The Dance Department at MAGS is a vibrant and high-performing department with students of all year levels involved in both curricular and co-curricular activities.
Dance can be taken from Year 9 up to Scholarship level and is a fully recognised University entrance subject.
At Mount Albert Grammar we cater for students who have prior experience and high ability through our Academy extension programme, as well as providing entry-level classes at Years 9-11. Many students who have only ever experienced Dance at MAGS have taken the subject through to tertiary level.
Students in Dance experience a number of different dance styles and learn about the context and history of these dances. They also learn to about the creative process and choreograph their own works.
There are many co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities in Dance through the MAGS Hip Hop Mega Crew, jazz and contemporary performance groups and cultural dance groups. We have an annual dance concert at the end of Term 1 in which all classes and students perform and present choreography, and Dance is a feature of the Junior Bytes concert in Term 3. We actively seek opportunities for our dancers to perform both in school and in outside events. There are also leadership opportunities through the student Arts Committee.
The Drama Department at MAGS is a vibrant meeting place for Performing Arts students and an excellent subject choice for students who wish to pursue a career in acting, as well as for those who enjoy performing, and who want to develop self-confidence. The courses we offer in Drama include:
- Year 9: Drama Academy – full year
- Year 10: Drama as an Option subject – full year
- Years 11-13 NCEA Drama Levels 1-3. Drama is also a literacy subject for the University Entrance qualification
- Year 13: Scholarship Drama
Students study different forms of theatre, including Shakespeare, Epic Theatre, Greek Theatre, Commedia dell’Arte, and New Zealand Theatre. The core acting techniques of body, voice, movement and space are studied at each level, as well as devising and script work. Emphasis is placed on participation and collaboration, as well as honing acting skills. Senior students present one large scale class production each year. Past productions include Marat/Sade, Lysistrata, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage, Metamorphoses, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Grimm’s Tales.
One of the highlights for Year 11 students is their performance in period costume at the historic house, Alberton, while Year 10 have fun performing in mask for primary school students. Junior students have the opportunity to perform at Centennial Theatre in the Term 3 concert Junior Bytes, and Senior students in the Arts Alive, which are showcase events for family and friends.
Drama students experience the work of professional theatre through trips to live performances by companies such as Auckland Theatre Company, the Pop Up Globe, Indian Ink, and Red Leap Theatre. Attending live performance enables students to reflect on their own work and become critical practitioners. Teachers in Drama encourage students to aim for excellence and reach their full potential.
Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Competition
All students at MAGS have the opportunity to audition to perform in the national Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Competition which is held at the end of Term 1. Senior students choose scenes to direct and run the auditions. This is a great opportunity to perform with students of different ages, to experiment, and work collaboratively on innovative projects.
Theatresports is a fun, whanau orientated group of enthusiastic young people who meet once a week after school. Emphasis is placed on participation and growth of improvisation skills with training from student leaders and outside experts. Students are selected to represent the school in exchanges and in an Auckland-wide Theatresports competition. This group is available to students of all Year levels and experience.
Drama students may go on to tertiary study, auditioning to study acting at Unitec or Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School; or study Theatre Studies at a university, leading to a BA, MA, PhD, and Diploma in Teaching.
The Music Department at Mount Albert Grammar offers a range of opportunities to enable all students to participate, and while we nurture the academic and practical aspects of the subject, we also emphasise the
enjoyment of music.
We offer music lessons for piano, guitar, most orchestral instruments, percussion/drums, and vocal tuition. Students are also encouraged to join our various ensembles, including our award-winning String Orchestra and Jazz Band, a Concert Band, School Orchestra, Chamber Group, Rock Band, and the Headmaster’s Choir, Ad Augusta. The musicians in these groups gain practical experience performing in various venues throughout the year.
We offer the following at the various year levels:
Year 9: An Option subject for one semester, two hours per week. Includes aural training, theory, music literacy, research, and recording original music (radio jingles and movie soundtracks).
Year 10: An Option subject for the whole year, two hours per week, or for one semester, four hours per week. Includes aural training, solo and group performance, composition, research, and score reading.
Year 11: NCEA Level 1. Includes solo and group performances, composition, the research and analysis of two contrasting music works, score-reading skills, and aural training. There are 30 credits available to choose from.
Year 12: NCEA Level 2. Includes solo and group performances, composition, the research and analysis of two contrasting music works, score-reading skills, aural training, and a New Zealand topic. There are 41 credits available to choose from.
Year 13: NCEA Level 3. Includes solo and group performances, composition and songwriting portfolios, the research and analysis of a substantial composition, tonal and harmonic analysis, aural skills, the influence of context on a substantial composition, and researching a music topic. There are 58 credits available to choose from.
Extra tuition for those wishing to sit Scholarship Music is also offered. Music at MAGS is a university-approved subject enabling students to go on to study Music at tertiary level.