Shannon Burns is a current PhD in Arts Practice student here in the Irish World Academy. Originally from New York, she obtained her Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Ithaca College studying saxophone with Dr. Steve Mauk. In her last semester at Ithaca she began to show an interest in multicultural music education, especially African drum and Dance. Following the completion of her degree she was awarded a scholarship from the international music fraternity for women, Sigma Alpha Iota, to continue her studies in Ghana during the summer of 2008. After this experience her connection to cultural music and education lead her to Ireland to pursue her M.A in Ethnomusicology at the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick.
Her M.A. research focused on the social identity and participation in a community brass and reed band. After completion of her degree she began teaching modules on music theory, ethnomusicology, notation software and ear training to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students in the Academy. Her current research, Transmitting Music Theory: A Performative and Pedagological Exploration focuses on the creation and use of a performance based music theory curriculum for third-level students.
Outside her work in the Academy she is a founding co-Director of the Redemptorist Centre of Music, which provides access to music tuition for adults and children throughout Limerick .
She is also an active performer on both saxophone and clarinet. She has performed in master classes and concerts with the Bob Mintzer, West Point Jazz Band, Eugene Rousseau, Col. Arnold Gabriel, Ken Edge, Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, University of Limerick Orchestra, the Blue Monk Quartet and the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra.