Sheelagh Chadwick was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She graduated from Trinity College of Music (London) in 1989 and qualified as a secondary Music teacher (PGCE) through Middlesex University in 1992. She completed her Masters degree in Music Education at London University’s Institute of Education in 1997 while working as a general Music teacher at a secondary school in Hertfordshire. In 1998 she began a contract with the Government of Botswana as a Music teacher educator and then returned after her doctoral studies to complete a second contract in 2005. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois in 2008.
While in Botswana, Chadwick worked on National committees developing assessment procedures for both Junior and Senior secondary Music programs, and curriculum for the secondary Music teacher diploma. She has participated in conferences in Kenya and the United States. Her research interests include: teachers’ experiences of written curriculum, the formal and informal teaching and learning of indigenous African music, and community music.