Sligo native, Emer Shannon was one of ten original students at the Sligo Academy of Music when it first opened its doors in 2000. Whilst a student, she studied violin with Niamh Crowley and completed her Royal Irish Academy of Music senior certificate with distinction. During this time, she also took lessons in voice, piano, viola, and theory, and toured with the SAM Sinonietta Orchestra to Budapest and Prague.

As a soloist, Emer has been a recipient of multiple High Achiever Awards and performed at Gala concert performances for select award holders at national level. She is also a former prizewinner at Dublin Feis Ceoil, Sligo Feis Ceoil, and Feis Shligigh in categories for solo voice, duet singing, and violin. She has played under the conduction of Krzysztof Penderecki and Barry Douglas, and performed in many prestigious venues including the Helix, the National Concert Hall, and Wexford Opera House. She was leader of the SAM Sinonietta Orchestra, a member of the National Youth String Orchestra of Ireland, and currently enjoys playing with the Sligo Baroque Orchestra.

With broad ranging musical interests, Emer holds two gold All-Ireland titles for Céilí band and grúpa ceol under the direction of Michael Rooney and Michael Hurly respectively. She is a trained classical soprano and also holds extensive experience in musical theatre. Her lead roles have included Grizabella in Cats, Eponine in Les Miscerables, Doherty in the Wizard of Oz, and Brigitta in the Sound of Music.

Emer is currently conducting a PhD in Law which is funded by scholarship from Maynooth University. To date, her research has been endorsed by the Eamonn de Velera Medal and the French Governmental Medal for academic excellence.