Welcome to the website of Dr. Jill Sullivan. Here you’ll find information about Dr. Sullivan’s research agenda, courses taught, and her service to the music education profession, as well as downloadable resources.

Dr. Jill Sullivan

Dr. Jill M. Sullivan

Dr. Jill M. Sullivan is a Professor of Music Education in the School of Music, which is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) at Arizona State University, Tempe. She teaches courses for all levels of students: undergraduate elementary and secondary instrumental methods, master’s courses in assessment and measurement, instrumental literature and pedagogy, research methods, psychology of music, and action research collaborations. She also chairs students’ Capstone portfolios. Doctoral teaching includes a course on historical research methods, doctoral seminar, and chairing dissertations. Other university appointments include a summer adjunct position at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (since 2007), and previous positions at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. The majority of her public-school teaching was as a music teacher at Sequoyah Middle School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where she started 200 beginning band students each year, and where the band program included more than 400 students. In addition, she started a New Horizons Band for senior adults at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Sullivan’s research agenda includes historical investigations of nineteenth- and twentieth-century women’s bands and music teacher education investigations–preservice, in-service, and university teacher educators. Her research articles appear in the following journals: Ala Breve American Music Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, Journal of Band Research, Journal of Historical Research in Music EducationJournal of Music Therapy, Journal of Research in Music EducationMusic Educators JournalResearch and Issues in Music Education, and Teaching Music.

Dr. Sullivan published history books in 2006 and 2016: Bands of Sisters: U.S. Women’s Military Bands during World War II and Women’s Bands in America: Performing Music and Gender. She contributed eight biographical entries to the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music (AmeriGrove II– Oxford University Press), several of which were about women musicians discovered during Dr. Sullivan’s research. Two recent journal publications are “Women Music Teachers as Military Band Directors during World War II” and “John Phillip Sousa as Music Educator during World War I,” both published in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Recognition for her historical research came in the form of an invitation to collaborate with the United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” curating and narrating their concert in Arlington, Virginia in March 2018.  As part of their Living History concert series, the Marine Band and Dr. Sullivan paid homage to their World War II sister organization, the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band, an ensemble that had been extensively investigated by Dr. Sullivan.


Dr. Sullivan’s pedagogy articles have been reprinted with permission in state music educators’ journals–in Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. She also has presented her teacher-pedagogy workshops and research throughout the United States and internationally (Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Sweden).

Dr. Sullivan enjoys many local, state, and national service collaborations, such as the partnership between her graduate Assessment and Measurement class with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), where the class together wrote the national example of the Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) for harmonizing instruments. In other semesters, this same class partnered with many community organizations on assessment projects: School of Music teaching assistants, the Arizona Department of Education, Rosie’s House, music teachers throughout Arizona, and international piano teachers. Dr. Sullivan gives in-service workshops on creating formative and summative authentic music assessments to measure students’ learning. Also, she recently collaborated with other music education faculty to collect national data on the assessment practices of music teacher educators. This data is available on request.

Dr. Sullivan serves the profession by being a member of several research journal editorial boards: College Band Directors National Association, Journal of Historical Research in Music EducationResearch and Issues in Music Education (RIME), and previously on Contributions to Music EducationJournal of Band ResearchMusic Educators Journal and UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education.  In the fall of 2011, she chaired the 20th anniversary of the international Feminist Theory & Music (FTM) Conference in the ASU School of Music. She is a member of the Desert Skies Music Education Conference planning committee, a conference hosted biennially at ASU.

Dr. Sullivan has chaired several national and state music education organizations’ committees and groups, including: national collegiate chair of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the advisor for Arizona NAfME Collegiate, national chair of the Gender and Sexuality Special Research Interest Group of the National Association for Music Education, and the chair of Arizona College Music Educators. At ASU, she worked sixteen years as the chapter advisor for the ASU NAfME Collegiate Chapter, served as a faculty affiliate to Women & Gender Studies, was a member of the faculty senate, completed four years of service on the School of Music personnel committee, and currently serves on the HIDA personnel committee. In spring 2012, she was presented with the Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Award by the ASU Commission on the Status of Women.

Dr. Sullivan holds a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, completed teaching certification coursework at the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a bachelor’s degree–with university and departmental honors scholar distinctions–earned while majoring in both clarinet performance and music history at Illinois State University, Normal.