Zhou Shu’An was born in 1894 at 35 Huangyan road on Gulangyu Island. Her father, Zhou Zhi De, was a priest. Zhou Shu’ An was talented for singing, and she had risen in the world at the age of 14 when she sang the song ‘Xing Tiao Qi Yong Bu Luo’ to welcome an American navy ship. The song became popular, and Zhou Shu’ An became a household name in China.
In 1914, Zhou Shu’ An went to Radcliffe College, the women’s college of Harvard University, for further education and, at that time, she was one of the fisrt group of people who received bursary from the government to go abroad. When she came back to Chna, Xiao You Mei, Huang Zi Gong and Zhou Shu’An founded the first Chinese music conservatory, Guo Li Music College, which is now the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.