Most people spend their lives trying to uncover their true passion; something that wakes them up in the morning and makes them enthused for the day ahead. Some search their whole lives for the thing that makes them tick, but for creative minds this can seem almost a calling, something woven deeply into their DNA.
It might be tenacity on a drum kit, the ability to take on any role onstage or the ear needed to conduct an entire symphonic orchestra. Everyone has a different aptitude within performing arts, and with the right path through creative education, these passions can be honed into professional expression.
At the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University, these creative pursuits are explored and developed through a range of innovative programs, designed to prepare students for the professional industries beyond graduation.
Located in Kingston, a Canadian city set on the stunning Lake Ontario, students at Dan School enjoy one of the best – and one of the happiest – university towns in Canada.
Here, performing arts leaders deliver expertly balanced degrees that seamlessly integrate theory and practice, giving students the tools needed to turn their innate passions into core professional expertise.
Whether students wish to study theatre – including acting, directing, theatre and dramatic history – music, or film studies, the Dan School of Drama and Music is committed to nurturing talent and providing cross-disciplinary education that broadens creative horizons.
For students wishing to explore music as a medium for intellectual growth and personal expression, the Dan School music degree encourages students to develop top-level performance skills alongside essential music and academic literacy at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. The Isabel gives students the chance to study and perform in a world-renowned concert hall and waterfront rehearsal rooms, inspiring them to let their talents shine in the spotlight.
In line with the school’s commitment to interdisciplinary creative education, the new Bachelor of Music Theatre trains students in the field through a ‘triple threat’ integrated program, incorporating acting, singing, dancing and the study of music theatre as a liberal arts subject through personalized instruction and coaching, creative groupwork, and basic music theory, all of which is complemented by a liberal arts approach.
This broad degree program prepares students to excel in performance skills in front of audiences, in the studio, mainstage and in unique productions, also teaching them to create and produce original theatrical pieces beyond their studies.
But not everyone’s world is a stage; for some creative minds, the camera and on-screen action is their niche. That’s why the Dan School of Music and Drama offers the Stage and Screen study option, allowing students to explore the varied types of visual media used in this blockbuster industry.
The concentration includes historical inquiries into the forces that have shaped cinema and media; critical analysis of film, television and video productions; theories exploring the principles and functions of film; and the methods of making film and video, all while using film like a specimen in scientific investigation.
Momentarily delving away from the arts, the Dan School of Art and Drama is not afraid to explore 21st century needs in the industry, demonstrated through undergraduate online courses and the first cross-campus certificate program in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, newly announced in June.
“If one considers all the many contributing disciplines involved in the creation, design, building, marketing and management of a theatrical production, it becomes clear why the Dan School would provide the best model and the most comfortable home for bringing together students from five different faculties, and to instil in them the spirit of resourcefulness and independence that is so foundational to any sort of entrepreneurial success,” says school director, Craig Walker.
But the school is not solely focussed on preparing undergraduates to make an impact on the world. Postgraduate students looking to deepen their knowledge in directing and production can opt for the innovative laddered graduate program in Arts Management and Leadership.
The school aims to progress graduate careers through the Graduate Diploma in Arts Management, received upon completion of the first term of study, or the MA in Arts Leadership that’s awarded for all three terms of study.
Industry leaders from the Dan School of Drama and Music, the Master of Industrial Relations and the Smith School of Business, plus full-time professional practitioners who work in the Arts industry across North America, take students through all areas of arts management and leadership, including arts philanthropy, arts marketing, cultural policy, strategic thinking and planning, contract negotiation, industrial relations, and an introduction to financial and management accounting.
Live site research assignments and a final term practicum placement in an arts organization solidifies theory taught by top bodies in the field, allowing students to integrate new arts knowledge alongside industry practice.
The cross-disciplinary, industry-relevant nature of the graduate program is exemplary of the arts philosophy seen across the whole school, making it a well-rounded education hub to explore creativity and find your professional performing arts niche.