New innovative arts education space at the University of Melbourne

With soundproof flooring, pull-out seats and an attractive light-filled piazza complete with a grand piano, the University of Melbourne’s new arts education space studioFive is every arts teacher’s dream.

New arts education space at the University of Melbourne
A new art space has been designed to maximise teaching and learning (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Comprising specialist studios for drama, music and visual art, studioFive is multi-purpose built and can be tailored to teaching styles in each artistic discipline from media to dance.

Led by Professor Susan Wright, Chair of Arts Education, this unique space brings together visiting fellows, artists-in-residence and over 50 doctoral and masters students to generate teaching practices that will meet the needs of 21st-century learners.

“The arts support the development of fine motor skills, creativity and expression, and are a vital part of a child’s learning. We’ve created an environment in which artistic approaches to teaching and learning are practiced, and can flourish and develop,” said Professor Wright.

Designed by PTID in collaboration with academics in Arts Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the University of Melbourne’s Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), lead designer Ben Lornie said the space was designed to maximise teaching and learning.

“We worked closely with the university to envision new ways of designing space to support teachers, students and researchers in twenty-first-century learning environments. This space is the most adaptable learning environment of its kind in the world; it sets a new benchmark for Arts teaching,” he said. “Flexible furniture and glass acoustic sliding doors enable each room to transform easily, changing from an open rehearsal area to a private lecture theatre in seconds.”

Fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including 64 video channels that can be streamed to the Science of Learning Research Classroom lab, a wide body of research will also be collected and housed by studioFive.

“This technology-rich space will help support our educators and learners to examine the principles and practices of the arts in education and engage in a range of learner-orientated, cross-disciplinary research projects,” said Professor Wright.

Dean of Education Professor Field Rickards said the long-awaited arts education space is a much welcome addition to the Graduate School.

“The benefits of the arts are for everyone, and I look forward to seeing not just our students use this space but also schools, community groups, and the broader arts industry.”

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