Martina Vasil, PhD, is an associate professor of music education at the University of Kentucky and director of graduate studies for the School of Music. She teaches undergraduate courses in elementary general music and modern band and graduate research courses; she also directs summer music education programming in Orff, Dalcroze, and modern band. Dr. Vasil has 19 years of teaching experience—13 years in K–12 and 12 years in higher education. She recently left her position as the preK–6 music teacher at Lexington Montessori School to focus more on administration. In 2023, she was one of six professors awarded the prestigious Great Teacher Award at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Vasil’s publications have primarily focused on popular music education and Orff Schulwerk. She is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Journal of General Music Education, Music Educators Journal, the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education, and The Orff Echo. She has written book chapters for Oxford, Routledge, Rowman & Littlefield, Intellect, and Bloomsbury and self-published a course textbook through a university grant. She has presented her research internationally, nationally, and regionally and is a frequent presenter for Orff chapters. Recently, she was awarded a Fulbright to help music teachers build their early childhood music program at the AGAPE National Academy of Music in Liberia.

Dr. Vasil has been a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association since 2003 and the Association for Popular Music Education since 2015. She finished her term as an APME Board Member this year (2018–2024) and was President (2021–2023) and Vice President (2019–2021) for the organization. She was in the first cohort of Higher Education Modern Band Fellows through Music Will in 2018 and started the first All-State Elementary Modern Band for Kentucky (through the Kentucky Music Educators Association) in 2024. This was the first All-State Modern Band specifically for elementary students (grades 4–6) in the United States.

An excellent editor, Dr. Vasil works extensively with PhD and master’s students on their theses at the University of Kentucky and has served as an external reviewer for dissertations. She completed a four-year term on The Orff Echo editorial board in 2023 and served as a guest reviewer for several music education journal articles and books. She is thrilled to be joining the editorial board of the Journal of General Music Education.

Dr. Vasil loves Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Bob’s Burgers, and most things in the nerd kingdom. She is an avid runner and yogi and lives with her cats Georgie and Grogu. Her favorite musicians are Paul McCartney and her brother Craig Burletic; she has an affinity for disco but loves all kinds of music. She is currently attempting to learn the bass guitar. Follow her on Instagram: @musicwithdrv

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“Everyone is musical…Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it’s frivolous…We draw the music out, we don’t drum it in… the future of our world lies in our children’s creativity.”

~David Wish, Founder & Chief Vision Officer of Music Will

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