Arts & Culture

UK Professor Awarded Modern Band Higher Ed Fellowship

headshot photo of Martina Vasil
Martina Vasil

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2017) Martina Vasil, assistant professor of music education at University of Kentucky School of Music, has been named a recipient of the Modern Band Higher Education Fellowship by the nonprofit Little Kids Rock.

As a fellow, Vasil will travel to Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music in Montclair, New Jersey, Jan. 8-12, to receive training in the nonprofit’s Modern Band programs. In addition, she will be provided with curriculum materials for the programs and instruments for UK School of Music, including electric basses, guitars, drum set, keyboards, tech equipment and more.

Vasil is excited to participate in the program. “The instruments and resources I will receive from the fellowship will help me enhance the coursework for my graduate seminar on popular music as well as other courses I teach,” she said.

Modern Band teaches kids to perform, improvise and compose using the popular styles of music that they know and love including rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, rhythm and blues, and other modern styles. Modern Band classes feature guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, vocals, technology and computers. The programs also expand upon existing music programming such as marching band, jazz band and chorus, making music available to children who might otherwise not participate in traditional music classes.

Vasil will offer Modern Band programming at UK for at least the next three years.

The nonprofit selected Vasil for the fellowship based on her application and UK School of Music’s “commitment to making Modern Band and culturally responsive, highly inclusive music education a part of … course offerings to music education majors.”

At UK, Vasil teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in research. Her main research interest is in culturally relevant pedagogy, which includes popular music pedagogies. She is teaching a graduate seminar titled Popular Music in Music Education during the 2018 spring semester.

In addition, Vasil serves as the director of Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Summer Institute at UK. She received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Virginia University, her master’s degree in music education at Eastman School of Music and her doctoral degree in music education from West Virginia University.

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue