Music & Drama

Music 

Music plays an integral role at Kew House School and is inclusive for all students and abilities

The Music department at Kew House School is an All Steinway School Initiative with a brand-new Steinway & Sons designed Boston medium grand piano in the Theatre and brand-new Steinway & Sons designed Essex upright pianos in the practice rooms. The Music department consists of two full time teachers of Music, plus twenty peripatetic instrumental teachers. There are 12 Apple Mac computers with software including Sibelius, GarageBand and Logic ProX, 4 practice rooms, alongside the main teaching room and the Theatre space. 

The Music department offers a wide variety of musical opportunities for all our students ranging from: beatboxing and steel pan workshops, workshops with the London Community Gospel Choir, regular concerts for all ensembles, trips to leading performance venues in London such as the Royal Opera House, trips to musicals such as Wicked and Matilda, as well as choir tours to Europe (Venice in May 2016 and Tuscany in June 2018), in addition to the weekly class Music lessons. As an academic subject, taught on a weekly basis, Music engages all students in the key skills of performing, composing and appraising.

There are numerous Vocal ensembles (Year 7 choir, Year 8 choir, Cantate (senior choir), Kew Voices (a capella choir) and the Parent and Staff choir) as well as Instrumental ensembles (Orchestra, Jazz band, Rock band, Classical guitar, String, Brass and Flute ensemble) that rehearse on a weekly basis.

We offer a full range of instrumental music lessons in school. Lessons take place on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school between 4-6pm, to minimise any disruption to other academic subjects. 

 

Image from the Gardener Schools Joint Orchestral Concert at Kew House, conducted by James Blair MBE

 

Drama & Theatre Studies

‘We must all do theatre, to find out who we are and to discover who we could become.’ – Augusto Boal

At Kew House, students can opt to study Drama from Year 9. We follow the AQA GSCE Drama syllabus which allows students to pursue acting and/or design options such as set, lighting, costume or puppet design. The course offers both practical and written components.  Students create their own work, as well as exploring play-texts and go on LOTS of trips to the theatre.

At A-Level students also study the AQA syllabus which inspires students to become independent learners with the skills they need to go on to higher education, whether that is to study a course in drama and theatre or another subject. This qualification emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding. Students learn through experience, and will gain many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Extra-curricular Drama

Kew House offers a rich programme with weekly clubs for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students. In these clubs, students develop their Drama skills and socialise – it’s serious fun. We also offer a Film Club where students can learn about this exciting art form and make their own movies.

At Kew House students have the opportunity to enter local and national performing arts competitions such as:

  • The English-Speaking Union’s ‘Performing Shakespeare’ Competition’
  • The Independent Schools’ Association Drama Festival
  • Richmond-Upon-Thames Performing Arts Festival.

In the past we have had great success with these competitions, with KHS students taking first place in many categories.

Students from Kew House have also taken part in the National Youth Theatre (NYT) and National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) summer programmes; and several students have successfully auditioned for the Youth Lyric, NYT, and NYMT companies and productions.

 

Productions 

Every November we showcase our main school production, usually a musical. These productions give the students a flavour of what it’s like to be in a professional production, whether on stage or behind the scenes.

Past productions include:

  • ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream-coat’
  • ‘Guys ‘n’ Dolls’
  • ‘Pygmalion’
  • ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
  • ‘High Society’

At the end of the summer term, the focus turns to our youngest performers with the annual Year 7 and 8 Summer Showcase. Students from these year groups present a range of scenes from Shakespeare and other classic plays, interspersed with musical and dance items.

Students may also study for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) grades with our specialist teacher on Mondays and Tuesdays after school. KHS students have maintained a 100% pass rate and several of our senior students have attained their Gold Medal.

 

 

 Image taken from the production of 'High Society'.

 

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