Arts & Culture

UK's Martina Vasil Named President of the Association for Popular Music Education

black and white headshot photo of Martina Vasil
Martina Vasil

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2021) —​ The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts announces Martina Vasil, associate professor of music education, has been elected president of the Association for Popular Music Education (APME)

Martina Vasil is associate professor of music education, division coordinator for the Department of Music Education and Music Therapy, and director of Summer Music Education at the UK School of Music.  

"I am excited and honored to be leading APME for the next two years. As a longtime member and board member of APME, I have always appreciated the resources and professional network APME provides. The annual conference has always been a highlight of my year, and I have met so many interesting people from all aspects of popular music education — industry, performance, education — who have inspired my instruction and research," Vasil said. "Now as president, I am honored to work with an amazing group of professionals on our current board as we strive to engage and serve our membership to work toward more inclusive practices in popular music education; we want to help ensure that there is space in popular music education for more diverse voices to be heard and amplified."

APME started at the College Music Society’s annual Music Education Week in June 2010, held in Washington, D.C. The idea was born out of a desire to “compare notes” for colleges and universities in the field of popular music education. The mission of the organization is to “promote and advance popular music at all levels of education both in the classroom and beyond.” 

At UK, Vasil teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in music education research and popular music education. She has also supervised student teachers and cooperates with the College of Education to admit music education candidates into the Teacher Education Program. As director of the Music Education Summer Institute, she oversees programming in Modern Band, Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Before coming to UK, she worked in public, charter and parochial schools in rural, suburban and urban areas.

Vasil’s primary research interests are popular music education, children’s musical culture and mentoring practices in music teacher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree and doctoral degree in music education from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in music education from Eastman School of Music.

The 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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.