Willie Garfield is the Founder & CEO of the Garfield Institute of Music. In this role, he looks after, manages, and leads a team providing all the aspects of the Arts, Youth Development, & STEM Program. A big believer in arts education & youth development, Willie supports all arts education and after-school programs geared towards the growth of all youth. Willie sits on the Advisory Board for the Corporate Counsel Men of Color, also he was awarded the Yamaha 40 under 40 Achievement Award for 2021. Willie is a very talented and qualified Instrumental Music Instructor/ Artistic Director from Morehouse College & Columbia College Chicago where he has studied and trained Instrumental Music, Music Composition, Advanced Ballet & Jazz with some of the best performers and instructors in the world.
Willie is no stranger when it comes to the instruction of Music, Dance, Vocal, & Theater. He performed with several Broadway Dance & Musical Theater Companies in Chicago, California, Atlanta, D.C. & New Jersey staring in several pieces from; The Lion King, The Russian Ballet, Copelia, Alice in Wonderland, and The Jazz Kings, amongst many were he earned the respect of others through his journey. He was able to improve his skills in the arts and oversee several Music, Dance, & Theater programs and ensembles in various cities. His life dream is to Direct and Perform in the World Broadway Musical “CATS”, and open up with his music ensemble for the NFL Super Bowl Halftime.
Willie was a late trainer when it came to Instrumental Music & Dance Theater, although he was fast and persistent, having spent 5 years as a student training and perfecting his skills during classes, workshops, and clinics throughout the United States. One thing he says he remembers was the two people that made a great impact on his career being one of his instructors Nicole Wesley from the Morehouse/Spelman Dance Theater, saying “Willie you have what it takes to go to the top. Show people who you are!” and Dr.RajaGalosky who stated, “Mr. Garfield, if you want success in this world you have to take the spotlight because you will definitely give them a show.” Willie says out of all the people who influenced his career taught him the importance of discipline, commitment, & hard work. Willie has more than 20 years of experience in the arts. Prior to starting his career teaching instrumental music in 2006, Willie spent 8 years as a traveling performer in the arts. Willie worked for a diverse range of organizations, including the NYC Dept of Education & Community Non-profits for 10 years. In this role, Willie was responsible for the success of several projects and programs on the East Coast.
Willie helps counsel today’s youth in the areas that affect them daily. He feels too often, talented individuals are left without an appropriate vessel to express their artistry and talents. This is when the youth become frustrated and many times those frustrations result in negative actions. This is why he formed the Garfield Institute of Music. It was a way to help fix the problems affecting youth by providing training classes and after-school programs. The Garfield Institute of Music offers a wide range of programs in the Arts, STEM, Business Leadership, Youth Development, and College Prep. After a successful career in Musical/Dance Theater Performance, Willie now teaches and advises those at the Garfield Institute of Music on how to achieve the same success in a career path of Professional Music & Dance performance. Willie is currently working on an autobiography about his life and his success from Memphis, TN to the Top.