character relationships, or problems, surprise and mystery in stories and ideas to propel dramatic action and create audience engagement

space and time:

space: the physical space of the performance and audience, fictional space of the dramatic action and the emotional space between characters

time: fictional time in the narrative or setting; timing of one moment to the next contributing to the tension and rhythm of dramatic action

language, ideas, dramatic meaning, mood and atmosphere, and symbol:

language, ideas and dramatic meaning: the choice of linguistic expression and ideas in drama used to create dramatic action

mood and atmosphere: the feeling or tone of both the physical space and the dramatic action created by or emerging from the performance

symbol: associations that occur when something is used to represent something else to reinforce or extend dramatic meaning

elements of media arts

Also known as technical and symbolic elements:







elements of music

rhythm (including tempo and metre): the organisation of sound and silence using beat, rhythm and tempo (time)

pitch: the relative highness or lowness of sound. Pitch occurs horizontally (as in a melody) and vertically (as in harmony)

dynamics and expression: the relative volume (loudness) and intensity of sound and the way that sound is articulated and interpreted

form and structure: the plan or design of a piece of music described by identifying what is the same and what is different and the ordering of ideas in the piece

timbre: the particular tone, colour or quality that distinguishes a sound or combinations of sounds

texture: the layers of sound in a musical work and the relationship between them

expressive skills

in Dance, is the use of facial expression to communicate in performance

in Drama, is the use of facial and vocal expression to communicate in performance

in Music, is the use of elements such as dynamics combined with technical skills to enhance performance


to concentrate the attention on a spatial direction or a point in space to intensify attention or increase the projection of intent. For example:

in Dance, to concentrate on the dancer’s line of sight or dramatic action

in Drama, directing and intensifying attention and framing moments of dramatic action or identifying the main idea of the drama

in Visual Arts, to draw the audience ’s attention to a particular point in the artwork


in each Arts subject, form is the whole of an artwork created by the elements and the way they are structured:

in Dance, form is the shape or structure of a dance according to a preconceived plan. For example, AB, ABA, rondo, narrative, chance

in Drama, form is the way drama is structured. Drama forms are shaped by the application of the elements of drama within particular social, cultural and historical contexts

in Music, form is the sections within a piece of music, for example, binary form (AB) contains section A, then section B; ternary form (ABA) contains section A, section B, then return to section A; rondo form (ABACA) contains section A, section B, section C, then return to section A

in Visual Arts, two-dimensional form (see 2D), three-dimensional form (see 3D) and four-dimensional form (see 4D)

found sound sources

natural and manufactured objects including stones and household objects

hybrid art form

the combination of more than one art form within an artwork


spontaneous, creative activity applying the elements of an art form:

in Dance, movement that is created spontaneously, either free-form or highly structured

in Drama, a spontaneous enactment taking on roles and situations to create dramatic action and extend an idea; usually short and are structured into a complete little play

in Music, spontaneously extending and varying music ideas in response to initial material or responses invented by other performers in an ensemble


in Media Arts, organisations that enable and constrain media production and use

key concepts (Media Arts)

languages: refers to the system of signs or symbols that media artworks use to communicate ideas and stories. The language system is a combination of symbolic codes and the technical form of media arts technologies. The language systems of media artworks use and control technical and symbolic elements to communicate meaning

technologies: the tools and processes which are essential for producing, accessing and distributing media

institutions: the individuals, communities and organisations that influence, enable and constrain media production and use. Institutions are framed by the social, historical and cultural context

audiences: the individuals or groups for whom media artworks are made and who respond as consumers, citizens and creative individuals. audiences engage and interact based on expectation and experience

representation: the act of representing people, places and times, shared social values and beliefs through images, sounds and text, or a combination of these. The representations are a constructed reality

kinaesthetic intelligence

involves how well an individual perceives and controls their body in terms of physical activity and/or fine motor skills within the space of a dance

locomotor movement

travelling movements, movement from one space to another such as walking, running, hopping, skipping, leaping or crawling


physical resources, equipment including technologies, and information used to make artworks. For example, paint, digital camera, pencil, drum and/or clarinet


the material used in making an artwork

movement vocabulary

the accumulation of movement, steps, gestures that make up a repertoire for physical expression of feelings or ideas


artworks that incorporate a broad range of media including graphics, text, digital media, audio or video

non-locomotor movement

movement of the body occurring above a stationary base, on the spot movements. Also called axial movement. For example, bending, stretching, twisting, shaking, bouncing, rising, sinking, pushing, pulling, or swinging and swaying


written symbols that represent and communicate sound. Notation can be invented, recognisable to a traditional style or culture, or digitally created


in Dance, patterns created in the air or on the floor by the body or body parts as a dancer moves in and through space

performance style

a type of dramatic expression communicated for a particular effect with distinguishing features and appearance


in Music, the highness or lowness of a sound


creating a play through improvisation or devising


the application of Arts skills and knowledge to create, represent, communicate and respond in a specific art form


regularly revising, developing and consolidating skills, techniques and repertoire as a class or as an individual

process drama

a method of teaching and learning drama where both the students and teacher are working in and out of role


in Dance, the communication of meaning through extension and focus of the body

in Drama, the loudness of the voice of an actor, and how it is carried to the audience

purposeful play

is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations (Early Years Learning Framework)


the expression or designation of a character, place, idea, image or information by some other term, character, symbol, diagram, image, sound or combination of visual and aural expression, based on shared social values and beliefs:

in Media Arts, one of the five key concepts

a concept in Visual Arts


in Dance, combination of long and short movements

in Music, combinations of long and short sounds that convey a sense of movement subdivision of sound within a beat

in Media Arts, a technique or effect achieved in editing


adopting identification and portrayal of a person’s values, attitudes, intentions and actions and portraying these as imagined relationships, situations and ideas in dramatic action


to pretend to be someone else

safe dance practices

can be defined as the practice of selecting and executing safe movement. The focus is on providing dance activities and exercises which allow students to participate without risk of injury. All dance movement should be performed relevant to an individual’s body type and capabilities


the dramatic action that occurs in a particular time and place; a section of a play


a collection of notated representations of sound used to communicate musical information. Scores can use graphic, traditional, invented or stylistically specific symbols


the linking together of series of ideas, much like words are linked together to form sentences and paragraphs:

in Dance, a choreographic device where movements are linked together to form a series of movements/phrases

in Media Arts, a series of still and/or moving images with or without sound are intentionally put into an order

in Music, a melodic, rhythmic or harmonic pattern. It can also describe the process or product of arranging blocks of music using ‘sequencing’ software

story principles

in Media Arts, selecting and organising the elements of structure, intent, characters, settings and points of view within the conventions of a genre, such as a Hollywood love story that follows a pattern of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl


the influencing context of an artwork, such as Impressionist in Visual Arts; ballet or hip hop in Dance; Romanticism in Music; or postmodern, twenty-first century or contemporary, among many others.

technical skills

combination of proficiencies in control, accuracy, alignment, strength, balance and coordination in an art form that develop with practice:

in Dance: proficiencies developed through the acquisition of appropriate strength, flexibility, coordination and endurance in the performance of body actions, locomotor and non-locomotor movements, and developed with practice to perform in specific dance styles

in Music: proficiencies developed with practice in order to sing or play instruments


in Dance, the acquisition and execution of dance skills within a given dance style or genre

in Drama, techniques include ways of using voice and movement to create role and dramatic action; also techniques in lighting, sound, set building and painting, costume making, and make-up

in Music, the capacity to control a voice or instrument in order to produce a desired sound

in Visual Arts, the manner of making or skills used in making an artwork


the tools and equipment that can be materials for making and responding. One of the five key concepts in Media Arts


the particular tone, colour or quality that distinguishes sound or combinations of sounds


in Drama, tone of voice

in Music, the particular characteristics of a sound

in Visual Arts, the lightness or darkness of a colour (value)


a collection of perspectives, lenses or frames through which artworks can be explored and interpreted

visual conventions

combinations of components and approaches, such as combinations of elements, design principles, composition and style

visual devices

combinations of approaches or techniques in compositions and representations

visual elements

see design elements

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