About Us



Music has always been an important part of my life. Long before anyone understood that a child's auditory processing was fully functioning during the third trimester, I was receiving the benefit of music stimulation in the womb as my family participated in weekly Sunday night sing-a-longs. My mother and three siblings played the piano and sang, and my father played the mandolin. Once I was born, my participation continued. I learned to sing and to play the piano and later I taught my children the same and now, I am lucky to have my grandson enrolled in one of my classes and so the musical tradition continues.

When I think upon this journey, I am amazed and grateful at the impact that music has had in my life, in my family's life and now within my children's families. Even when my Mother could no longer remember our names, she still knew the words to many familiar hymns and would play those same tunes on the piano. The connections in her brain were so strong that they remained throughout her entire life.

This is the foundation of my desire for the children in our community. Together, we can offer families a musical experience that will build strong children. Together, we can make a difference to those who would not otherwise experience the sheer joy of singing and moving together with intentionality as we build life-long connections. Together, we can be inspired as we hear the squeals of glee and laughter as participants and not only spectators.

I am inviting you to join us. You can be a friend like me. You can make a difference by offering your support as we strive to take part in a child's everyday life. The children and I thank you in advance for your support and assistance.

Musically Yours,

Joy Galliford, PhD | Executive Director | Friends of South Florida Music


Friends of South Florida Music (FSFM), formed in 2016, is a foundation focused on providing
early childhood music education to underserved communities in South Florida.

Why FSFM Matters

Our leadership and its associated instructors have decades of experience as well as advanced training in music education. Expertise and experience are the foundation of the operation. FSFM is largely funded by grants, private donors and various annual concerts that are performed in conjunction with FSFM’s sister organization, South Florida Music (www.southfloridamusic.org). South Florida Music (SFM) is a for profit provider of quality music education for children, birth to 9 years of age. Together, FSFM and SFM serve over 800 students each year. The organizations operate based on results of over twenty years of early childhood research conducted by the founder of FSFM, Dr. Joy Galliford, 2010 Florida College Music Educator of the year award winner, Early Childhood Specialist and Researcher. Her past project leadership and curriculum instruction includes six years of Children’s Trust funding (2005-2011) totaling over $700,000, during which research was conducted regarding music education and child development.

One of these early childhood studies focused on the implementation of a specifically designed music curriculum for children aged three to five. Researchers provided twenty weeks of thirty-minute lessons to 464 children enrolled in two low-income preschool centers in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Participants were randomly selected for the music program with one school being the intervention group (N = 217) and the other, the control group (N = 247). The designed curriculum included activities that (a) were simple for preschool teachers without formal musical training to deliver, (b) were easily integrated into a preschool schedule, and (c) involved parents in the home.

Researchers randomly selected 20% of the total population (N = 92) for testing: 43 children were in the control group. The Musical Movement Test (MMT) was used to measure motor abilities. Eight subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability-Revised (WJ-R) were used to evaluate relative development of linguistic and nonlinguistic skills before and after the music intervention. Research results indicated that two tasks associated with beat competency (motor construct and beat competency) showed significantly increased gains for the treatment group. Out of eight tasks related to the cognitive measure, four of the five linguistic subtests (Visual/Auditory Learning, Incomplete Words, Listening Comprehension, Delayed-Visual Auditory Learning) and two of the nonlinguistic subtests (Sound Patterns and Spatial Relations) showed significant gains for the treatment group. The research results are a featured chapter in the book Learning from Young Children edited by Suzanne L. Burton and Cynthia Crump Taggart.

FSFM is ready to reach and teach our young children and their families. While much has been gained in the field of early childhood education, we know that there is much is left to accomplish. FSFM is ready and committed to advance the field of early childhood education and to reach and teach our young children and their families in underserved areas of our community.


Dr. Joy Galliford

Dr. Joy Galliford

Executive Director

Joy Galliford, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of FSFM, as well as the Director of Development and an Instructor for South Florida Music. She received the prestigious 2010 Florida College Music Educator of the Year Award from the Florida Music Educators Association; is recognized for her research and presentations specializing the area of early childhood at the national, state, and local levels; and  is a nominee for the 2019 Children’s Trust David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award.

“Dr. Joy,” as the children call her, has been a private, public and college music educator for over thirty-five years. She holds certifications in the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, Musikgarten Curriculum, National Guild of Piano Teachers as well as a Florida Child Care and Education Program Director Credential and Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate for Music K-12. Galliford is also a songwriter and the co-author of Experience the Music, a literacy-based curriculum using music activities that engage children in singing, focused listening, movement and the playing of rhythm instruments.

Galliford, as well as her young musicians, have been featured on several local television programs such as NBC 6 South Florida Today and Telemundo discussing the merits of early childhood music education. She is known in our community for her dedication and willingness to help parents increase their educational knowledge and understanding as they seek to help their child reach their fullest potential. Music is life for Dr. Joy!

Nibaldo P. Morales

Nibaldo P. Morales

Member at Large

Dr. Nibaldo Morales is a South Florida native. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in 1990. Dr. Morales received his dental degree from Boston University and successfully completed a hospital residency program in New York. The residency was at a trauma hospital and was linked with an oral surgery program. Dr. Morales has also received advanced training at the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education in Key Biscayne, Florida as well as at the Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida. He earned his Fellowship status in The International Congress of Oral Implantology. This status is an honor which a professional society such as the ICOI bestows on a dental professional involved in dental implant treatment. Dr. Morales opened his office in 2001 located in the heart of Coral Gables and he is committed to excellence by providing his patients with the highest quality and the most ethical care that modern dentistry has to offer.

Richard Cannon

Richard Cannon


Mr. Richard Cannon and his family have lived in South Florida for over 20 years. He is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cannon is a Vice President at Bayview Asset Management, a fund manager specializing in mortgage finance. He is an avid (amateur) musician and plays golf as often as he can get away with. Mr. Cannon’s two daughters have benefited for most of their lives from Dr. Joy Galliford’s programs and continue to study with her today.

Beatriz Blanco Wolcott

Beatriz Blanco Wolcott


Beatriz Blanco Wolcott is a native of South Florida. She attended G.W. Carver Middle School and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Coconut Grove and graduated from The Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2000. Ms. Blanco Wolcott is presently in Client Relations at Insigneo Securities, an international independent broker-dealer and RIA located in Brickell. Previously, residing in New York City for over twelve years, she worked at two hedge funds, GoldenTree Asset Management and Chilton Investment Company, also in their Client Relations teams. Ms. Blanco Wolcott is involved with various other charities and local volunteer programs. She has three children enrolled in South Florida Music.