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

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 (Sound Production)

Write and perform songs. Collaborate on music. Organise shows. Practice and perform in a solo and group environment by taking part in the Certificate III in Music Performance. This two-year course will help you to being to establish your personal brand as a musician. Learn the music language and performance skills to develop your stagecraft, promotions and song writing.

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 course strongly focuses on providing students with a broad skill set that will enable them a wide range of employment opportunities within the music industry.

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 (Sound Production) enables you to:


Collaborate with like-minded people.


Develop yourself as a musical artist.


Better understand the current music industry landscape.


Perform and produce a range of music in a range of contexts.

NCAT music trainers work in and consult with industry. Trainers participate in 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)

“You can do Sound Production here, which is what I did. It really opened up a new world to me, being able to be my own producer.”

TestimonialsBianca Hirschfeld (Music Student)

“They also have really great MIDI keyboards which can enable you to play around with digital music software."

TestimonialsZac Lister (Head of Music and Sound Production Teacher)

“I see us as the first level, where they need to be gaining the skills that they will need to step into some part of the industry.”

(1 / 5)

Course Structure

Recording and mixing live sound are the major focus areas of the course. Students are given multiple opportunities to set up and operate live audio for concerts and other events. Multiple digital audio workstations are available for students to develop skills in recording programs. Students gain skills required to work creatively and effectively in the music industry. This course has a scored assessment for ATAR purposes at units 3 & 4 level.

Activities & Tasks

Students complete a broad range of activities including but not limited to: setting up and operating live sound equipment and mixing for events such as the annual music festival and school musical; setting up, recording and mixing music in an industry standard recording studio; recording, mixing, mastering and producing for a range of bands and artists; installing and programming of lighting systems; investigating methods and techniques used in recording bands and artists; planning, preparing and promoting music and other events.


Units of competency are assessed using a variety of methods including practical observation, written and research tasks and case studies.

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

Eligibility & Prerequisites

If you have any individual needs, please contact NCAT to discuss these needs.