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- lessons are held in Williamstown, VIC

Melinda has been teaching VCE Contemporary Voice for many years, preparing students for the end-of-year performance exam and all singing assessments (SACs). She has been a VCAA panelist for VCE Contemporary Voice and has presented workshops and mastersclasses for students, singing and school teachers and music associations, including; the Association of Music Educators (aMuse), the Australian National Association for Teachers of Singing (ANATS) and the Victorian Music Teachers Association (VMTA).

VCE Music Performance: SACs & the End-of-Year Performance Exam


The role of the singing teacher is to prepare the student for assessments involving singing, of which here are two "SACs" (School Assessed Coursework) per semester, across two years (Units 1-4). At the end of Unit 4, students present a 25-minute performance to two VCAA assessors (external exams). Singing lessons during the Units 3 & 4 year focus on the performance exam, and the vocal techniques required for the individual songs in the program.





Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Technical SAC 1

Technical SAC 2

Technical SAC 1

Technical SAC 2

Performance SAC 1

Performance SAC 2

Performance SAC 1

Performance SAC 2


Performance Exam

(& music language exam)

End-of-Year Performance Exam (October)
Students have 25-minutes to present a program, to a panel of two VCAA assessors.
The songs are selected from the current VCAA Priscribed List of Notated Solo Works for Contemporary Voice.
Students select, in consultation with Melinda, a "vocalise" (technical study), and then at least 5 songs from other categories. The aim is to present a contrasting program of songs that displays the best features of the singer's voice, musicality and expressive styles.

* Not all SACs are listed here - just the SACs related to content covered in singing lessons.




Although I have students start lessons with me at the commencement of Unit 3 & 4, it is MUCH better to start working with students in Units 1 and 2, or earlier. There are many required skills to demonstrate in VCE singing assessments, and the more time I have to work on these skills with students, the better.


If starting lessons at the commencement of Units 3 & 4 in 2017, I require the student to take 2-3 lessons before or during the Summer holidays. This is very much for the student's benefit, and provides a head-start for the following year.



Students select either a 45- or 60-minute lesson each week. A half-hour lesson is not enough time to get through everything. Aside from assessments, we also work on developing a range of vocal techniques and learning how to sing convincingly, in different styles. We work on presenting each song with vocal and musical expression. Students also need to be able to 'put on a show', by performing songs in an engaging and confident manner.


Students also work on other musical skills, such as improvisation, sight singing and improvisation.



Students must commit to regular, good quality practice, of no less than five times per week, and complete all set tasks. There is a lot of material to get through in VCE, and it takes time to develop good technique, to learn to sing in different styles, and to learn to present songs confidently. Students will be given vocal exercise tracks to practise with at home.



Sheet music:  students are required to purchase their own copies of sheet music, at a cost of approx. $6-$7 per song.

(I am not able to provide photo copies)


Backing tracks: some students like to sing along to a backing track in their exam. Cost per song is under $5.


Accompanist: students will need an accompanist for their October performance exam, and possibly for the school Performance SACs. The set VMTA hourly rate for accompanists is $74 p.h. Students are strongly advised to schedule several rehearsals well before the exam. I will provide students with the names of experienced VCE accompanists.



I urge students to get as much performance experience before their Performance Exam as possible. Nerves can be cruel, and the best way to learn to manage the nerves, fear or anxiety is to perform as much as possible. Vocal eisteddfods (competitions) are great for performance experience. Singing exams (AMEB, Trinity, ANZCA) are really great for preparing VCE students for assessed performances.



Parents often ask if I can assist with theory and aural skills. Yes! I often hold lessons for students needing help in this area. Also, check out my VCE textbooks, "VCE Music Language Essentials", which are used in most secondary schools.

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