Couch Fest ’23

On September 8th we were proud to run our annual Visual and Performing Arts festival, Couch Fest, which saw Vocational Major students from across the college including Visual Arts, Performance and VM General students plan and coordinate a one night only festival that was attended by over 750 friends, family and members of the public. With the incredible support of their teachers led by the inimitable Alex Tsenalidis, Shelley Scown and Gemma Saunders; Couch Fest ’23 was our most successful Visual and Performing Arts Festival ever.

Music Performance students who had formed bands and choirs throughout the year, performed across three venues: our 300-seat auditorium, the Backyard Jam area and its Tiny House and the Recital Room; all while being supported by the student-led backstage sound production crews.

The Art Immersion students set up stalls to sell work they had produced over the semester. Their products were inspired by an environmental social cause of their choice, with part of the profits going to their chosen charity. Students set up several stalls including the very successful Eco Café which sold numerous coffees, hot chocolates, toasties, and homemade brownies, as well as a clothing and entertainment exchange and jar stall, that aimed to re-purpose and reuse our resources.

VCE Business Studies students ran several other stalls as did some other Arts students. Pre-apprenticeship VM students did a fantastic job directing the parking and ensuring that visitors were able to park quickly, smoothly and safely.

As the title suggested Couchfest was out of this world with over 750 people coming to the event, including several former students whom we were delighted to see and catch up with. A huge congratulations to all the students and staff involved – it was a magnificent effort.

With over 750 friends, family and members of the public in attendance, Couch Fest ’23 was our most successful Visual and Performing Arts Festival ever.


Northern College of the Arts and Technology (NCAT) in Preston is a Year 10 – 12 Government School and Registered Training Organisation. RTO Number 6736

NCAT VCE VM Couchfest Visual Performing Arts

VCE Student a Superstar in the Making

Year 11 VCE student, Hope, is making a name for herself in the Music Industry in leaps and bounds. Hope has been cast in this year’s Victorian State School Spectacular as a principal vocalist and has appeared in promotional material and interviews about the event.

In addition, Hope was asked to perform the Australian National Anthem at this years ANZAC Day State Luncheon which is an incredible honour. As a result of her performance, she was asked by the Victorian Shrine of Remembrance to professionally record the Australian National Anthem. This recording is now played in ‘The Sanctuary’ at the Shrine once a month during their services, which occur over 200 times a year.

We wish Hope all the best as she pursues her passion in singing and performing!

Hope is currently studying a Certificate III in Music (Performance) at NCAT.


Couchfest 2022

Congratulations to all students, staff, volunteers and performers of this year’s NCAT Couchfest. After running smaller versions over the last two years, NCAT Couchfest was back with the biggest one yet. Originating in 2015, Couchfest is a student-led event showing the incredible talents of our VCE Vocational Major (VM) students across Visual and Performing Arts and General VCE VM.

Performance VCE VM students studying  a Certificate II in Dance or Music or a Certificate III in Music Performance or Sound Production, worked as a production company to plan and organise the music and performance event with over 30 bands, solo acts, dance and theatre performances. The performances wowed the 500 strong audience across a number stages.

Visual Arts Immersion VCE VM students worked tirelessly to create artworks and products for sale at over a dozen student-run market stalls and General VCE VM students ran recycled clothing stall and sustainable cafe.

The well-known food truck Taco Truck sold out all its food. Many past students visited, and it was great for visitors to come and see exactly what NCAT students can do. 




Music (Performance)

The music industry and sound production trade is in high demand nationwide. Recent years have seen a growth in industry demand for sound engineers, producers, mixers and Foley artists skilled in digital technology. Beyond the music industry, employment is also possible across film, television, gaming and digital device sectors.

The Certificate III In Music strongly focuses on providing students with a broad skill set that will enable them a wide range of employment opportunities within the music industry. NCAT music trainers work in and consult with industry. Trainers also participate in government reference groups to ensure our curriculum remains consistent with emerging trends. Purpose built facilities demonstrate sustainable practices, furnished with a fully equipped recording studio, digital audio workstations and multi media labs.

Students are able to record using some of the finest equipment that you would normally only find in professional recording studios. This includes:

  • Music recital room with a Kawai grand piano.

  • Ten music rehearsal rooms.

  • Two computer labs, each equipped with twenty-five music workstations comprising Arturia keyboards, Arrow audio interfaces, Apple iMacs with Pro Tools, Ableton Live and other audio & music programs installed.

  • Two purpose built dance studios with sprung floors.

  • Purpose built Theatre Studies room with sprung floor and theatre lighting.

Music (Performance) enables you to:


Perform in various ensembles across multiple genres.


Work collaboratively and re-interpret popular music.


Plan, prepare and promote gigs as a part of a group.


Expand on your musical language and critically listen.

The NCAT Music trainers consult with industry and government reference groups to ensure our curriculum remains consistent with emerging trends. Purpose-built facilities demonstrate sustainable practices, furnished with a fully equipped recording studio, digital audio workstations and multimedia labs.

TestimonialsPeter Myers (Former Head of Department, Music)

“The equipment we've got is industry standard. We've got a recording studio that is as good as any commercial recording studio that you would find.”

TestimonialsMonique Hirschfeld (Music Student)

“I love how music connects you to an audience and how it makes people feel.”

TestimonialsZac Lister (Head of Music Department and Sound Production Teacher)

“The most important part of having industry standard gear is when the real world, they know what it is. They see it they’re not daunted.”

TestimonialsMonique Hirschfeld (Music Student)

“They know that this is not just a thing you want to do, it's a passion.”

(1 / 5)

Course Structure

The NCAT Certificate III in Music Performance stream course focuses on exploring genre, building stagecraft, writing original compositions and performing live at multiple school events. A major performance is organised by the students as a culmination of the year’s work. This course has a scored assessment for ATAR purposes at Unit 3 & 4 levels.

Activities & Tasks

Students complete a broad range of activities including but not limited to: collaborative songwriting and re-interpreting popular music; opportunity to perform in various ensembles across multiple genres; planning, preparing and promoting a gig as part of a group; improvisation and stagecraft techniques; music language and critical listening; opportunity to record original music in the NCAT recording studio; WHS for music practice and performance; copyright and contracts for performers and songwriters.


The assessment involves a variety of methods including observations, written and oral questioning, reviews and practical demonstrations. The assessment of your overall competence at this certificate level is undertaken by a qualified assessor and your competence judged using all of the relevant criteria.

Students will be given a fair and adequate assessment process that includes multiple opportunities to demonstrate competency

Eligibility & Prerequisites

A reasonable standard of musicianship is needed for this course.
All students must attend a fifteen-minute interview.