Arts & Culture

UK Professor Named to Popular Music Education Board

headshot of Martina Vasil
Martina Vasil

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2018) Martina Vasilassistant professor of music education at University of Kentucky School of Music, has been appointed to the board of the Association for Popular Music Education. Her responsibilities start this month.

The mission of the Association for Popular Music Education (APME) is to promote and advance popular music at all levels of education both in the classroom and beyond. The association was created to advocate for popular music education and its advancement as a discipline. It provides educational opportunities for teachers and students, honors the rich history of popular music, and develops innovative ways to create, perform and teach it.

APME also serves to bring together all involved in the pursuit of teaching and making popular music at all levels including higher education, public school modern band and contemporary music programs, music companies, manufacturers and popular music organizations.

Vasil was chosen to serve based on her record of progressive work in music teacher education, her service hosting Modern Band workshops at UK, and her implementation of popular music into her undergraduate and graduate courses. She also recently was selected to receive the inaugural Modern Band Higher Education Fellowship.

In his announcement of this year’s two new board members, APME President Gareth Dylan Smith recognized Vasil as “the vanguard of progressive music teacher education in the U.S.”

Assistant Professor Vasil is the director of the Music Education Summer Institute at UK School of Music, which includes education in Modern Band, Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in music education research and popular music education. She also supervises student teachers and cooperates with the College of Education to admit music education candidates into the Teacher Education Program.

Vasil has been teaching for 13 years, seven of which were in K–8 general music and fourth- to eighth-grade instrumental music in Pennsylvania. She has worked in public, charter and parochial schools in rural, suburban and urban areas.

A longtime member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), Vasil was a local conference chair for the 2011 AOSA Professional Development Conference, serves on the AOSA Research Interest Group, and is president of the Kentucky Orff-Schulwerk Association. She serves on the planning committee and is technology coordinator for the Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Methods. At UK, she is the faculty advisor for the campus chapter of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education and the Kentucky Eurhythmics Society.

Vasil has had work published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education and the Orff Echo. She has presented her research at the International Society for Music Education World Conference, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Eastern Division Conference, the NAfME Research and Teacher Education National Conference, the APME National Conference, the Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Methods, and the New York University/Steinhardt IMPACT (Interactive Multimedia Performing Arts Collaborative Technology) Conference, among others.

Vasil’s primary research interests are culturally relevant pedagogy, Orff Schulwerk and secondary general music. For her dissertation, she examined how teachers integrated both popular music and informal music learning practices into their secondary music classes to enact change in music education. Vasil holds a bachelor’s degree in music and doctoral degree in music education from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in music education from Eastman School of Music.

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue