Julie grew up always playing some sort of instrument or another (an egg slicer and a plastic Smurf guitar were her first two instruments), sang and played piano, and played clarinet and string bass in her high school bands. She also danced a lot of tap, jazz, and ballet when she was young, and later explored dance forms like Middle Eastern dancing and salsa dancing. At the University of Rhode Island, she studied music and played the string bass in several jazz bands. She went on to study ethnomusicology at Tufts University and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she got to play in a wide range of world music traditions, playing in ensembles like a West African ensemble, a Near East ensemble, a bluegrass ensemble, and a couple of gamelans (Indonesian orchestras). She is currently teaching ukulele at the Rhody Center.