Will Parker is an award-winning musician and teaching artist from Texas. He travels the country performing original music for kids and adults, and he teaches workshops on songwriting, improvisation, and the intersection of creativity with social-emotional learning, mental health, and spirituality. Deeply inspired by Fred Rogers, Will hopes he can make a difference in the lives of kids in a similar way--through sharing uplifting music, encouraging imaginative play, offering tools to navigate emotional landscapes, and reminding each and every person of their inherent value and worth.
Will holds a B.A. in Theatre and an M.A. in Teaching from Trinity University. After college, he taught theatre at KIPP University Prep High School for four years. At the time, he was also deeply involved in San Antonio’s improv scene where he performed as a founding member with the city’s first musical improv troupe, When Can Do. He also worked with the Magik Children’s Theatre as an actor in their touring troupe, a coach for their youth improv group, and a teaching artist for their X-celerated Theatre program for incarcerated youth.
In 2018, he moved to Connecticut to attend Yale Divinity School where he earned his M.Div and a certificate in Educational Leadership Ministry. In 2021, Will received a grant to create a musical improv troupe that also incorporates spiritual reflection as a part of its process. The troupe (Public Universal Friends, aka PUF) performs around New Haven at various venues including bookstores, coffee shops, and churches. Their performances also include talk-back discussions with the audience centered around the connections between improvisation and spirituality. Will is also an affiliated teaching artist with Arts for Learning CT, and he serves on the board of NAMI Elm City.