Judith Sullivan is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and has lived in several states. She moved to Cookeville in 2007 to take a position on the School of Music faculty at Tennessee Tech University. There her focus was mainly music teacher education, along with music in the general education classroom, music in the early childhood and special education classrooms, music appreciation, and ear training skills for music majors. She has retired as of August 2022.
She has been playing piano from the age of six, and began serving the Church through music at the age of seven. Her professional service to the church began in 1981. She has served as a singer, choral director, pianist and organist for several denominations, including Lutheran ELCA, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Unity, and the United Church of Christ.
Her post-secondary education consists of a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education from Michigan State University; the Master of Music in Music Education, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, both from the University of Kentucky. Her focus areas during graduate school were early childhood music education, the developmental psychology of music, and music and the brain. Before teaching at Tennessee Tech, she taught at the University of Tennessee at Martin and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
In addition to the piano and organ, Judith plays harp, ukulele, guitar, mountain dulcimer and recorder. She is trained in the Music Learning Theory, Orff-Schulwerk, and Musikgarten curricula. She has also used simple drum circles with students, ages 18 – 22 years old, who have various abilities/disabilities.