Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Get to Know HFC: Jeremy Palmer finds music creative and educational

Jeremy Palmer playing a piano.
HFC Manager of Recording Arts Jeremy Palmer is a board-certified music therapist.

After he completes his master’s degree in 2024, HFC Manager of Recording Arts Jeremy Palmer looks forward to teaching many of the recording arts and music classes the College offers.

“Occasionally, I’ll substitute for one of the music faculty’s classes,” said Palmer, who lives with Naomi, his wife of 20 years, and their four children in Westland.

His main responsibility is overseeing the Recording Arts program at HFC. His duties include helping current students, recruiting future students, assisting in curriculum and program development, maintaining audio equipment and software, holding semi-annual meetings with the Recording Arts Advisory board, assisting with the class schedule, and helping to ensure there are qualified faculty available to teach the classes.

Music therapist

A native of Terre Haute, IN, Palmer is the third of seven children. Although he was home-schooled, Palmer earned his high school diploma through Clonlara School in Ann Arbor. He earned his associate degree in music from HFC (then called Henry Ford Community College). Transferring to Eastern Michigan University, he graduated summa cum laude, earning his bachelor’s degree in music therapy.

A board-certified music therapist since 2016 and an Avid Certified Instructor in Pro Tools since 2019, Palmer is working on his master’s degree in music technology from Southern Utah University.

“I was inspired to go into music therapy at the recommendation of my mother-in-law, Connie Formigan, who met multiple music therapists in her role as a hospice nurse,” recalled Palmer. “I have worked for several years (2016-20) as a music therapist at Residential Hospice in Troy.”

Pursuing education while juggling work and family

When Palmer began his education at the College, he was not a traditional student.

“I was 24 and found myself at a sales job that I did not like, wondering why I never seemed to find time to pursue my musical interests. I decided to pursue a music degree at the College, while working and having a family. It was a busy time, but after 10 years of attending school part-time, I earned my bachelor's degree in music therapy at EMU,” he said.

Creating music alongside students

Palmer has worked at HFC since 2006. He first worked in the athletic department from 2006 to 2012, where he taught a Wellness-at-Work cardio kickboxing class (he also taught kickboxing classes in a dojo founded by his father-in-law, Sensei Tim Formigan). Since 2007, he has worked in the music department, reporting to HFC Director of Choral and Vocal Music G. Kevin Dewey.

For Palmer, the best part of his job is being with students in a creative space.

“I love being around the students and the other music staff in a creative and learning environment, making music together, learning about recording techniques, and more. I love sharing my knowledge and skills with students and being able to see them light up when they learn something new. And I have a chance to create alongside them,” he said. “Sometimes, I get to create, record, and mix music alongside the students. Sometimes I get to perform with the students in various college groups, such as choir, vocal jazz, or jazz band. I love all aspects of music and being in this environment at HFC; it’s so fulfilling to me.”