Arts & Culture

Modern Band Workshop to Help Music Educators Get Kids Rocking

Little Kids Rock explains what is modern band.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2017) The University of Kentucky School of Music will host a Modern Band Workshop that teaches methods for getting kids to perform, improvise and compose using popular styles that they know and love including rock 'n' roll, pop, reggae, hip-hop, and rhythm and blues. The workshop will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the College of Fine Arts Building room 22.

“Modern Band” is a new kind of school music program invented by Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit organization that partners with public school districts to provide classrooms with musical instruments and resources. The organization offers classes that feature guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, vocals and technology at no cost to teachers or school districts. Through their programming, Little Kids Rock not only donates instruments and resources, but also builds lasting programs and children's enthusiasm towards music.

This workshop, organized by UK Assistant Professor of Music Education Martina Vasil, will help music education college students and music teachers learn how to teach popular music to children through primarily informal learning techniques.

"I see Modern Band as a way to complement our current K–12 music education system, not replace it," Vasil said. "By bringing in music that students prefer and using informal pedagogy, I believe that we can get more students involved in school music programs."

The workshop is free and open to the first 60 local teachers or music education students to RSVP at A small breakfast will be provided.

At UK, Vasil teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in research and popular music and supervises student teachers. She is the director of the Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Summer Institute. Vasil has been teaching for 12 years, seven of which were in Pennsylvania where she taught kindergarten-eighth grade general music and fourth-eighth grade instrumental 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, composition, and theory and music history.

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