Dr Luan Shaw

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Director of Postgraduate Studies (Music)

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

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Dr Luan Shaw is Director of Postgraduate Studies (Music) at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she has taught since 2011. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was made an Honorary Member of RBC in 2001. In her former role as RBC’s first Head of Pedagogy (2011-2018), she led the significant expansion of provision for instrumental teacher education across the RBC curriculum. In 2023, Luan was recognised for her commitment to championing instrumental music teacher training with a National Teaching Fellowship from Advance HE.

Luan has also previously held the position of Interim Vice Principal, with oversight of learning and teaching in Music. Luan is passionate about helping students to build their portfolio careers. Her doctoral research, completed in 2022, focused on facilitating the transition from student to professional through instrumental teacher education in conservatoires. Luan publishes and presents her research in international journals and conferences and supervises Master's and Doctoral research students in a range of related areas. She is a member of the Birmingham Music Education Research Group (BMERG). Read more about Luan's research here

An alumna of RBC, Luan became a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and recipient of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal soon after graduating in 1994. She has freelanced with orchestras and ensembles such as the CBSO, Manchester Camerata, Opera North and BCMG, played principal clarinet for numerous Longborough Festival Opera productions (including several iterations of Wagner’s Ring Cycle), and was Co-principal Clarinet with Orchestra of the Swan from 2007-2021.

As a chamber musician, Luan has performed for festivals and music societies throughout the UK, on BBC Radio and at the Banff International Festival. Her research on Members’ Roles in Wind Quintets was published in Psychology of Music shortly after completing an MA in 'Psychology for Musicians' at the University of Sheffield.

Luan’s teaching experience spans 30 years, and positions have included Head of Woodwind and Brass at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, and Head of Instrumental Studies at Hallfield School in Birmingham, in addition to numerous instrumental teaching positions in independent schools and music services, and training children's choirs and instrumental ensembles in her local community.

Luan worked for Live Music Now, Music in Hospitals and Care, and the Lost Chord project for Dementia suffers for many years, delivering hundreds of interactive performances and workshops in mainstream and special schools, hospitals, hospices and care homes across England and Wales.

In addition to twenty years as an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals, Luan worked as a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music from 2007 to 2022 and was a recording artist for ABRSM’s 2018-21 clarinet syllabus. Luan still maintains a range of performer-practitioner roles that directly inform her work with students at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

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