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​a down to earth perspective

for stellar music-making


I 'm happy to share that I have accepted a position as Adjunct Associate Professor of Violin at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. beginning fall 2024! 


 It's not too late: applications for fall are still being accepted.

Scholarship funds are still available to qualifying students. 

Contact me for a trial zoom lesson and application help:


Kathy Judd has led a multi-faceted musical life as a violinist, violin teacher, chamber music performer, orchestral and commercial musician, and arts administrator.

Following graduate studies, she was a violinist in the St. Paul (MN) Chamber Orchestra with whom she performed in the US, Europe, and former Soviet Union and was a soloist. She was Concertmaster  and soloist of orchestras including the The Las Vegas Symphony, Boulder (CO) Bach Festival, and the Nevada Chamber Orchestra.  Judd was a string contractor, lead player and member of Las Vegas showroom orchestras for top headliners and in the show  Annie. She has performed in orchestras, summer music festivals in the US and Europe, and as a member of multiple chamber music ensembles.

As a teacher, she was a faculty member at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, an international residential high school in California, where she performed as a member of the ensemble-in-residence, including a tour in Taiwan.  Her students won regional and national competitions.  She was Assistant Professor of violin and member of the trio-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and taught as adjunct violin faculty at Elizabethtown College (PA) and chamber music at Temple University Music Prep. She has taught at music camps in Nevada, Vermont, California, and Maryland.  She was recently appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA.

As an arts administrator,  for 25+ years Judd was Executive and Artistic Director of the Washington Conservatory of Music, a nationally accredited community music school (near DC), ending her tenure June 1, 2024.  She was formerly Chair of the music department at Idyllwild Arts Academy (CA), and Artistic and Executive Director of Music at Gretna, (PA) a year-round  chamber music and jazz concert series presenting artists such as the Count Basie Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, the Shanghai and Audubon string quartets, among many others, and commissioning music and conceiving of  performances by various combinations of musicians.  As a grant-writer Judd has successfully written and received over over $2,000,000 in grants, and she also served as a grants panelist for a private foundation, as well as a state and national arts granting panelist (and chair) and a visiting evaluator for a national arts accreditation organization. ​


She earned an undergraduate degree in violin performance from New England Conservatory and 3-year Master of Musical Arts performance degree from Yale University with studies at Wichita State University and summers at Aspen Music Festival, Dartmouth College Festival, among others.

And, Judd once sold six one-liners to comedienne Joan Rivers, (for a whopping $60) and before the snow melted, trekked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  She camped in the Amazon Rainforest, walked a 100 miles in the Cotswolds, kayaked in Viet Nam, hoed potatoes in Northern Scotland, hiked in the Himalayas, rode a camel in the Sahara Desert, zip-lined in Costa Rica, and is recharged by the new adventures and people she feels lucky to meet along the way.  

My perspective

Please peruse my blog above to get a sense of my approach 

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When I taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I gave my students pencils to mark their music that said "Judd Studio of Violin & Common Sense."  To me, that best summarizes my approach to teaching.  

Music is sound.  That seems obvious, but it is astonishing how many violinists work on technique, intonation, interpretation, but not their own basic sound.


I'm not saying that by having your feet on the ground and your nose to the grindstone you can automatically make a palette of transcendent sounds.  I am saying that using your body to play the violin in as closely to the way you use it in your daily life is a good way to start to work on sound and every other aspect of playing and is going to save you sore muscles and a lot of time and frustration.  I am  saying that having a no nonsense plan for your  practice time is a very good way to reach your goals and sidestep wasted effort. 

Most importantly, however, there must be joy in the process of learning to make music and develop your best personal sound on the violin. What is the point if there isn't?  And one must take the perspective that there is no end to the process of mining the depth of music - because music itself rises far beyond the printed page.

Everyone is different and deserves a personalized approach to learning. Whether a violinist or an ensemble -the ultimate goal and deepest satisfaction is finding your personal, most expansive, and expressive pipeline for communicating the transformative power  of music - to yourself and to your audience.

I'd love to help you do that.   Make sense?





There isn't an arts organization that doesn't have warts.  Some are hardly noticeable, some have been there so long no one cares, and some are holding them back from their potential to change lives.  And isn't that the point? 

Few emerging artists or ensembles can't use non-musical advice as they launch their professional careers.

I've been there and done that as an arts administrator for over three decades as a music school administrator and concert producer and presenter by:

  • Leading: a music department, a year-round concert series, and a nationally accredited community school 

  • Creating:  producing and presenting concerts, projects, camps and classes for adults and students

  • Serving:  on  judging panels and knowing the conversations  when grant application funding  is being considered.

  • Evaluating -  the community music education potential for the music department of a major state university, the education program of a major orchestra, and being a visiting evaluator for  accredited community arts schools. 

  • Researching and writing applications for over $2,000,000 in granted funds

I know the potential outcomes of well-meaning people taking uninformed actions that can crush the life and art out of an arts organization.  I'm happy to talk to see if my experience and  perspective can help you achieve your goals.

Hint #1: Your mission is a daily touchstone 

Hint #2: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are action words.


I believe that with a few exceptions, every frog in the arts world has prince  potential,

though every transformative process is unique and only in fairy tales does it happen instantly with a kiss.


Phone or text: 703-401-0081

When I retired from my position as a high school chemistry teacher, I wanted to get back to violin playing.  So once I had time, Kathy Judd agreed to take me on as a student.  She has been a very inspiring and effective teacher. She never tells me just what to do, but also why I should try to make a change; why a new hand position on my bow might help get a better tone or why a different left hand position might help get a smoother vibrato. I am short and have small hands, so Kathy has always taken that into consideration when making adjustments. At my age, changes such as these can be difficult and it's easy to relapse into old habits. Kathy has shown infinite patience, always correcting as if it is something new and always with a slightly different explanation. But just the physical part of violin playing has never been enough. Kathy has always dwelt on musicianship, phrasing, color and other aspects of interpretation. We have spent a lot of time on how to use the bow to get different tone qualities and effects. We have talked about how different notes add to a phrase or are bridges to something that needs better emphasis.... Lessons with Kathy have always been musically rewarding and stimulating. She is a first rate teacher.
Adult Student

Ms. Judd has many exceptional qualities. She is an artist violinist, a talented and sought after chamber musician, a dynamic and proven leader (Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, Gretna Music Festival and Washington Conservatory), inspirational teacher, and an exceptional fund raiser. She has increased the visibility of the Washington Conservatory exponentially by driving up enrollment, presenting well-attended and acclaimed concerts and masterclasses, increasing the artistic level of the faculty, and attracting large and generous gifts to her operation.

Kathy Judd knows the value of collaboration--with individual artists, arts organizations and community entities. Because of her creativity and imagination--she enriches lives through skillful leveraging of talent and then a flair for evocative communication.

She has positioned herself and her institution in the upper echelon of educational and artistic circles in Washington, DC and beyond. Kathy Judd has my respect, admiration and full endorsement.

University Dean 

I cannot recommend more highly this extraordinary woman of many talents, for any leadership post relating to the arts and/or arts management.  She is a true visionary and a gift to all who know her.
Professional Musician/Teacher

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