Dr. Willard A. Palmer was a musician, teacher, and the author of hundreds of published works.
Dr. Palmer authored 789 published works on a range of topics, including an accordion method, several piano methods, a method for the Hammond chord organ, a guitar method, and choral works. He was also the choir director of Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas for many years.
Dr. Palmer became a proficient musician at a young age; he played the piano on the radio at age 13 and studied piano and accordion, which would form the basis of his musical endeavors. He was a piano student of Mae Vardeman, who encouraged and nurtured his ability to improvise by teaching him the fundamentals of correct piano technique. During his college years at Whitworth College and Millsaps College, he continued to play the accordion and piano on radio shows and in various ensembles on and off campus. After receiving his Bachelor's degree from Millsaps, he studied in Germany on a two-year scholarship. He did post-graduate work at the University of Houston and joined their music faculty, teaching courses in accordion for 18 years.
Dr. Palmer's later years were dedicated to researching classical and Baroque music and teaching methods. His work on Baroque music ornamentation was the basis of the Alfred Masterworks series of publications. He is also a co-author of Alfred's Basic Piano Library with Morton Manus and Amanda Vick Lethco.