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Discover more about Performing Arts

Grow Your Confidence

“Art doesn’t give rise to anything in us that isn’t already there. It simply stirs our curious consciousness and sparks a fire that illuminates who we have always wanted to be.” Kamand Kojouri.

Performing Arts at QM comprises Music, Drama and Dance. Develop team working skills and resilience, grow your confidence, creativity, analytical understanding and global communication through Performing Arts at QM. Create a lasting and positive impact on your future studies whilst developing a solid skill set - skills for the arts, skills for academia, skills for your career and skills for life.

Watch an insight into Music at QM from the Head of Music, Dr Samantha Horseman.

Watch an insight into Drama at QM from the Director of Drama, Mary Griffin.

The Performing Arts Curriculum

Drama (GCSE)

Years IV - V (14-16 years), Key Stage 4

GCSE Drama allows the study of texts in greater depth and for the production of practical work that is the product of a long rehearsal process. The three key areas of the course include a group devised piece; a scripted performance and a written examination exploring the creative elements of the script and live theatre experience.

Drama (Key Stage 3)

Years I - III (11-14 years), Key Stage 3

QM’s Drama Department is a living, breathing organism a flurry with actors, directors, dancers, technicians, stage managers, artists and academics. As our strong tradition of outstanding Drama grows, so does our ambition. Those who wish to pursue a career in the arts, as well as those who thrive on the academic rigour of analysing and exploring texts are encouraged to study with us.

Drama and Theatre (A Level)

Sixth Form (Years LVI-UVI), Key Stage 5

Drama and Theatre in Key Stage 5 is concerned with the study of live performance. Students will hone their skills as a theatre maker, as well as analysing theatrical practitioners of the past and present to reach an understanding of what creates great theatre. Looking at a range of Drama styles and techniques they will attend live theatre to gain inspiration for their own work.

With outstanding facilities including a technical theatre with full time technician, state of the art theatre, sound and lighting systems and a full-scale carpenters’ workshops below the Centenary Building. Beneath the School are the old vaults, which store in excess of 1000 costumes and prop items. Students have full access to this fantastic resource when developing their examination work and showcases. Alongside the fantastic theatre, there is also additional practical rehearsal space (the Grey Area) and a traditional classroom for academic Drama lessons in which students analyse texts and prepare for written examinations. The Department regularly welcomes visiting Practitioners to run workshops and in the past these have included Frantic Assembly, Stomp, West End Choreographers, Puppeteers, Dramaturges, Actors and Signers.

Music (A Level)

Sixth Form (Years LVI-UVI), Key Stage 5

A Level Music is a stimulating and rewarding course designed to challenge, enrich and development keen musicians graduating from study at GCSE. Whilst a natural option for vocational musicians, it is also a highly valued A Level among Universities due to the academic rigours of the course; with our students demonstrating resilience, commitment to their craft and a breadth of both creative and analytical skills. Our students will study classical and popular compositional techniques, supported with one-to-one tuition in this area. Academically, the girl’s study in great detail; the development of the Classical Symphony, Rock and Pop, Aural Analysis Skills and 20th Century styles (Neoclassicism, Impressionism and Expressionism). Practically, the completion of the A Level Recital is a wonderful occasion in the school year in which we celebrate what is often a high point in our students’ performing career so far. We undertake a rigorous preparation process to ensure our girls’ are confident and in the months preceding, all of our musicians have complimentary access to our Head of Keyboard Studies and Accompanist, Miss Kornas who provides invaluable additional support as a repetiteur. We carefully choose repertoire specifically tailored to our students’ individual strengths and most notably, the students benefit from the option of working towards chamber ensemble repertoire working alongside our fantastic Visiting Music Teachers. Often, it is in working alongside our professional musicians that we often see our student’s rise to their full potential.

Music (GCSE)

Years IV - V (14-16 years), Key Stage 4

GCSE Music not only gives an excellent foundation for further study at A Level but also imparts a wealth of transferable and lifelong skills including analytical essay writing, creativity through composition and confidence fostered through performance and ensemble projects. Students undoubtedly emerge from GCSE Music as more rounded and capable musicians and our small class sizes mean that our students benefit from individual one-to-one support when it comes to the coursework to really ensure they fulfil their creative potential. The course covers Performance (30% coursework), Composition (30% coursework) and Written/Listening Paper (40%) covering a stimulating and exciting breadth of study, from the historical eras of Baroque, Classical and Romantic Music to Jazz, Rock and Film Music. Lessons are often characterized by hard work, laughter and it is often a joy to see the GCSE class develop a close bond through a shared love of Music and support for one another’s performances throughout the course.

Music (Key Stage 3)

Years I - III (11-14 years), Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, the girls follow a varied programme which will equip them with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to enjoy engaging with music, whether in a formal or informal context. The building of confidence, communication, rehearsal and ensemble skills are core to our approach and lessons are always fully inclusive and hands-on. As they progress, girls will get increasing opportunities to work in small groups to develop independent learning skills. Our ‘Just Play’ units ensure that all girls have functional skills at the piano, guitar and ukulele with stylistic and theoretical knowledge built into the schemes pragmatically. Other topics include Jazz, Find your voice, Japanese Taiko and African Djembe Drumming, Writing Protest Songs and musical technology skills. We often hear the work covered in these classes being practised or sung by the girls in and around the school and the student’s get clear satisfaction in our end of topic performances.

I would like to be a Lawyer, and am finding that the Drama course has helped me with my presentation and communication skills.

QM Girl

Music, Drama and Dance also form a key part of our extracurricular offering.

Learn more about our co-curricular musical activities:

Delivering Instrumental Excellence

Queen Margaret’s Annual Concert Series

A Strong Choral Tradition

Facilitating and Celebrating Individual Success

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An Exceptional Education

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