Pianist and educator
Joseph Williams is a passionate advocate for accessible, high quality music education in South King County, WA. He is founder and director of Tukwila Kids Make Music, a free after-school music mentorship program offering piano, guitar, voice & violin lessons to 50 children every week, year-round. He is proud to be an instructor at Key to Change, a nonprofit violin & viola program that aims to inspire underserved youth through world-class music instruction and support their development as self-aware leaders. Mr. Williams also serves on the Community Music faculty of the University of Puget Sound where he instructs children & adults of varying abilities and musical interests.
At 10 years old, he encountered an abandoned keyboard in his parent's basement and began picking up music by ear. By the age of 17, he was awarded 1st place in Washington state for solo piano in the 2010 WIAA/WMEA State Solo and Ensemble Contest. He subsequently pursued a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Upon graduation, he received the Piano Faculty Prize in Accompanying and was immediately hired on the faculty as a full-time Instrumental Collaborative Pianist for the 2015-2016 academic year. He obtained a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Cleveland State University where he studied with both Joela Jones and Sheila Paige.
He has since enjoyed performing at numerous venues across the United States including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and abroad in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. He regularly adjudicates for regional WIAA/WMEA State Solo and Ensemble Contests and has presented masterclasses at Seattle University and Jackson State University. Mr. Williams curates artists for Musical Conversations, a series of concerts at Lakewold Gardens, prioritizing dialogue and highlighting diversity in music-making.
Committed to inclusion, he has been a behavior therapist for children with Autism and regularly mentors youth of color on becoming the music educators of today and tomorrow. He envisions a world where classical music curriculum is decolonized and master-apprentice models of music pedagogy are dismantled.