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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.