Professor Helena Gaunt is Principal at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Helena is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Research interests include one-to-one instrumental/vocal tuition in music, ensemble practices and collaborative learning in the performing arts, and creative entrepreneurship. Helena directs the international Reflective Conservatoire Conference hosted triennially at the Guildhall, and is the Chair of the Innovative Conservatoire (ICON), an international partnership dedicated to curriculum and leadership development in specialist music education. She is also co-editor of Music Performance Research and a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Music Education. Alongside research, she is an oboist, was a member of the Britten Sinfonia for many years, and is a Trustee of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Helena holds an ILM accredited Diploma in coaching, and has spearheaded a Guildhall approach to coaching in and through the performing arts. She first introduced coaching and mentoring to the institution in 2012, integrating coaching skills (drawn from executive coaching in leadership/ management contexts) within learning, teaching and mentoring. Over 120 Guildhall staff members have participated in the programme since its launch in 2012, and the course achieved EMCC accreditation in 2016.