Kastner-daily cougar by Pablo Milanese


Julie Derges Kastner is an Assistant Professor and Chair of Music Education at the University of Houston, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and advises master’s and doctoral students.

An active researcher, Kastner studies informal and vernacular music learning and music teacher identity. She has been published in the International Journal of Music EducationBulletin of the Council for Research in Music EducationResearch Studies in Music Education, and the Orff Echo. She has also presented her research at a number of international and national conferences, including the Symposium on Music Teacher EducationInternational Symposium on Music EducationNAfME Music Research and Teacher Education Conference, and New Directions in Music Education Conference.

At the University of Houston, Kastner has taken on several service roles, including Chair of the Music Education division, Coordinator of Student Teaching, and Co-Sponsor of the UH Collegiate NAfME group. She founded the Jay Marks Family Children’s Music Outreach Initiative, a privately funded after-school music program for children at an area elementary school, where she both continues teaching music to children and mentoring undergraduate music education majors. Also, she is an assistant director of an annual sensory-friendly children’s musical, a service-learning project for UH music students in partnership with the Houston Hobby Center.

Kastner continues to present sessions at state conferences and workshops at Houston-area school districts. A frequent presenter at TMEA, she has been twice awarded the Texas Invited Clinician for the Elementary Division.

Previously, Kastner taught PreK-6 grade elementary general music and choir at Lake Anne Elementary School in the Fairfax County School District outside of Washington, D.C., and early childhood music at the Levine School of Music and the Michigan State University Community Music School. She earned her B.M.E. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.M. and Ph.D. in music education at Michigan State University. She is certified in Orff-Schulwerk (levels 1-3) and Music Learning Theory (Early Childhood level I, Elementary levels I-II).

Photo credit: Pablo Milanese, The Daily Cougar