RBC academic secures one of the UK’s top teaching accolades

Luan Shaw

Director of Postgraduate Studies in Music Dr Luan Shaw has been acknowledged for her outstanding teaching with a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) from Advance HE.

A NTF is regarded as the top individual teaching honour for university lecturers and researchers in the UK, and celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession. Luan is one of just 55 to receive the honour this year.

Luan’s award recognised her commitment to music pedagogy and her efforts championing instrumental music teacher training.

As Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC)’s first Head of Pedagogy, Luan has led a significant expansion of instrumental teacher education across the curriculum, which has boosted student employability.

Luan’s association with RBC spans 30 years, from her early years as a student, to Head of Woodwind and Brass in RBC’s Junior Department (1993–2004), Consultant in Pedagogy (2010–11), Visiting Tutor in Pedagogy (2011–13),Head of Pedagogy (2013–18), Director of Postgraduate Studies (2019-present), and a stint as Interim Vice Principal (Learning and Teaching) (2020–22). Luan became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2018 and has since supported several RBC colleagues in their pursuit of Advance HE awards. 

Luan is a professional performer and classical music practitioner and has performed, toured and recorded with numerous orchestras and opera companies. She has also delivered hundreds of interactive performances and workshops in special schools, hospitals, hospices and care homes.

Luan said: “I am delighted to receive this highly prestigious national award in recognition of my work at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. It endorses my long-term commitment to raising the profile of instrumental music teaching as a valued career pathway, and inspires me to continue advocating for instrumental teacher training in higher music education.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Professor Julie McLeod said: “We are delighted that Luan has been awarded the prestigious title of National Teaching Fellow in this year’s round of the Advance HE scheme.

“Only a few such awards are made annually, so competition is intense. Luan’s award recognises her outstanding contributions in music education and the work she has led, through Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and wider external communities, in building a workforce of skilled education professionals who will ensure the longevity of music-making for future generations of young learners. Congratulations to Luan on this fantastic achievement.”

Luan’s teaching is closely aligned with her research, which focuses on preparing RBC students to enter the modern music education workforce. Read more about Luan’s research here.

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